ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Tuesday, U.S. News and World Report released their rankings for the Best Places to Live in the United States in 2022-2023. At the top of the list were Huntsville, AL, Colorado Springs, CO, Green Bay, WI, Boulder, CO, and San Jose, CA rounding out the top five. But did anywhere in New Mexico make the list?
Yes – Albuquerque came in at #129 out of 150 cities, right behind Los Angeles, CA.
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According to the publication, each city on the list was ranked based on an analysis of public data and user opinions. To make the list, the city had to earn high scores on set criteria such as desirability and quality of life. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Labor, and U.S. News’ own internal resources were used as well. The data collected was then categorized into five different indexes and evaluated by what Americans deem to be important factors in considering a place to live: Job market, value, quality of life, desirability, and net migration (or the number of new residents an area is attracting).
So for instance, Hunstville had a value ranking of 8.5, a quality ranking of 6.8, and an overall score of 7.0. Compare that to Albuquerque’s value ranking of 6.4, quality of life coming in at 5.8, and an overall score of 5.7.
The study looked at Albuquerque’s job market, with the unemployment rate for 2021 at 9%, a few clicks above the national average of 9%. The city’s average annual salary of $51,590 is nearly $5,000 less than the national average of $56,310.
In education, Albuquerque tended to have a generally higher score than similarly sized metro areas in college readiness, according to the study. With data sourced from U.S. News and World Report’s Best High Schools rankings, the student-teacher ratio in the city sits at 17:1.
When it comes to crime, Albuquerque ended up being the second-worst ranked city in the study – first place going to Memphis, TN. Compared to similarly-sized metropolitan areas in the country, like Tulsa, OK, and Fresno, CA, Albuquerque ended up having an average violent crime rate of 968.6 per 100,000 people. Tulsa reported an average of 588 and Fresno at 594.4. The national crime rate has been sitting just below 400 for about a decade, according to data from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports.
Albuquerque reported a whopping 3,504.2 average regarding property crime. Tulsa had 3,083 and Fresno 2,474.7. The national average for property crime has been in a steady declining trend since 2005.
More information on how Albuquerque ranked with categories like Value and Net Migration is available on the U.S. News and World Report’s website.