ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque has been called a lot of things, but rest easy, this one isn’t so bad. The Duke City was recently named one of the best places to live in the U.S.
Those passing through, may have their own opinions about Albuquerque.
“It’s got nice weather,” said Jessica Vargas, who lives in Albuquerque.
But what about the people who live here?
“I wouldn’t really call any other place home,” said Andrew Lucero.
That can be said for the more than 550,000 people that live in Albuquerque. Recently, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Duke City in the top 50 best cities to live in the U.S.
KRQE News 13 asked some locals if they agree with the ranking.
“I grew up around here so I would say yes,” Lucero said.
“I mean visiting here is easier than living here,” Vargas said.
U.S. News looked at affordability, job prospects, and quality of life. Albuquerque sits between two Florida cities at number 41 out of 100 most populous cities.
“It’s great that Albuquerque is receiving positive attention for being a great place to live,” said Rebecca Latham, Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Tourism Department.
Latham told News 13 lists like this do carry weight.
“Tourism in New Mexico is a $6.1 billion industry and it’s really a high point in New Mexico right now for job growth,” Latham explanied.
Top ranked cities also scored high for quality health care and low crime rates. That’s where some argue Albuquerque can improve.
“I think there definitely is a negative stereotype about New Mexico and Albuquerque specifically with crime,” said Albuquerque resident, Vince Tafoya.
“We have like the war zone and the South Valley, and everybody’s like ‘oh those are the crime hot spots’.”
While the city has its share of crime, lots of people argue there is more good than bad.
“I think it’s up to us as New Mexicans to really remind ourselves of how good we have it,” said Latham. “Nobody, no place is perfect.”
To create the ranking for best places to live, U.S. News reviewed public survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau, F.B.I and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.