Durham is a better place to live in compared to Albuquerque. Aside from its booming tobacco production, it is part of the Research Triangle Park, with more than 300 companies employing 55,000 workers. In contrast, Albuquerque has an emerging energy, aerospace, film, and technology industry.
Durham is one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the United States. It attracts people from all walks of life because of its universities, dining options, and numerous job availability. You will find the city a desirable place to live in due to the array of opportunities it presents.
Meanwhile, Albuquerque is genuinely an affordable city in New Mexico. It has mountains ranges, a flowing river, and luscious green forests. It is a great place to choose if you want to live a simple life filled with outdoor activities.
These cities are great options to make a fresh start. But before you finally decide which city is preferable for you, take a look at this city comparison.
What are the Pros and Cons of Durham vs. Albuquerque?
Durham has an excellent education system and plenty of leisure activities but imposes a higher tax rate. In contrast, Albuquerque offers beautiful sceneries and life outdoors, but its high crime rate remains a challenge.
Living in Durham
- Employment opportunities
- Affordable cost of living
- Outstanding education system
If you are moving to another city to seek employment, you have come to the right place – Durham. The North Carolina city is part of the largest research park in the United States. The park is home to several companies that employ thousands of workers.
If you have expertise in the medical field, Durham is an excellent place to jump-start your career. The city has a thriving health care industry with over 300 medical-related businesses. This industry alone generates more than $1.5B income to the city’s economy.
It is also becoming a central hub for tech talents. Currently, its ranks 10th among the 50 cities ideal for start-up tech companies. Durham is already home to American Underground, Durham-Venture X, and WeWork. Apple and Google are also opening stations in the city.
Durham has a reasonable cost of living with housing prices below the average. The housing expenses are 27% below the median rate. People move to the city to build a better and more affordable life.
Other expenses like transportation, utility, and health care are reasonably priced. You will have a comfortable life in Durham without spending too much.
Durham is a go-to city for people who seek education. Forbes ranked it as one of the top educated cities in America. It is home to nationally acclaimed learning institutions, including the following:
- Duke University
- University of North Carolina – Chapel Hills
- North Carolina Central University
- Watts College of Nursing
The city interestingly offers a top-tier culinary experience. It has an infinite list of food and dining options sprawling around its territory. You will find restaurants of world-renowned chefs with James Beard Awards.
Some of the top restaurants you should miss are:
- Saltbox Seafood Joint
- The Durham
- Boricua Soul
- Parker & Otis
Durham is not just about the food; it also has a vibrant entertainment district. You can see the Durham Bulls Athletic Park or the Durham Performing Arts Center.
The city of Durham is a commuter’s haven. It offers both interstate and public transit options. The GoTriangle Route has more than 20 routes and travels 43 miles using its commuter trail.
If you want to be fit and cut down on gas costs, you also have the option to use bicycles. Durham, notably Triangle Park, has a dedicated lane for bikes. You can combine cycling and commuting when you live in this city.
- Higher taxes
As a city of North Carolina, you have to pay higher taxes when you live in Durham. You have to pay state and municipal taxes that can go as high as 9.8%. It ranks 20th as the most taxed state in America.
Sales tax is also high. According to statistics, an average individual in NC spends $771 on tax each year. You have to pay 6.98% more for sales tax when buying items.
North Carolina experiences hurricane seasons from June to November. During this time, floods, winds, and unpredictable weather patterns happen. In Durham, you are vulnerable to occasional storms and hurricanes.
Living in Albuquerque
- Favorite location for film and television
- Life outdoors is interesting
- Thriving local art scene
- Festivities and celebrations
- New Mexican culinary experience
ABQ has a growing film industry, given that it is a popular shooting location of movies and TV shows. You will notice the adobe homes and the Sandia Mountains as background for Breaking Bad’s famous TV show.
Internationally acclaimed movies like The Avengers and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot are also filmed in the city.
The city is geographically blessed with major landmarks surrounding it. The Petroglyph National Monument displays ABQ’s ancient history through writing. Aside from the infamous Sandia Mountains, you can also visit the Cibola National Forests for hunting and fishing.
Albuquerque is an artists’ haven. Several creative spots like the 516 Arts Gallery and the Richard Levy Gallery. The first has a unique collection of modern art pieces, while the others focus on surrealism and geometric vein art.
Aside from this, you can also attend an event at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. It hosts around 70 art events every year.
The city will never bore you given that it has plenty of cultural events and festivals every year. You can join The Festival Flamenco Albuquerque and watch spectacular dance performances. Here you can see exceptional performances by internationally recognized flamenco dancers.
It would help if you did not also miss the biggest balloon festival in the world – The Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. It happens every October, wherein more than 500 hot air balloons fly above the entire city.
You will be impressed by how rich ABQ culture is through its food scene. If you want the most authentic dishes in the Southwest, you have come to the right place. ABQ cuisine showcases a unique fusion of Native American, Hispanic, and New Mexican flavors.
- Grappling economy
- High crime rate
Unlike Durham, with a thriving economy, ABQ is experiencing slow growth. Most of the businesses are small-time and locally owned. The largest employer is the federal government.
As a result, residents have limited job opportunities making the unemployment rate high. Also, the minimum wage is only about $9.
Since ABQ has a struggling economy, resulting in other social issues like poverty and a high crime rate. The city is consistently receiving a significant number of crimes every year. Most of these are drug-related.
So, it is crucial to look for safe neighborhoods with increased police presence if you choose to move here. The possibility of being a crime victim is higher than in other cities in the US.
Durham or Albuquerque – Which is cheaper?
Comparatively, Albuquerque is cheaper than Durham by 7.4%. The median housing cost in Durham is around $350,000, while only $257,000 in ABQ.
|Food & Groceries||99.2%||96%|
Data is based on 100 = US National Average
> 100 means more expensive than the national average
< 100 means cheaper than the national average
Housing costs in Albuquerque and Durham are below the national average. However, ABQ offers a lower rate compared to Durham. Since Durham is part of the Research Triangle Park, the rate became very competitive.
Renting is also more expensive in Durham than in ABQ. You will find a single-bedroom apartment in Albuquerque for less than a thousand dollars. But rentals in Durham always start above $1,000.
The cost of utilities is slightly higher in Durham than in Albuquerque. For instance, your phone bill can cost around $152 in ABQ, while $156 in Durham per month. You will be paying 3.1% more for electricity, water, phone, and internet in Durham.
Food & groceries cost
Food and groceries are also more expensive in Durham than in Albuquerque. Essential items like eggs, rice, and milk are 3.2% costlier in Durham.
You will find commuting in Albuquerque more expensive than Durham. North Carolina provides a comprehensive public transit system for commuters. Residents are more inclined to use public transit than drive a car.
Meanwhile, locals in ABQ need to have a car to go around the city. Thus, they are paying more for gas than those living in Durham.
Health care cost
The cost of health services in Albuquerque and Durham is below the national average. Nevertheless, you will find paying more for healthcare in Durham than ABQ.
Even if it has the most top-notch health system in the country, medical services did not lower. People pay excellent health care for a price.
Is Albuquerque bigger than Durham?
Albuquerque is bigger than Durham by 71 square miles. Moreover, ABQ is more crowded than the city of Durham. It has more than half a million residents, while only around 200,000 inhabitants in Durham.
Durham is the 50th fastest growing city, according to the recent US consensus. It placed 2nd in the state of North Carolina. Yet, more people move to the city to migrate, given Durham’s opportunities.
Meanwhile, retirees and veterans move to Albuquerque to settle. The city has a growing community of immigrants like Asians, Mexican, and African Americans. Due to its affordability, people also consider moving to ABQ despite limited opportunities.
Is Durham safer than Albuquerque?
Durham and Albuquerque have crime rates higher than the national average. Comparatively, Albuquerque is still a more dangerous city than Durham. It has a crime index of 51%, while Durham has 40.6%.
Generally, North Carolina is a relatively safe state. Most towns and cities have crime rates lower than the median rate. But in Durham, the crime rate is surprisingly higher than the average.
It has a fair bit of crime that can be alarming for some. So, it is crucial to find family-friendly and safe neighborhoods when you settle in this city.
Meanwhile, ABQ is notoriously known for having a higher crime rate even in the past years. Most of the crimes recorded are drug-related. Other factors of the persistent occurrence of crime are poverty and low employment rate.
Is Albuquerque warmer than Durham?
Albuquerque is warmer than Durham. Its recorded highest temperature is 92 degrees, while Durham has 89 degrees. Durham has a humid subtropical climate, and ABQ has a cold semi-arid one.
The climate in Durham is pleasant. Summers are tolerable, while you can also experience mild winters. It also receives fewer sunny days in a year than 300 sunny days in Albuquerque.
Is Durham better than Albuquerque?
Durham is a better city than Albuquerque. Aside from being part of the Research Triangle Park, Durham has exceptional health care, transportation, and education system to offer.
You will find it easier to adjust in Durham than in Albuquerque. For one thing, there are more job opportunities. There are also family-friendly and safer areas in the city. It is also abundant in parks and open spaces where you can enjoy the beauty of the town.
Despite ABQ’s affordability, the persistent crime and alarming unemployment rate are huge drawbacks. People would even advise you to secure a job first before deciding to move to Albuquerque.
So, are you moving to Durham, North Carolina? Or is Albuquerque more preferable? Please share your thoughts below.