Tucson is one of the best places to live compared to Albuquerque because it is an exciting city with consistent growth, ideal for snowbird citizens and retired people, has four distinct seasons, and is not entirely desert. ABQ has a good landscape and other activities, yet the city is unsafe due to the high crime rate.
When Albuquerque, New Mexico, is an affordable location, Tucson is much more cost-friendly in Arizona. The living expenses in the metropolis fall below the state and national averages. Prices of houses and even rent are highly favorable if you opt to stay here for an extended period.
Not only is Tucson budget-friendly, but it is also home to snowbirds. Snowbirds are people who want to escape winter to find warmer places. The location has a winter desert campsite retreat representing a living assertion that the site is not entirely desert.
Albuquerque is a beautiful place to cultivate and discover more about heritage and beautiful scenery. Still, Tucson has a lot more potential, especially if you want to live in a progressive place in the making.
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What Are the Pros and Cons of Albuquerque Versus Tucson?
Tucson has a booming economy of beautiful outdoor sights and is the most incredible spot for retired people; however, it can get too hot there. Albuquerque is an excellent destination for a spectacular view, a precious heritage site, and plenty of recreation, but the crime level is increasing.
There are significant benefits and disadvantages when choosing to live in Albuquerque versus Tucson. Here are some of it is an excellent summary.
Living in Albuquerque
- Panoramic View of The Entire Town
- Multiple Heritage Sites
Albuquerque has a fantastic panoramic view that is picture-perfect. The famous mountain ridges have the best spot to take the 11,000 square miles view of the town. If you want to capture at least the best of its picturesque form, you can head straight to the Sandia Mountains.
Not only will you be satisfied in finding a great photo of the town, but you will also not resist taking a snap on Sandia’s pink-colored ridges. The place has a good spot for camping, hiking, or even just a hangout place for a great cold coffee.
Albuquerque is one of the most pleasing areas to settle, where multiple cultural and heritage sites. The site has numerous heritage spots like the famous Old Town, where the place showcases the olden days of native Albuquerque people.
Some of the famous Albuquerque landmarks and places to go to are:
- Rio Grande Nature Center State Park
- Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloons
- Pimentel & Sons Guitar Makers
- Albuquerque Museum of Art and History
- Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
- Unser Racing Museum
- Paseo Del Bosque
If you are like someone who wants to have a healthy living balance between work and recreation, then Albuquerque offers you both. The place has a lot of fun activities that you can do during your free time or even on holidays.
The place is quite famous for its humid climate, so fishing and swimming on various lakes is a good idea. You can also do outdoor trekking and hiking to the Sandia Mountains while appreciating the night sky and having a perfect stargazing view.
If you opt to purchase a car to get around the area, Albuquerque is an excellent place to have it. The state where ABQ sits, New Mexico, does not have a state inspection for vehicles. Registration also and renewal are pretty easy for the citizens here.
You can renew your labels electronically, so you may not have to run from agencies trying to stay in legal compliance. The authorized department in ABQ sends you the stickers in the mail, making the whole process extremely convenient.
- Crime Rate Is Horrible
- Education Needs More Attention
The crime percentage in the city of Albuquerque rises almost every year. It seems horrible and alarming. Most violent and property crimes in ABQ have exceeded the national average. The locations in the metropolis that you need to avoid are:
Loma Del Rey
This neighborhood exceeds 91% higher than Albuquerque’s average rate and is one of the most avoided communities inside ABQ.
Skyview West is another not-so-friendly neighborhood in ABQ, 83% more than the city’s typically crime rate average. The place also suffers from a poor education system and a high unemployment rate.
There are excellent schools in Albuquerque, but their public education is not exceptional. If you want your kids to get a high-quality education, you need to choose a better institution on the outskirts of the town.
Based on national statistics for quality education, almost 31% of Albuquerque students passed their English Subjects. Worst is that 25% of the students ranging from third grade to junior high barely passed the standardized exams in mathematics.
Living In Tucson
The economic growth and development of Tucson are increasing. Many newly graduated college degree holders have good job opportunities around the area. One of the most welcoming employers for job hunters is the University of Arizona.
Tucson is a leading authority in optics, cosmology, medical advances, and aerospace. The city’s commerce heavily relies on aerospace and defense research, advancement, and industrial production, and they continue to top highly in these fields.
The hourly wage of people working in Tucson is closed to $22.18 per hour introductory rate. There and then, numerous job providers make their economy on the highest. Defense contractor Raytheon, Honeywell Air Force Base, Intuit Inc, and IBM also top the big job providers in the area.
Tucson’s surrounding comes with mountains in most directions. The place consists of 128 parks and roughly 22 recreational centers for its people and visitors. The big open spaces allow the local government and people to build extensive golf courses and tennis courts without compromising the desert panoramic view around the location.
When in Tucson, never miss an opportunity to visit their national parks and explore the following places:\
- Saguaro National Park
- Sabino Canyon
- Catalina State Park
- Tucson Mountain Park
- Tohono Chul
Tucson even ranked 7th to America’s 10 Best Cities in the U.S. For People Who Love to Ride and best road biking city by a renowned magazine.
If you want to relocate to somewhere where you have an affordable cost of living without compromising its quality, then Tucson is the place to be. The cost of living in Tucson is very reasonable and favorable and even falls below the national average.
Low living expenses mean you will likely pay less in this city than others. According to research findings, a family can live in Tucson on an approximately $3,000 per month budget. Apartments for rent typically cost between $800 and $1,300 per month.
Snowbirds are not birds but rather people. The term refers to anyone who relocates to warmer climates to avoid cold weather. Snowbird’s winter destination is the land of Tucson, Arizona.
It is primarily a movement of older people from northern to southern climates, but it can be anyone who wishes to avoid harsh winter tales. Snowbirds help boost Tucson’s economy in a way.
While migrants are great, older people settle permanently in Tucson because of its retirement perks. The city does not collect taxes on social security benefits. So whatever pension retirees will receive, they get it in total sum.
While having a good daytime exploring the city’s rich cultural and historical places, you can enjoy Tucson’s stargazing potential during the nighttime. The Sonoran Desert offers the best spot to do a relaxing star seeing because its vague dark skies and light pollution make the atmosphere clear.
Even on your open background, you can get a good glimpse of the clear night sky and appreciate the beauty of nature. If you want to see distant stars up close, then pay a visit to the University of Arizona’s Mt. Lemmon Sky Center.
- The Place Can Be Too Hot
- Crime Rate is High
Although the climate in Tucson is favorable, it can inevitably be too hot in the metropolis at a particular time. Months from June to August have the hottest days in the town, where it even exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit to date.
This hot weather is due to being part of the Sonoran Desert. Most likely, people will indulge in swimming the heat off or settle for indoor and turn on the air conditioning unit. The weather rarely drops below 76 degrees Fahrenheit, even at night time.
Tucson’s crime rate continues to climb. Tucson Police Department report that the homicide cases can run from 80 to 100 every year. The city has a great neighborhood, but there are secluded places that you need to avoid.
The city exceeded the average clearance rate for homicide to over 80% in 2021. There are still unsolved cases that the police department needs to unravel. Places to avoid in Tucson are Blenman-Elm, Dodge Flower, Doolen-Fruitvale, Mountain View, and Starr Pass.
Albuquerque or Tucson – Which is More Expensive?
Tucson is a little expensive compared to Albuquerque in a matter of 0.5%, even when the cost of living falls below the national average. In contrast, Tucson is cheaper in housing and rental fees by 8.6%.
It is costly to live in Tucson compared to Albuquerque. The city’s total average does not surpass the national average but slightly overreaches ABQ.
Comparison Table of Living in Albuquerque, New Mexico vs. Tucson, Arizona
|Living Expenses||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Tucson, Arizona|
|Housing and Rent||88%||80.4%|
|Food And Groceries||96%||95.5%|
Based on the Data of which 100 = U.S. National Average
>100 means more expensive
<100 means cheaper than the U.S. average
Housing and Rent Costs
House prices in Tucson are lower by 8.6% compared to Albuquerque. You can have a decent home in Tucson if you have $185,800, and the average rental fee is $1,318. A single apartment rental costs $613 per month.
Albuquerque falls less exclusive because their median home price is $203,500 when the rental cost does not differ much in Tucson with $1,339.
Tucson costs more when paying essential utilities like water, electricity, gas, and garbage collection. The city’s 99.4% comes with an energy bill per month costing $151.23, a phone bill of approximately $161.21, and gas for $2.52 per gallon.
Albuquerque is lesser in the utility payment, with its energy bill running $142.85 per month, $152.27 for the phone bill, and gas for $2.58 per gallon. The difference does not matter much.
Food and Groceries Costs
When compared to Tucson, you should expect to pay slightly more for goods in Albuquerque. In terms of food price levels, there isn’t much of a distinction between the two cities. The difference between Tucson and ABQ is only 0.5%, with Tucson having 95.5% and ABQ having 96%.
Essential goods like loaf bread, a bunch of bananas, milk, or rice do not have a significant gap in pricing when you visit the city’s markets.
The cost of basic transportation in Tucson if you take a single bus ride is $1.75 and will reach an approximate $4 if you opt to have a full day pass. However, some areas in Tucson need a private car to get by, so you need gas to fuel up. This inconvenience is why the city has 96.6% in its percentage averaging.
Albuquerque, in contrast, is way cheaper when a bus ride only costs a dollar, and most of the time, there are free rides all over the town.
Health Care Costs
Health care in Tucson does not have a huge gap compared to Albuquerque. However, the price in Tucson is costlier than the latter.
|Health Care||Albuquerque, New Mexico||Tucson, Arizona|
Tucson’s combined sales tax rate is 8.7 %, including Arizona state sales tax of 5.60 %, Pima Township sales tax of 0.50 %, and Tucson tax of 2.60 %. The city does not gather welfare benefits taxes.
Albuquerque has the second-highest estimated average property tax rate in New Mexico, at 1.05 %, while its combined sales taxes are approximately 7.88%.
Is Albuquerque Safer Than Tucson?
Tucson is safer compared to Albuquerque. The crime rate in the city surged to 80 to 100 annually and even exceeds the national average for its violent and property crimes.
Both cities have a concentrated area where everyone will feel unsafe, but Albuquerque got it even worst. According to Federal Bureau of Investigation data, Albuquerque had 111 serious crimes per 10,000 people.
The town has become one of the top ten most aggressive cities in the United States. When ABQ got 83 homicides in the recent year, Tucson got 59 cases where rape cases are 339 lower than ABQ’s 402 records.
Is Albuquerque Bigger Than Tucson?
In terms of total land area, Tucson is more extensive than Albuquerque. The city has a landmass of 241.33 square miles, of which 0.32 square miles is water, even though ABQ has a significantly larger inhabitant.
Tucson sits in the Sonoran Desert on an alluvial plain encircled by five minor mountain ranges. The elevation of the city is 2,643 feet above sea level. Although Tucson is bigger than Albuquerque in landmass, the town is significant in its growing population of 562,540 compared to Tucson’s 553,571.
Is Albuquerque Warmer Than Tucson?
Tucson is warmer than Albuquerque. The town has a hot summer day with over 286 sunny days. The highest temperature to date is around 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Tucson is naturally a warm city than ABQ. The place is part of the Sonoran Desert, where the sun is scorching hot during summertime. The months of autumn and spring are typically sunny and dry.
Early summer has humidity and sunny skies. During a specific duration of the year in Tucson, the sun is intense, and those who spend some time outside require protection.
Snowfall is not likely to happen often in Tucson in contrast to ABQ. The recent record shows 1 inch of snow in Tucson while ABQ experiences it in winter times with 10 inches.
Is Albuquerque Better Than Tucson?
Tucson has a more urban feel, a lower cost of living, economic growth, and more admirable seasons. It is a better place for snowbirds and retired people than Albuquerque.
Tucson is a better place to live if you want to balance your work and leisure time without worrying much about living expenses because it is cheaper than other places. Also, the city is an excellent place to find a decent job and purchase a lovely home with just a minimal amount.
Snowbirds and older people opt to stay here because of the city’s many perks. You will have various choices from activities tourist attractions to delectable food assortment. Outskirts and outdoor activities are excellent to relieve stress.
The city is still developing and will have more to offer. Although Albuquerque is a decent place to settle in because it also has an affordable living expenses, Tucson is way better in some areas.
Albuquerque, New Mexico versus Tucson, Arizona – Where do you consider moving? Let me know your thoughts below.