Profile: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Learn the fast facts — economy, history and more — about Albuquerque, N.M.

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta draws huge crowds to New Mexico's largest city every year.

Photo by: Sandi Parks

Sandi Parks

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta draws huge crowds to New Mexico's largest city every year.

By: Tamara Shope
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Population: 521,999 (city), 635,139 (Bernalillo County)

USDA Hardiness Zone: 7

Major Airports: Albuquerque International Sunport

Companies With a Major Presence: Intel, University of New Mexico, City of Albuquerque, Honeywell, Sandia National Laboratories, Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque Public Schools, CitiCards, T-Mobile

Marked by majestic pink-and-purple mountains and a melting-pot culture, Albuquerque is a place where laid-back and all-business mentalities are happily married. The city, the largest in New Mexico, regularly makes best-of lists, both for its outdoor activities like the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and world-class golfing, and its business-friendly environment.

The area that is now Albuquerque was settled by American Indians in the 1300s and established by the Spanish in 1706, 26 years after a peace deal that followed the Pueblo Revolt. One hundred and fifty years after the Spanish laid out a small colonial city, the railroad came, bringing the city’s first industrial boom and an array of people, business ventures and travelers.

Today, many of Albuquerque’s jobs are federal, with a large number directly related to Kirtland Air Force Base or Sandia National Laboratories. Many more jobs are with contractors of those institutions. Other major employers include Intel, which operates the largest computer-chip factory in the world northwest of the city, the University of New Mexico and the City of Albuquerque. Growth industries are silver or green in nature.

Albuquerque has seen a boom in film industry work with many movies and TV series being shot in the area, and from new solar-energy plants that bask in Albuquerque’s 310 days of sun a year.

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