10 Worst Neighborhoods In Albuquerque 2024: Behind the Sunshine

worst neighborhoods nm

Albuquerque, a city of vibrant contrasts, is a melting pot of diverse neighborhoods. From the trendy, hipster enclaves to the polished, upscale districts, from the lively student quarters to the less fortunate areas, Albuquerque seems to have a corner for everyone.

Consistently celebrated as one of the top places to live in the country, Albuquerque owes its reputation to a robust economy and a plethora of entertainment options. But let’s not paint the entire city with the same brush. Not every neighborhood basks in the same glory.

So, let’s delve into the heart of the matter – which neighborhoods in Albuquerque are the shining stars, and which ones are the underdogs?

Today, we’ll embark on a journey, armed with science and data, to identify the neighborhoods in Albuquerque that could use a sprinkle of love and care.

These are the areas that stick out like a sore thumb amidst the city’s landscape. It’s only fair to acknowledge that not all neighborhoods can be as splendid as Peppertree-Royal Oak, which stands head and shoulders above the rest.

10 Cruddiest Places

Neighborhood Median Income Violent Crime (per 100k) Property Crime (per 100k) Total Crime (per 100k)
Yale Village $23,727 1,961 7,314 9,275
Barelas $28,163 2,735 12,204 14,939
Mountain View <$40,000 1,388 4,352 5,740
Wildflower $35,179 1,388 4,352 5,740
Alta Monte $22,486 1,776 8,621 10,397
Kirtland Community N/A 1,790 6,678 8,468
Albuquerque Meadows $53,990 1,976 6,621 8,597
Quail Ridge $30,000+ 1,664 6,206 7,869
Clayton Heights-Lomas Del Cielo $36,512 1,705 6,359 8,064
San Jose $28,912 1,605 6,829 8,434

10. San Jose

San Jose Albuquerque

San Jose, nestled between the Rio Grande River and Albuquerque’s Sunport, is a neighborhood with a rich history and a vibrant community. Despite its proximity to the airport, the neighborhood offers a unique charm.

However, it faces economic challenges, with a median income of $28,912 and an unemployment rate of 7.6%. But don’t let that deter you. The University of New Mexico’s Championship Golf Course is a local gem, offering residents a green oasis amidst the urban landscape.

  • Violent Crime: 1,605 per 100k people (estimate)
  • Property Crime: 6,829 per 100k people (estimate)
  • Total Crime: 8,434 per 100k people (estimate

9. Clayton Heights-Lomas Del Cielo

Home to the University of New Mexico Student Support and Services Center and the CNM Main Campus Student Services Center, Clayton Heights-Lomas Del Cielo is a bustling hub of student life.

The neighborhood also boasts several sports venues, including The Pit and the Albuquerque Isotopes’ baseball stadium. However, the student-centric lifestyle does come with economic challenges, with a median income of $36,512.

  • Violent Crime: 1,705 per 100k people (estimate)
  • Property Crime: 6,359 per 100k people (estimate)
  • Total Crime: 8,064 per 100k people (estimate)

8. Quail Ridge

Quail Ridge

Quail Ridge, a quaint neighborhood on the city’s far east side, offers residents easy access to the wilderness of the Cibola National Forest. However, its distance from the city center means fewer amenities and job prospects, contributing to a median income just above $30,000. Despite this, the neighborhood’s tranquility and proximity to nature make it a unique place to call home.

  • Violent Crime: 1,664 per 100k people (estimate)
  • Property Crime: 6,206 per 100k people (estimate)
  • Total Crime: 7,869 per 100k people (estimate)

7. Albuquerque Meadows

albuquerque meadows

Despite being one of the smaller neighborhoods in Albuquerque, Albuquerque Meadows has a lot to offer. With a median home value of $21,600 and a median income of $53,990, the neighborhood faces economic challenges. However, its small size fosters a tight-knit community spirit that could be the key to its future growth and development.

  • Violent Crime: 1,976 per 100k (estimate)
  • Property Crime: 6,621 per 100k (estimate)
  • Total Crime: 8,597 per 100k (estimate)

6. Kirtland Community

Kirtland Community

Located just north of the Sunport, Kirtland Community is a neighborhood in flux. Despite its proximity to the airport and the associated noise, the community is home to a diverse population. The local economy faces challenges, but the neighborhood’s location and potential make it a place to watch.

  • Violent Crime: 1,790 per 100k (estimate)
  • Property Crime: 6,678 per 100k (estimate)
  • Total Crime: 8,468 per 100k (estimate)

5. Alta Monte

Alta Monte

Alta Monte, located near the North Channel Trail and Comanche South Park, is a neighborhood with potential. Despite an unemployment rate of 5.4% and a median income of $22,486, the area’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities make it a unique place to live.

  • Violent Crime: 1,776 per 100k (estimate)
  • Property Crime: 8,621 per 100k (estimate)
  • Total Crime: 10,397 per 100k (estimate)

4. Wildflower

Wildflower Albuquerque

Despite its economic challenges, with a median income of $35,179 and an unemployment rate of 5.8%, Wildflower is a neighborhood in bloom. Located on the far northern end of town, it offers residents a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

  • Violent Crime: 1,388 per 100k
  • Property Crime: 4,352 per 100k
  • Total Crime: 5,740 per 100k

3. Mountain View

Mountain View, located at the southern tip of Albuquerque, offers residents stunning views and easy access to the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge. However, its isolation from the city center and a median income below $40,000 present challenges for the local economy.

  • Violent Crime: 1,388 per 100k
  • Property Crime: 4,352 per 100k
  • Total Crime: 5,740 per 100k

2. Barelas

Barelas, located along the Rio Grande River, is a neighborhood with a rich history and a strong sense of community. Despite an unemployment rate of 6.9% and a median income of $28,163, the neighborhood’s cultural heritage and community spirit make it a unique place to live.

  • Violent crime: 2,735 per 100k people (estimate)
  • Property crime: 12,204 per 100k people (estimate)
  • Total crime: 14,939 per 100k people (estimate)

1. Yale Village

Yale Village

Despite its name, Yale Village, located in the southeastern part of the city, faces economic challenges, with a median income of just $23,727. However, its location and potential for growth make it a neighborhood with a bright future. Despite its current challenges, Yale Village is a place where community spirit and potential for growth shine through.

  • Violent crime: 1,961 per 100k people (estimate)
  • Property crime: 7,314 per 100k people (estimate)
  • Total crime: 9,275 per 100k people (estimate)

Most Horrific Crime In Albuquerque

One of the most chilling crimes in Albuquerque’s history unfolded over 30 years ago when a series of young women were brutally murdered. The case remained a mystery until a middle-aged man named Paul Apodaca came forward with a shocking confession.

Apodaca, homeless and possibly suffering from heatstroke, was picked up by the University of New Mexico police and confessed to three unsolved murders. He admitted to killing Althea Oakeley, a 21-year-old UNM student, in June of 1988.

Oakley was walking home from a party when she was attacked and stabbed multiple times. Apodaca claimed that she was his first murder victim.

In September of the same year, 13-year-old Stella Gonzales was shot and killed. Apodaca confessed to this crime as well, although he didn’t know the victim’s name at the time of his confession.

The following summer, in July 1989, 18-year-old UNM student Kaitlyn Arquette was shot to death while driving home. Apodaca confessed to this murder too, making it one of the most high-profile cold cases in the city over the years.

Arquette’s mother, Lois Duncan, author of the book ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer,’ also wrote a book about her daughter’s murder titled ‘Who Killed My Daughter?’

Apodaca’s confessions didn’t stop at murder. He also admitted to raping other women. He was sentenced to 20 years in 1995 for raping a young family member. When asked why he committed these horrific crimes, Apodaca cited anger, resentment, and hate towards women.

His confessions have brought some closure to these decades-old cases, but they also serve as a grim reminder of the dark chapters in Albuquerque’s history.


What are some of the factors contributing to the crime rate in Albuquerque?

While the text does not directly address this, crime rates in any city, including Albuquerque, can be influenced by a variety of factors.

These can include socio-economic conditions such as poverty, unemployment, and education levels, as well as factors such as drug and alcohol abuse, family breakdown, and the availability of firearms.

Additionally, the effectiveness of local law enforcement and justice systems can also play a role in either deterring or contributing to crime.

How has the city of Albuquerque responded to these high crime rates?

Although the text does not provide specific details, cities typically respond to high crime rates through a combination of law enforcement, social services, and community engagement strategies.

This could involve increasing police presence in high-crime areas, implementing programs to address underlying social issues such as poverty and substance abuse, and working with community organizations to improve neighborhood safety and cohesion.

What resources are available for victims of crime in Albuquerque?

The text does not mention this, but typically, cities will have a range of services available for crime victims. These can include counseling and mental health services, legal assistance, financial compensation programs, and support groups.

In Albuquerque, organizations such as the Albuquerque Family Advocacy Center, Crime Victims Reparation Commission, and the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, Inc. provide various forms of support to victims.

What measures are being taken to improve the socio-economic conditions in the neighborhoods with high crime rates?

While the text does not provide specific information on this, cities often implement a variety of strategies to improve socio-economic conditions in high-crime neighborhoods.

These can include initiatives to improve education and employment opportunities, affordable housing programs, community development projects, and efforts to improve access to healthcare and other essential services.

Final Words

Albuquerque, with its diverse neighborhoods and vibrant culture, is a city of contrasts. While it has areas that are celebrated for their prosperity and quality of life, it also has neighborhoods that face significant challenges.

These areas, despite their current struggles, hold potential for growth and improvement. It’s important to remember that every neighborhood, regardless of its current state, contributes to the rich tapestry that makes Albuquerque unique.

The city’s history is also marked by some dark chapters, such as the horrific crimes committed by Paul Apodaca. These events serve as a stark reminder of the importance of community vigilance, effective law enforcement, and support services for victims.

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