El Paso is the best place to live because of its low unemployment rate and cheaper living and housing prices. In contrast, Albuquerque has high unemployment and crime rates yet affordable living and housing fees.
El Paso is on New Mexico’s southwestern border. El Paso translates to “the pass,” It is a direct pass because it is located directly on the Mexican-Rio Grande border. The Fort Bliss Army Base is in the city, which is frequently patrolled by border patrol.
Albuquerque has a distinct history and culture, fantastic cafés, breweries, and art galleries, and outdoor adventure is just minutes away.
ABQ and El Paso have lower living and housing costs than other cities in America. However, some factors make the other stand out more.
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What are the Pros and Cons of El Paso vs. Albuquerque?
Both ABQ and El Paso have a low cost of living and housing. However, Albuquerque has a higher crime rate and unemployment but has a cleaner environment. Meanwhile, El Paso is prone to traffic congestion yet offers more career placement.
Living in El Paso
- Lower unemployment rate
- Sports and festivals
- Inexpensive living and housing expenses
- Easy commute
- Vibrant arts and culture
El Paso’s economy is strong, with a 3.7% unemployment rate. El Paso is home to more than 70 Fortune 500 corporations, including AT&T, Raytheon, Verizon, Walmart, and Wells Fargo, contributing to the city’s economic strength.
Engineering and technology have grown in the area due to numerous significant firms.
Because of El Paso’s proximity to the Rio Grande, whitewater rafting, paddling, and fishing are all available, as well as hiking and rock climbing at Franklin Mountains State Park and Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site.
A few of the region’s active events include the Mighty Mujer Triathlon, Franklin Mountains Trail Run, Eagle in the Sun Triathlon, and Michelob Ultra El Paso Marathon.
El Paso is brought together through the Neon Desert Music Festival and the Plaza Classic Film Festival.
Also, there are sporting teams such as the Rhinos of the North American 3 Hockey League and the Chihuahuas of minor league baseball, a Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.
The Sun Bowl is a prominent college football tournament every winter. In El Paso, art galleries, theaters, and museums abound, catering to cultural vultures.
El Paso’s low prices are one of the area’s primary selling factors for prospective inhabitants. The city has the lowest cost of living in the United States.
Because there is no state income tax, earnings stretch a bit further in the local home market. In fact, with a typical house price of $271,701 and a median monthly rent of $851.12, El Paso’s housing costs are 22% cheaper than the national average.
The drive to work is relatively quick because everything is in one city. The hours will vary depending on where you live concerning your workplace.
Your commute will be centered because there are no other cities nearby. The typical commuting time is between 25 and 30 minutes.
The city’s thriving arts and entertainment attractions are among the most admirable aspects of living in El Paso. Explore the El Paso Museum of History, exhibits on the local United States-Mexico border region.
Visit the El Paso Museum of Art, the only recognized art museum within 250 miles and features modern and traditional art. In addition, you can visit the El Paso Museum of Archaeology to discover more about Paleoindian and American Indian history in the area.
- Prone to traffic
- Far from other cities
El Paso has a reputation for having the worst traffic and drivers in the United States. Inattentive drivers who commit either unneeded or harmful acts cause traffic.
Rush hour is the day when there is a lot of traffic. Between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., rush hour occurs. Avoid this region as much as possible during these hours or be prepared for stop-and-go traffic.
We’re talking about El Paso’s distance from the next comparable city in the United States, which is hundreds of miles away. For example, Texas’ Lubbock is 300 miles distant, while Arizona’s Tucson is 266 miles.
Some people do not believe this is a significant issue. However, it can be if you live near other large cities.
Living in Albuquerque
- Sandia Peak tramway
- Balloon festival & balloon museum
- ABQ’s art scene
- Quality of life
- Less traffic and air pollution
You can try skiing Sandia Peak if you visit Albuquerque in the winter. The 15-minute journey on the Americas’ longest aerial tram takes every 15 to 30 minutes, with one of the two tram cars leaving every 15 to 30 minutes.
You can spend a day skiing Sandia Peak if you visit Albuquerque in the winter. And Ten 3, the mountaintop restaurant, is a stunning spot for a beverage or something to eat, especially as the sun sets on the horizon.
The skies above Albuquerque fill with a rainbow of bright hot air balloons for more than a week in early October. Look for them in typical teardrop forms and distinctive silhouettes ranging from cartoon figures to piggy banks littering the skies.
The Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum is the world’s leading museum dedicated to ballooning’s art, culture, science, history, sport, and spectacle.
The balloon museum houses one of the world’s best ballooning equipment and memorabilia collections. It’s only fitting that it’s in Albuquerque, the world’s ballooning capital.
Albuquerque has a thriving creative culture. Its advanced theatrical industry includes anything from tiny black-box performances to worldwide festivals.
Albuquerque has over 100 art galleries and studios and has a wide range of fine art, authentic Southwestern jewelry, ceramics, and modern art.
Living expenses in Albuquerque are 5% lower than the national average, allowing residents to enjoy a good standard of living.
The average property in ABQ costs about $332,426, while the median monthly rent is $1,041, about 14% cheaper than the national average.
Apart from the cheap cost of living, the average home in Albuquerque costs roughly $182,000 on the open market. Renting a 900-square-foot apartment would cost $840 per month.
Not to mention that Albuquerque’s state income tax is 24% lower than the national average, in addition to cheap property taxes. Its low-income tax makes a living, working, and retiring inexpensive.
Albuquerque rush hour commutes are the easiest compared to other metro regions of equal size. A daily commute on I-40 takes 15 to 20 minutes, despite the average one-way trip taking 21.3 minutes.
Due to its arid climate and lack of rainy days, New Mexico came in second after Mississippi for little traffic congestion, making journeys less unpleasant.
Regarding air quality, the PM2.5 concentration in Albuquerque is within the WHO’s annual air quality guideline value. As a result, Albuquerque’s air quality is typically superior to most other cities.
In Albuquerque, you don’t have to worry about dirty particles or air pollution when you take a deep breath because the city has one of the country’s lowest rates of air pollution.
- High unemployment rate
- Upsetting crime rate
Albuquerque’s unemployment rate peaked at 12.2% in July 2020 and is presently 6.7 percentage points lower.
However, ABQ’s unemployment rate of 5.5% remains high compared to the national rate of 4.2%.
Albuquerque receives an 85.3 on a scale of one to 10 for property crime. Albuquerque had a score of 51 for heinous crimes, which is higher than the national average of 22.7.
ABQ was ranked sixth in terms of violent crime. If you’re considering relocating to Albuquerque, start by researching the safest areas and districts with the lowest crime rate in the city.
Albuquerque or El Paso – Which is more expensive?
The cost of living in Albuquerque is 11.9% more expensive than in El Paso. In ABQ, housing, food, groceries, and utilities are higher.
|Living expenses||El Paso||Albuquerque|
|Food & Groceries||92%||96.0%|
100 = US National Average
> 100 indicates that something is more costly than the national average
< 100 means cheaper than the national average
The cost of housing in ABQ is 55.8% more than in El Paso. The median monthly rent in Albuquerque is $1,041, with a median property price of $332,426.
With a median house price range of $271,701 and a monthly median rent of $851.12, El Paso’s housing costs are 22% cheaper than the national average.
Food & Groceries
Albuquerque’s food and grocery prices are higher than El Paso’s. A 1kg rice in El Paso is only $1.98, compared to $3.06 in Albuquerque.
Healthcare costs are 6.5% lesser in ABQ than in El Paso. In Albuquerque, a doctor’s appointment can only cost $103.83, while a doctor’s appointment in El Paso would cost you more.
The utility costs in El Paso are cheaper than in Albuquerque. A one-minute prepaid mobile tariff can only cost $0.12 in El Paso, whereas it costs $0.16 in ABQ.
A gallon of gas costs $2.66 in El Paso and only $2.58 in Albuquerque. Thus, transportation prices in ABQ are lower than in El Paso.
Is Albuquerque bigger than El Paso?
El Paso has a more extensive land area of 259.3 mi² compared to ABQ’s 188.9 mi². Moreover, El Paso is more prominent than Albuquerque in its economy and population.
For comparison, El Paso has a land area of 259.3 mi², whereas Albuquerque only has 188.9 mi². Regarding population, El Paso is denser than Albuquerque.
In 2022, ABQ has a population of 942,000, with a 1.4% increase from 2021. At the same time, El Paso has a slightly bigger population of 974,000 and has a 1.14% population increase.
Although El Paso has less economic growth than other cities in the United States, its economy is better than Albuquerque.
Albuquerque faces high unemployment yearly, leading to ascending poverty and crime rates. On the other hand, El Paso has a lower than the national average unemployment rate.
The low unemployment rate of El Paso is due to some of the fortune 500 companies that offer various work opportunities in the city.
Therefore, El Paso is bigger than Albuquerque.
Is El Paso safer than Albuquerque?
El Paso has a safety scale of 66.92, while Albuquerque only has 29.34. In addition, Albuquerque has a higher crime index of 70.66 than El Paso’s 33.08, making El Paso safer than Albuquerque.
In El Paso, there were 3.79 violent crimes per 1,000 people and 18.19 property crimes per 1,000 persons in the previous year.
You have a one in 53 risk of becoming a victim of a property crime and a one in 258 odds when it comes to the heinous crime.
In comparison, Albuquerque scores 85.3 for property crime on a scale of 1 to 100. Property crime in Albuquerque is significantly higher than the national average of 35.4.
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.
Albuquerque’s crime index is 70.66 compared to El Paso’s 33.08. Additionally, El Paso has a safety scale of 66.92, twice Albuquerque’s safety scale of only 29.34.
El Paso’s higher safety scale indicates that it is safer than Albuquerque.
Is El Paso hotter than Albuquerque?
Albuquerque has an average yearly maximum temperature of 93°F with a hot and dry climate. In contrast, El Paso has an annual average high temperature of 97°F. El Paso is, thus, hotter than Albuquerque.
Albuquerque is dry and sunny for the most part, with low humidity and more than 300 days of sunlight every year. Furthermore, Albuquerque has an average yearly high temperature of 93°F.
Winters are pleasant in ABQ because of the dry air, while summer heat is more manageable than in a high-humidity environment at the same temperature.
Summers in El Paso are hot, winters are short and frigid, and the weather is dry and largely clear all year. The temperature ranges typically from 34°F to 97°F throughout the year, with temperatures seldom falling below 24°F or rising over 104°F.
Other than a higher annual average high temperature, El Paso ranked 14th among the hottest cities in the United States. The city also ranked 9th among other cities in Texas.
Hence, El Paso is hotter than Albuquerque.
Is Albuquerque better than El Paso?
Albuquerque is for folks looking for an old town vibe with manageable traffic and fresher air. However, El Paso is better than ABQ. El Paso offers lower living and housing expenses, a low unemployment rate, and a safer environment.
Both El Paso and Albuquerque have affordable living and housing costs. Albuquerque provides an old town vibe and lesser pollution to its residents. The air quality in ABQ is better as well.
Albuquerque is perfect if you seek a city with less air pollution and a cooler climate. Compared to ABQ, El Paso can get way hotter, especially in the summer.
Safety and job prospects, on the other hand, are serious considerations that you can’t easily ignore.
El Paso has a lower unemployment rate and is home to various large enterprises in the United States. Additionally, El Paso is twice safer than Albuquerque.
Therefore, El Paso outperforms Albuquerque when comparing employment, safety, and costs.
Are you considering moving to El Paso or Albuquerque? Let me know your thoughts and concerns below.