Article Table Of Contents
Albuquerque's neighborhoods conjure up too many stereotypes to count. You've got hipster areas, preppy places, neighborhoods where college kids thrive, and of course, ghettos.
It seems as if there's a neighborhood for everyone in Albuquerque.
And while the city consistently ranks as one of the best places to live in the country thanks in part to a strong economy and tons of entertainment, it's not all rainbows and sunshine in Albuquerque. Some neighborhoods aren't as great as others.
So the question arises, which Albuquerque neighborhoods are the worst, and which are the best?
Today, we'll use science and data to determine which Albuquerque hoods need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Albuquerque area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the neighborhoods to be amazing, although Peppertree-Royal Oak ranks way above the rest.
We examined 206 of Albuquerque's neighborhoods to find out the worst places to live. These places don't quite measure up to Albuquerque's reputation.
So what's the worst neighborhood to live in Albuquerque for 2022? According to the most recent census data, Yale Village looks to be the worst neighborhood in Albuquerque.
Read on to see how we determined the places around Albuquerque that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.
Once you're done, you can look at the bottom of the story for a complete chart of every neighborhood we looked at from worst to best. Looking for places to avoid outside of the city? You can also check out the worst suburbs of Albuquerque.
For more New Mexico reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In New Mexico
- Cheapest Places To Live In New Mexico
- Most Dangerous Cities In New Mexico
The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In Albuquerque For 2022
Yale Village must be filled with a bunch of geniuses, right? Maybe not Harvard Village-levels of accomplishment, but still extremely impressive.
Maybe, maybe not. The people of this Yale Village, located in the southeastern part of the city, may very well have high IQs. But they aren't benefiting from the kinds of careers you'd expect in that Yale/Harvard strata. In fact, quite the opposite. The median income comes in at just $23,727.
Beyond the financial troubles, Yale Village falls short on many amenities. Located relatively far from the center of town, residents usually have to head out of the neighborhood to fill certain needs.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $85,900 (8th worst)
Median Income: $23,727 (10th worst)
More on Yale Village: Data
Barelas sits along the Rio Grande River, south of the downtown area. Head a little north along Tingley Dr. and you'll get to the Albuquerque Zoo. However, a quick trip east will drop you into the Albuquerque Rail Yards. That's probably a better indication of the vibe of the neighborhood.
Ultimately, Barelas lands on this list as the number 2 worst area in Albuquerque for 2022 because of its economy. The unemployment rate is elevated at 6.9%. Residents also have trouble with the cost of living. The median home value only hits $127,900, not a huge price tag in most markets. However, when the local median income only reaches $28,163, this becomes a difficult mortgage to manage.
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $127,900 (32nd worst)
Median Income: $28,163 (14th worst)
More on Barelas: Data
Desert View might make a better name. But now we're just nitpicking. The general point holds: this is way out of town. Mountain View sits at the southern tip of Albuquerque, down along I-25. You can find the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in the middle of the neighborhood.
If you like the isolation, this serves as the perfect home for you. However, if you want easy access to the amenities of city life, Mountain View will seem like a pain. You also might have trouble finding a job. The economy in the area leaves a lot to be desired, with an unemployment rate of 9.2% and a median income below $40,000.
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $125,967 (3worst)
Median Income: $36,114 (40th worst)
More on Mountain View: Data
From just the name, Wildflower sounds like an excellent location. Like living in a unkempt garden, or in a hippie commune. In real life, though, this ranks as the number 4 worst neighborhood in Albuquerque for 2022.
What makes it so difficult to live here? The economy, for one thing. The median income sits at $35,179 and the unemployment rate comes in at 5.8%. There are other problems as well. Wildflower is located on the far northern end of town, far away from the heart of the city and all its related attractions.
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $91,700 (10th worst)
Median Income: $35,179 (34th worst)
More on Wildflower: Data
If you like bike riding, you might find yourself peddling through Alta Monta. You can enjoy the North Channel Trail, which runs along the North Diversion Channel. It passes along the edge of the neighborhood, skimming the edge of Comanche South Park.
Feel free to bike on through. But you probably won't be tempted to stop. The main issues come from the severe low wages in the area. The unemployment rate isn't terrible at 5.4%. However, that doesn't provide much solace when the median income only touches $22,486.
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $5,000 (worst)
Median Income: $22,486 (5th worst)
More on Alta Monte: Data
Albuquerque calls its airport a "Sunport." That's adorable. Following a similar pattern, Seattle should rename its aviation hub the "Rainport," while L.A. might consider something like "Celebrityport."
But giving something a cute name doesn't make the underlying location more appealing. An airport is an airport, complete with traffic noise and all the other detriments that come with giant jets constantly coming and going.
Which brings us to Kirtland Community, located just north of the Sunport, along I-25. Along with its unfortunate neighbor, residents also have to deal with a sluggish economy and a lack of amenities.
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $106,167 (16th worst)
Median Income: $32,250 (23rd worst)
More on Kirtland Community: Data
Rank Last Year: -
Median Home Value: $21,600 (2nd worst)
Median Income: $53,990 (105th worst)
More on Albuquerque Meadows: Data
Quail Ridge is a tiny, square-shaped neighborhood on the far east side of the city. A short drive will take you to the I-40 and off into the wilderness. In fact, a 20-minute drive north will take you to Cibola National Forest.
This easy access to great outdoors could provide a potential selling point. But that depends on your point of view. You might not feel that way if you moved to a city for excitement and easy access to shops, restaurants, and bars. Those are hard to find in Quail Ridge.
This lack of commercial infrastructure also limits the job prospects. That helps explain the high unemployment rate and a median income barely above $30,000.
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $144,600 (49th worst)
Median Income: $32,472 (24th worst)
More on Quail Ridge: Data
A large chunk of Clayton Heights-Lomas Del Cielo is given over to colleges. You'll find the University Of New Mexico Student Support And Services Center, as well as the CNM Main Campus Student Services Center, part of a local community college.
You'll also find a lot of sports-related venues. There's the The Pit, which hosts the University of New Mexico basketball team, as well as the college's football stadium. You can even check out some minor league baseball, with the Albuquerque Isotopes playing in the neighborhood.
But, in the end, we're talking students, amateur athletics and minor league baseball. Not many big salaries there. However, they fit right in in a neighborhood with a median income of $36,512.
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $116,300 (24th worst)
Median Income: $36,512 (42nd worst)
More on Clayton Heights-Lomas Del Cielo: Data
San Jose occupies a strip of land between the Rio Grande River and the Albuquerque airport. Oh, sorry...we mean Sunport. How close to the Sunport? Well, the eastern border of the neighborhood is defined by the Pan American Freeway, named after an airline that went out of business in 1991.
We've already covered the downside of living near the airport. Not an ideal situation, to say the least. Meanwhile, the residents of San Jose struggle with serious financial headaches. The median income sits at $28,912 and the unemployment rate reaches 7.6%.
There are some bright spots, though. For instance, you can hit the links at the University of New Mexico: Golf Course Championship.
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $103,733 (13th worst)
Median Income: $28,912 (15th worst)
More on San Jose: Data
Methodology: How we determined the worst Albuquerque neighborhoods in 2022
To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what places have the least amount of those things. We threw the following criteria into this analysis in order to get the best, most complete results possible. We used this set of criteria for each neighborhood in Albuquerque:
- High unemployment (Less jobs)
- Low median income (Less pay)
- Low population density (No things to do)
- Low home values (No one's willing to pay to live here)
- High crime (Estimated)
Then, we ranked each neighborhood in Albuquerque, New Mexico for each of these criteria from worst to best.
Next, we averaged the individual rankings for each criteria into a "Worst Score".
The neighborhood with the lowest "Worst Score" ranks as the worst neighborhood of Albuquerque.
Read on below to learn more about these terrible places around Albuquerque to live. Or skip to the end to see the list of all 206 neighborhoods ranked from worst to best.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased. Hold on to your pants.
Summary: The Worst Neighborhoods Around Albuquerque
Well there you have it -- the worst of the neighborhoods in Albuquerque with Yale Village landing at the bottom of the pack.
As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Albuquerque aren't all bad. Peppertree-Royal Oak takes the cake as the best place to live in Albuquerque.
We ranked the neighborhoods from worst to best in the chart below.
For more New Mexico reading, check out: