Albuquerque, New Mexico

From Academic Kids

This article is about the largest city of New Mexico. For other places with this name, see Albuquerque (disambiguation).
Missing image
The Rio Grande flowing past Albuquerque

Albuquerque is the largest city in the state of New Mexico, United States. It is the county seat of Bernalillo County, and is situated in the central part of the state, straddling the Rio Grande River. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 448,607. The metropolitan area has a population 712,738 and includes the city of Rio Rancho, one of the fastest growing cities in the country. ABQ (the airport code for Albuquerque) is located where the Interstate highways (or freeways) of
I-40 and I-25 meet.

Template:Infobox City

Albuquerque is home to the University of New Mexico and Kirtland Air Force Base as well as Sandia National Laboratories and Petroglyph National Monument. Nestled between the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande, Albuquerque's climate is usually sunny and dry, averaging no more than 10-12 inches (250 to 300 mm) of precipitation per year.

The city hosts the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta every October. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta started in 1972.



The old Spanish town of Alburquerque was founded in 1706 as a Spanish colonial outpost. Alburquerque was a farming community and strategically located military outpost along the Camino Real. The town of Alburquerque was built in the traditional Spanish village pattern: a central plaza surrounded by government buildings, homes, and a church. This central plaza area has been preserved and is open to the public as a museum, cultural area, and center of commerce. It is referred to as "Old Town Albuquerque" or simply "Old Town."

The village was named by the provincial governor Cuervo y Valdez in honour of the Duke of Alburquerque, viceroy of New Spain from 1702 to 1710. The first "r" in "Alburquerque" was dropped at some point in the 19th century, supposedly by an Anglo-American railroad station-master unable to correctly pronounce the city's name. In the 1990's, the Central Avenue Trolley Buses were emblazoned with the name Alburquerque (note the extra "r" as the fifth letter) in honor of the city's historic name.

During the Civil War Albuquerque was occupied in February 1862 by Confederate troops under General Henry Hopkins Sibley, who soon afterwards advanced with his main body into northern New Mexico. During his retreat from Union troops into Texas he made a stand on the 8th of April 1862 at Albuquerque. A day-long engagement at long range led to few casualties against a detachment of Union soldiers commanded by Colonel Edward R. S. Canby.


Albuquerque is located at 35°6'39" North, 106°36'36" West (35.110703, -106.609991)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 469.5 km² (181.3 mi²). 467.9 km² (180.6 mi²) of it is land and 1.7 km² (0.6 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.35% water.


  • Dallas: 645 miles (1038 km) northwest from DAL
  • Denver: 445 miles (716 km) south-southwest from DEN
  • Phoenix, Arizona: 465 miles (748 km) east northeast from PHX
  • Salt Lake City: 620 miles (998 km) southeast from SLC


Satellite Image of Albuquerque, New Mexico Courtesy of NASA
Satellite Image of Albuquerque, New Mexico Courtesy of NASA

The Sandia Mountains which include Sandia Peak are situated to the East of the city. The Sandia Peak Tramway runs from the base of the mountain to the peak, and is the longest aerial tramway in the world.

"Sandia" comes from the Spanish for "watermelon". The name is a reference to the mountain's reddish color during sunsets.

The Rio Grande (Spanish for "great river") flows North to South through the city and supports a riparian forest habitat called a "bosque."

Interestingly enough, Albuquerque has one of the highest altitudes of any major city in the United States. The elevation of the city ranges from 4900 feet (1490 m) above sea level near the Rio Grande (in the Valley) to 6500 feet (1980 m) in the Northeast Heights. At the airport, the elevation is 5352 feet (1631 m) above sea level.


Albuquerque is geographically divided into four quadrants which are officially part of the mailing address. They are NE (Northeast), NW (Northwest), SE (Southeast), and SW (Southwest). The North-South dividing line is Central Avenue (the path that Route 66 took through the city) and the East-West dividing line is the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks.

Northeast quadrant

This is an area which has been experiencing a housing expansion. It abuts the base of the Sandia Mountains and contains portions of the Sandia Heights neighborhoods, which are situated in or near the foothills and are significantly higher than the rest of the city. The University of New Mexico and some of the most affluent regions of the city are located here.

Northwest quadrant

This quadrant contains Albuquerque's Spanish "Old Town" as well as the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. Additionally, the "North Valley" area, which consists of ranches and expensive residential homes along the Rio Grande River, is located in this quadrant. The area on the West side of the Rio Grande River is known as the "West Mesa" and consists primarily of traditional residential subdivisions.

Southeast quadrant

Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories, the Albuquerque Technical Vocational Institute main campus, and the Albuquerque International Sunport are located in the Southeast quadrant. Several expensive residential developments are located in this quadrant.

In sharp contrast to the expensive developments, some of the most poverty-striken neighborhoods are also located in Southeast Albuquerque. These neighborhoods are sometimes referred to as the "war zone".

Southwest quadrant

Primarily consisting of agricultural and rural areas, the Southwest quadrant is often referred to as the "South Valley". Downtown Albuquerque and the National Hispanic Cultural Center are also located here.

The southwest area is currently undergoing rapid development. Open range-land is being replaced by cookie-cutter subdivisions and big box stores. In 2004, Wal-Mart began construction of a new super center on the site of a former dairy farm.

Culture and technology

  • A distinctive architecture that celebrates the Pueblo tradition characterizes many buildings in the city as well as the entire campus of the University of New Mexico.
  • In Looney Tunes cartoons Bugs Bunny often found upon arriving at the wrong place that he had taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque (sometimes he should have taken a left, others a right). This gag first appeared in Herr Meets Hare (Freleng, 1945), a cartoon which was notable for featuring caricatures of Gring and Hitler.
  • Albuquerque is home to the Kimo Theater  ([Carl Boller & Robert Boller architects, 1927] one of the United States' last and arguably best-maintained Pueblo Deco theaters. Modern buildings are still occasionally built in this style, combining the colors of Southwestern earth tones, adobe building styles (rounded corners and edges), and decorative motifs from the indigenous cultures with the soaring lines and linear repetition found in American Art Deco architecture. Examples of Pueblo Deco-style buildings can be seen in Marcus Whiffen's book, "Pueblo deco: The art deco architecture of the Southwest" (
  • Even near the center of town, rural characteristics such as the sounds of roosters crowing are not uncommon.
  • The city was formerly the home of the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque for 29 years. However, in July 2004 the group filed for bankruptcy after fund-raising failed to pay off the group's debts. It is expected to disband by Fall 2004.
  • Albuquerque lies at the center of the New Mexico Technology Corridor, a band of high-tech private companies and government intitutions along the Rio Grande. Larger institutions whose employees contribute to the population are numerous and include Sandia National Laboratories, Kirtland Air Force Base, and the attendant contracting companies which bring highly educated workers to a somewhat isolated region. Intel operates a large semiconductor factory or "fab" in neighboring Rio Rancho, New Mexico, in Sandoval County, New Mexico, with its attendant large-capital investment.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 448,607 people, 183,236 households, and 112,690 families residing in the city. The population density is 958.9/km² (2,483.4/mi²). There are 198,465 housing units at an average density of 424.2/km² (1,098.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 71.59% White, 3.09% Black or African American, 3.89% Native American, 2.24% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 14.78% from other races, and 4.31% from two or more races. 39.92% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 183,236 households out of which 30.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.6% are married couples living together, 12.9% have a female householder with no husband present, and 38.5% are non-families. 30.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.40 and the average family size is 3.02.

In the city the population is spread out with 24.5% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $38,272, and the median income for a family is $46,979. Males have a median income of $34,208 versus $26,397 for females. The per capita income for the city is $20,884. 13.5% of the population and 10.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 17.4% of those under the age of 18 and 8.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Colleges and universities

Professional schools

Sports teams



When Bill Gates and Paul Allen were hammering out a BASIC operating system for the MITS Altair 8800, they lived at the Sundowner Motel, at 6101 Central Avenue N.E. The building has since been converted into a veterans' rehabilitation home. Their success at this venture led to the founding of Microsoft in Albuquerque in 1975. Microsoft's first official address was the One Park Central Tower on the northeast corner of San Mateo and Central Avenue (across the parking lot from the First Security Bank building), where the company shared office space.

In February, 1992, Stella Liebeck, a 79 year old woman from Albuquerque, New Mexico, ordered coffee from the drive-thru of a local McDonald's restaurant on Central Avenue across from UNM, which she then spilled on her lap while the car was parked. This caused third-degree burns, eight days in the hospital, skin grafts, and $11,000 in medical expenses. The famous McDonald's coffee case was fought in court, 2.9 million dollars was awarded by the jury, but only $640,000 was required by the judge.

Notable Albuquerqueans

(either born in Albuquerque, or make/made ABQ their home; by year of birth)

External links



Regions of New Mexico Flag of New Mexico
Llano Estacado | Sangre de Christo Mountains
Largest cities
Albuquerque | Las Cruces | Santa Fe
Farmington | Roswell | Clovis | Alamogordo | Los Lunas | Hobbs | Carlsbad | Espanola | Gallup | Las Vegas | Deming | Belen | Taos | Silver City | Portales | Artesia | Los Alamos | Grants
Bernalillo | Catron | Chaves | Cibola | Colfax | Curry | De Baca | Doa Ana | Eddy | Grant | Guadalupe | Harding | Hidalgo | Lea | Lincoln | Los Alamos | Luna | McKinley | Mora | Otero | Quay | Rio Arriba | Roosevelt | San Juan | San Miguel | Sandoval | Santa Fe | Sierra | Socorro | Taos | Torrance | Union | Valencia
Colleges and universities
College of Santa Fe | College of the Southwest | Eastern New Mexico University | New Mexico Highlands University | New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology | New Mexico Military Institute | New Mexico State University | St. John's College, Santa Fe | University of New Mexico | Western New Mexico University

de:Albuquerque gl:Albuquerque he:אלבוקרקי hr:Albuquerque hu:Albuquerque ja:アルバカーキ pl:Albuquerque (Nowy Meksyk) pt:Albuquerque


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools