Living in Denver is better because of higher income, better economy, and job opportunities, which offsets the higher cost of living. In comparison, Albuquerque’s crime rate increases annually, yet the city has lower living expenses and housing costs.
Denver is in the Rocky Mountain Urban Corridor, east of the Rocky Mountains and west of the High Plains. Denver was ranked one of the top two best places to live in the United States by US News & World Report in two consecutive years, 2019 and 2020.
In contrast, Albuquerque is New Mexico’s economic capital and largest metropolis. Albuquerque has a rich history, beautiful landscapes, low cost of living, and a thriving cultural community.
However, you might need to consider the city’s unsolved crime rate and lesser job opportunities than Denver’s.
List of Contents
What are the Pros and Cons of Albuquerque vs. Denver?
Denver boasts a promising economy, higher wages, less violent crime, career opportunities, but it also has higher living costs and traffic congestion. Albuquerque, in contrast, has affordable living costs, manageable traffic, lower taxes, but a severe crime rate problem.
Living in Albuquerque
- A competitive and affordable housing costs
- A diverse range of cultures, races, and identities
- Explore the natural wonders and look forward to the hot air balloon festival!
- Lower than the national average cost of living
- Bearable traffic and a walkable city
- Lower taxes
Albuquerque is home to around a quarter of New Mexico’s population. That implies you’ll have access to a home market with some movement in a state with less demand.
The average property sells for around $182,000 on the market. This positions the city and state 33rd in the US regarding affordability. A 900-square-foot apartment would set you back around $840 per month if you choose to rent.
New Mexico is home to people of nearly 70 distinct nationalities. When you move to Albuquerque, you’ll encounter Middle Eastern, Asian, Native American, and an array of other cultures all rolled into one.
It generates a vivid blend in the southwest that is beautiful and lively.
Albuquerque is home to many natural wonders and exciting places to visit. You may go on an extraterrestrial hunt in Roswell, see the magnificent Carlsbad Caverns, or visit the Chaco Culture National Historical Park.
You can find National landmarks, artistic masterpieces, and quaint stores in ABQ. Most importantly, don’t miss the hot air balloon festival!
If you’re not from the area, the culture of the southwest may take some getting accustomed to, but it can be a lot of fun.
The total cost of living in the city and New Mexico is competitive. It is one of the few localities in the country with a price of living index 4% lower than the national average. Even if salaries are lower, you will not notice the problem at the shop.
Albuquerque is ranked 120th among the best places to live in the United States by US News & World Report. It’s also the only New Mexico city on the list.
If you’re used to living in a tiny town where traffic bottlenecks are uncommon, then Albuquerque will shock you. Because of the city’s overall size, you should expect considerable sluggishness on the main arterial routes.
Compared to cities like Dallas, Denver, or Las Vegas, you have little to worry about most days. You can get caught in traffic in ABQ, but it usually moves rather quickly.
Overall, the city has a walk score of 43, ranking it the 27th most walkable city in the United States. So, while you’ll almost certainly need a car, you might be able to walk to neighboring facilities depending on where you live in Albuquerque.
Albuquerque’s tax rates are low, and you’re likely to save money if you move in from out of town.
Some of Albuquerque’s taxes are as follows:
o Albuquerque’s property tax rate is 0.96%, lower than the national average of 1.211%.
o Albuquerque’s sales tax rate is 7.875%, which is somewhat higher than the national average of 7.3%.
o Albuquerque’s state income tax rate ranges from 1.7% to 4.9%, depending on your tax level. This rate is towards the bottom of the range for state income taxes; the national average is 4.6%.
- The unsolved crime rate is a big issue
- Faltering job market and a high unemployment rate
Crime may be a severe concern in the city due to generational poverty, poor incomes, and an overall lack of prospects for many families. Most of it is drug-related, which means you’re dealing with many property crimes.
Albuquerque scores 85.3 on a scale of 1 to 100 for property crime. Albuquerque had a score of 51 for violent crimes, which is higher than the national average of 22.7. Albuquerque proper, Pajarito Mesa, and Bernalillo have the highest crime rates.
In general, moving to New Mexico is a disadvantage if you arrive without a job. Most years, the unemployment rate sits around 6%, and it worsens when the national economy faces a slump for whatever cause.
Albuquerque has a higher unemployment rate of 4.3% than the national average of 3.7%.
Living in Denver
- A promising economy
- Bucket list worthy
- Way better career opportunities than Albuquerque
- Beer paradise of the USA
- Denver is a safe city to live in
- Get ready to go skiing!
Denver’s primarily youthful and energetic population has led to a thriving economy in various areas.
In terms of high-paying occupations, Denver is home to the headquarters of several major corporations. And more are arriving as a result of the city’s high concentration of active and healthy Millennials.
Even though the typical median income in Denver is roughly $58,000, which is 6%-7% lower than the national average, payments in various industries continue to climb in tandem with the cost of living in Denver.
Several career prospects in agriculture, technology, and aerospace will undoubtedly equal the cost of living.
Denver and its surroundings are brimming with sights and activities to keep you entertained.
If you take the time to ask different local inhabitants about things to do, you will quickly learn that the list is nearly endless, and the information offered by the residents is not what you expected.
Hiking, rafting, skiing, camping, fishing, backpacking, biking hot springs, snowboarding, national parks, and many more activities are available.
According to Forbes, Denver is the fourth-best city in the United States for business and careers. It ranks 32nd in job growth and 18th in education out of 200 large cities.
Major corporations have relocated their corporate headquarters to Denver or the surrounding area, creating thousands of new employment. Among these technological behemoths are Lockheed Martin, Google, and IBM.
Denver’s IT economy is thriving, particularly in software and mobile development.
With over 4,000 IT businesses headquartered in Colorado and so many high-paying employment in Denver, it’s no wonder that the state ranks 11th in the nation for household median income.
Colorado’s beer business is enormous. It ranks fourth among states in terms of breweries per capita. Denver is also home to some of the most fantastic breweries.
The Wynkoop Brewing Company and the Rock Bottom Brewery, in particular, have their headquarters in Denver, Colorado.
Denver also has several festivals centered on their favorite alcoholic beverage. The annual Beer Week, which lasts a little more than a week, is held in September.
Patrons can sample over 2,200 different beers to satisfy their taste buds.
Colorado as a whole is one of the safest states to live in, and Denver is no exception.
Of course, there is always some crime in any more extensive urban region, but Denver is relatively safe compared to other large cities.
Residents have reported feeling safer than Americans living in other country regions.
The most severe worry is property theft, which typically manifests in parcel theft.
Denver is strategically near some of the top skiing slopes in the state, with several only a short drive away.
Echo Mountain is perhaps the nearest, with a driving duration of less than an hour. The Loveland Ski Area and the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area are two more fantastic places to visit.
- High living costs and little supply
- Congestion and a lack of public transit
- Housing costs increasing
There will be an increase in job possibilities and population expansion, but there will also be a rise in home costs and a loss in available property.
Denver’s cost of living is 12% higher than the national average, but housing prices account for most of this, accounting for 34% of the difference.
The median property price in Denver is roughly $450,000, and the monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $1,400. However, this may vary considerably, particularly in Denver’s up-and-coming areas.
Denver residents spend around 36 hours each year delayed in traffic.
There has not been adequate infrastructure construction to match the recent spike in population: the Denver metro region’s roads and highways cannot support the half-million more people who have come to the area in the last ten years.
When there aren’t enough acceptable alternative options, there’s a shortage of appropriate public transit, which leads to an increase in car traffic.
Though the property tax on homes is still far lower than in the rest of the country, the properties’ prices can be exorbitant.
According to a local news station, prices in Denver have risen by more than 50% in the last five years.
The typical cost of a single home in Denver currently ranges from $560,000 to $630,000, depending on where you live.
That is about double the national average cost of $389,000 in the United States.
Albuquerque or Denver – Which is cheaper?
Living in Albuquerque is 29.2% cheaper than in Denver. In Denver, housing, groceries, health, and transportation are higher than in Albuquerque.
|Food & Groceries||101.9%||96.0%|
Data is 100 = US National Average
>100 means more expensive than the national average
<100 means cheaper than the national average
The cost of housing in Denver is 52.3% more than in Albuquerque. The median monthly rent in Denver is $1,451, with a median home price of $463,245.
In comparison, ABQ only has a median home price range of $332,426 and a monthly median rent of $1,041.
Food & Groceries
Denver’s food and grocery prices are higher than in Albuquerque. One example is the price of 1kg of local cheese in ABQ, which is only $10.06, compared to $14.22 in Denver.
Healthcare costs are 12.3% cheaper in ABQ than in Denver. In Denver, a doctor’s appointment may cost $116.58, while a dental visit can cost $100.15.
Meanwhile, a doctor’s appointment in ABQ would set you back at around $108.83, while a dentist visit would only cost $93.49.
The utility costs in Denver are cheaper than in Albuquerque. The monthly bill of essential utilities such as electricity, heating, cooling, and water for an 85m2 apartment in Denver costs $130.55 compared to ABQ’s $140.94.
A gallon of gas costs $2.58 in ABQ and $2.75 in Denver. Moreover, a liter of gasoline is cheaper in ABQ at $0.70 than Denver’s $0.88.
Is Albuquerque bigger than Denver?
In terms of geographical area, Albuquerque is bigger than Denver. On the other hand, Denver has a larger population and a more robust economy than Albuquerque.
Albuquerque has a geographical area of 188.9 square miles with a population of 942,000 as of 2022. Meanwhile, Denver has square miles of 154.7 and, as of 2022, has a denser population of 2,897,000.
In 2022, ABQ has a 1.4% increase in population from 2021. At the same time, Denver has a 1.22% population increase.
Both cities have high altitudes with a base elevation of above 5,000 feet. When compared, Denver has a higher elevation than Albuquerque.
Denver’s elevation is 5238.43 feet or 1596.67 meters, while Albuquerque’s elevation is 5110.84 feet or 1557.79 meters, a difference of 127.58 feet or 38.89 meters.
In terms of economy, Denver has a booming economy than ABQ’s. Albuquerque faces a high unemployment rate of 6% and has lesser job growth than Denver.
Is Denver safer than Albuquerque?
Denver has a safety scale of 54.99, while Albuquerque only has 29.34. Furthermore, Albuquerque has a higher crime index than Denver, making Denver safer than Albuquerque.
Albuquerque’s crime index is 70.66 compared to Denver’s 45.01; living in Albuquerque is less safe than in Denver.
Denver has a safety scale of 54.99, which is almost twice Albuquerque’s safety scale of only 29.34. Denver’s higher safety scale makes it safe for people to walk alone, whether at night or day.
As per the FBI, the homicide rate in Albuquerque will grow by 7% in 2021. With over 100,000 people, Albuquerque is currently one of the top ten most dangerous cities in the United States.
Is Albuquerque hotter than Denver?
Albuquerque and Denver are in an elevated area, resulting in high altitude that brings slightly cooler temperatures. However, when compared, Albuquerque is hotter than Denver. In 2021, Albuquerque’s temperature increased to 103ºF while Denver rose to 100ºF.
Below is the comparison between ABQ and Denver’s weather:
o Denver has 245 sunny days per year on average. In contrast, Albuquerque has 280 sunny days per year on average.
o Denver receives 16.7 inches of rain per year on average. On average, Albuquerque gets 11.1 inches of rainfall each year.
o The average annual snowfall in the United States is 27.8 inches. Denver receives an average of 60.2 inches of snow each year. In comparison, Albuquerque receives only 10.6 inches of snow each year on average.
The higher altitude also brings a slightly cooler temperature, which is much more manageable for people who prefer cooler weather.
The temperature between the two cities isn’t that far since they are located 5,000 above. However, ABQ can get hotter than Denver based on the highest temperature recorded in 2021. ABQ reached 103ºF, whereas Denver reached 100ºF, which is not far off ABQ’s.
Is Albuquerque better than Denver?
If you prefer to reside in a city with a lower cost of living and manageable traffic, Albuquerque is the city for you. Meanwhile, Denver is for those who seek a more improved economy, job growth, and lower crime rates.
Compared to Denver, ABQ has a lower cost of living and manageable traffic. With the profound importance of Native American and Hispanic culture, Albuquerque is a lovely city.
However, it is still best to consider Albuquerque’s safety and crime rates before moving. You may want to consider living in Nob Hill and avoid areas where crimes notoriously happen.
On the other hand, according to a recent rating provided by US News & World Report, Denver is ranked second as the best city in the United States to live in in 2020. Denver received a 7.4 out of 10 total ratings. Also, the town ranked 55 on the list of the best places to retire.
Even though living in Denver means higher living and housing expenses, the city offers higher annual salaries and job opportunities to its residents.
Did you find what you were looking for, or is something missing? Let me know in the comments below.