RIO RANCHO (KRQE) – Rio Rancho and Albuquerque are both ranked on a new list that highlights their family-friendliness.
While Rio Rancho got high marks, New Mexico’s largest city fell near the bottom. Rio Rancho is one of the fastest growing cities in New Mexico.
“It’s just a really nice place to live,” said Brandon Eli, Rio Rancho resident.
Now, it has another title, as the 37th best city in the country for young families according to Apartment List’s website.
It’s an accolade the city’s been working on.
“We try to attract companies that are compatible with that age dynamic,” said Mayor Greggory Hull.
Mayor Hull says the city’s been trying to attract opportunities for young workers in industries like technology and health care, which seems to be paying off.
The website ranked nearly 500 cities. They looked at what attracts younger families to certain areas including the cost to rent a two bedroom apartment, the percentage of kids in the community, and graduation rates for public school districts to get an indication of school quality.
That’s something Eli says was a huge factor for his family.
“When we moved to Rio Rancho, we have a little guy at home, and our biggest concern was schools,” said Eli.
The city says it’s trying to market itself as a place to have a career and raise a family, while also enjoying the outdoors.
“That’s something we strive for in Rio Rancho,” said Mayor Hull.
Unfortunately, Rio Rancho’s neighbor came in at the opposite end of the spectrum.
Albuquerque landed at the bottom of the list coming in at number 426.
“I think it’s kind of hard to believe. I mean it’s a nice town. There’s still stuff that can be worked on,” said Rudy Travis, Albuquerque resident.
The Duke City was given a “D” letter grade. The difference between the two cities came down to crime.
However, the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce is hopeful that this won’t deter young families from moving in.
“Families that move here are delighted to be here. I think that they understand that we have so much more to offer and we are simply not a number on a list,” said Beverly Cruz, Senior VP and Chief Business Development Officer for Chamber of Commerce.
Santa Fe and Las Cruces also made the list, coming in at 401 and 402.