Are you trying to decide about moving to Santa Fe or Albuquerque? It can be hard to choose between Santa Fe and Albuquerque because both cities have something unique to offer the residents. Each city has its pros and cons living in them, so to help you make your choice, it’s essential to talk about the differences between Santa Fe and Albuquerque–helping you make the right decision for you and your family.
As the oldest capital in the United States, Santa Fe is known for skiing rather than being a desert, so if you enjoy shredding the gnar and hitting the slopes, Santa Fe is a perfect choice. A few of the popular landmarks in Santa Fe include: The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, Santa Fe Plaza, Meow Wolf, and the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture.
Then two hours south of Santa Fe, you have Albuquerque, NM. This beautiful desert city is known for its annual International Balloon Fiesta. Albuquerque has quite a lot of iconic landmarks, but here are just some: Petroglyph National Monument, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, ABQ BioPark Zoo, ABQ BioPark-Botanic Garden, Sandia Peak Tramway, and the Albuquerque Museum.
Now, you might be curious about how to choose between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and the easy answer is to do your research. Do a comparing and contrasting exercise, and then list the advantages and disadvantages of these beautiful New Mexico cities.
Pros And Cons Of Living In Santa Fe vs Albuquerque
If you’re trying to decide between these two cities, you must be wondering which is superior to the other. To help you find the best city that meets your needs, we’re sharing the strengths and weaknesses of Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
Living In Santa Fe Pros
As we mentioned earlier, Santa Fe is known for its winter mountain sport which is an advantage for people who love the snow. If you love hitting the slopes, then grab your skis or snowboard and gear and check out Ski Santa Fe.
Some of the other popular attractions and activities in Santa Fe are the Aspen Vista Picnic Ground, Hyde Memorial State Park, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe Botanical Garden, and Santa Fe Farmers Market.
In addition to places to explore, there are plenty of festivals and community events to check out throughout the year, like the Santa Fe Renaissance Faire. Santa Fe is also known for its delicious and diverse cuisine, like Gabriel’s, Cafe Pasqual’s, Sazon, Atrisco Cafe & Bar, Palacio Restaurant, and Tia Sophia’s.
Santa Fe, NM, is a beautiful city that offers a slower pace of life and is known for being one of the best places to live for families, kids, young adults, and retirees.
Living In Santa Fe Cons
One of the most common disadvantages to living in Santa Fe is the city has a higher crime rate when compared to the national average. While Santa Fe has plenty of safe and family-friendly communities and neighborhoods, crime is something to consider. The other con is that the sale price for a home is high, especially compared to other US cities.
Living In Albuquerque Pros
If you’re trying to find an affordable place to purchase a home in the United States, look no further because Albuquerque has affordable homes for sale. In addition to the price of real estate being affordable, Albuquerque is known for the great outdoors.
Some fun attractions for residents and tourists to love to check out include: the Explora Science Center and Children’s Museum of Albuquerque, Rattlesnake Museum & Gift Shop, Rio Grande Nature Center State Park, Cliff’s Amusement Park, and the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum.
When living in Albuquerque, you have to try these restaurants: Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, Antiquity Restaurant, Sadie’s of New Mexico, High Noon Restaurant & Saloon, Farm & Table, The ORIGINAL Cocina Azul Mountain, and Monroe’s Restaurant.
Ranked as one of the best places to live in 2022-2023, Albuquerque is full of culture, history, and beautiful places to explore.
Living In Albuquerque Cons
The two disadvantages that stick out the most when it comes to Albuquerque are the high crime rate and an infrastructure that is old and dated. Don’t get us wrong, even when there is a high crime rate, there are plenty of wonderful places to settle down that are safe and family-friendly.
Comparisons Of Santa Fe vs. Albuquerque
Albuquerque is larger and has a lot more residents than Santa Fe, but the percentage of females and males are similar, and the same thing with the median age. Both of these cities are great for families and working professionals. Even though Santa Fe has a lower number of residents, the median household income is higher than in Albuquerque.
Santa Fe Population and Demographics
- Santa Fe Population: 88,196
- Santa Fe Population Density: 1,688.5 people per square mile
- Santa Fe Median Age: 43 years old
- Santa Fe Female vs Male: 52% Female and 48% Male
- Santa Fe Median Household Income: $60,517
- Santa Fe Educational Attainment: 93.1% of residents have graduated high school, and 48.7% have gotten their Bachelor’s degree
Albuquerque Population and Demographics
- Albuquerque Population: 562,591
- Albuquerque Population Density: 3,004.2 people per square mile
- Albuquerque Median Age: 40 years old
- Albuquerque Female vs Male: 51% Female and 49% Male
- Albuquerque Median Household Income: $58,512
- Albuquerque Educational Attainment: 91.2% of residents have graduated high school, and 38.5% have gotten their Bachelor’s degree
The Cost Of Living In Santa Fe vs Albuquerque
Albuquerque is a more affordable place to live compared to Santa Fe. Albuquerque has a Cost of Living Index that is 9.2% higher than the national average, whereas Santa Fe is 14% higher than the national average. Plus, the cost of living for a family of 4 is $5,748 lower in Albuquerque than in Santa Fe, NM, according to the Economic Policy Institute. When it comes to the cost of living, this is an advantage for Albuquerque.
Typical Santa Fe Living Expenses
- Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant: $20.00
- Domestic Beer (1 pint draught): $5.00
- Milk (regular, 1 gallon): $4.50
- Bread (1 loaf): $4.49
- Oranges (1 lb): $2.96
- Apples (1 lb): $2.16
- Beef Round (1 lb): $7.93
- Eggs (regular, 12): $4.39
- Average Cost of Gasoline Per Gallon: $3.08
- Fitness Club (Per Month, 1 Adult): $73.33
- Average Santa Fe Utilities Per Month: $347
- Santa Fe Cost of Living Index: 14% above the national average
- Average Santa Fe Cost Of Living For A Family Of 4 (Economic Policy Institute): $81,217
- Santa Fe Monthly Rent (Average): $1,598
- Santa Fe Median Home Price: $568,000
Typical Albuquerque Living Expenses
- Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant: $15.00
- Domestic Beer (1 pint draught): $5.00
- Milk (regular, 1 gallon): $3.74
- Bread (1 loaf): $2.82
- Oranges (1 lb): $1.77
- Apples (1 lb): $1.95
- Beef Round (1 lb): $7.25
- Eggs (regular, 12): $3.65
- Average Cost of Gasoline Per Gallon: $3.66
- Fitness Club (Per Month, 1 Adult): $39.08
- Average Albuquerque Utilities Per Month: $363
- Albuquerque Cost of Living Index: 9.2% lower than the national average
- Average Albuquerque Cost Of Living For A Family Of 4 (Economic Policy Institute): $75,469
- Albuquerque Monthly Rent (Average): $1,235
- Albuquerque Median Home Price: $300,000
Santa Fe vs Albuquerque Crime Rates
When comparing the total crime rate between the two cities, Santa Fe is a safer place to live than Albuquerque. While the violent crime rate is higher than the national average in Santa Fe, it’s still a safer city overall due to the lower crime stats.
Santa Fe Crime Rate
- Santa Fe Total Crime Rate: 2,160 per 100k people, which is 8% lower than the national average
- Santa Fe Violent Crime Rate: 464 per 100k people, which is 20% higher than the national average
- Santa Fe Property Crime Rate: 1,696 per 100k people, which is 13% lower than the national average
Albuquerque Crime Rate
- Albuquerque Total Crime Rate: 6,356 per 100k people, which is 170.9% higher than the national average
- Albuquerque Violent Crime Rate: 1,344 per 100k people, which is 246.6% higher than the national average
- Albuquerque Property Crime Rate: 5,012 per 100k people, which is 155.9% higher than the national average
Santa Fe vs Albuquerque Weather/Climate
During the summer, the weather can be similar between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, but the main difference in climate is that Santa Fe gets snow and more rain throughout the year. Depending on the type of weather, yearly temperatures, and climate you prefer can help to determine which city to call home.
Santa Fe Weather & Climate
- Santa Fe Climate Type: Under the climate classifications, Santa Fe is considered a warm-summer humid continental climate (Dfb) and a subtropical highland climate (Cwb)
- Santa Fe Average Rainfall: 8.9 inches per year
- Santa Fe Average Snowfall: 12.5 inches per year
- Santa Fe Average Daily High Temperature Range (Yearly): mid 40s degrees F to mid 80s degrees F
- Santa Fe Average Daily Low Temperature Range (Yearly): mid 20s degrees F to mid 50s degrees F
- Santa Fe Best Time To Visit: June to August
Albuquerque Weather & Climate
- Albuquerque Climate Type: Under the climate classification, Albuquerque is considered a cold semi-arid climate (BSk)
- Albuquerque Average Rainfall: 7.4 inches per year
- Albuquerque Average Daily High Temperature Range (Yearly): mid 50s degrees F to mid 90s degrees F
- Albuquerque Average Daily Low Temperature Range (Yearly): mid 20s degrees F to mid 60s degrees F
- Albuquerque Best Time To Visit: May to September
Santa Fe vs Albuquerque Public Transportation
Albuquerque offers public transportation for ADA-certified passengers, which makes this NM city stand out.
Santa Fe Public Transportation
- Santa Fe Public Transportation System: Santa Fe Trails
- Types Of Transportation Available In Santa Fe: Bus, Rail Runner, car, walking (Santa Fe, NM, is a very walkable city)
Albuquerque Public Transportation
- Albuquerque Public Transportation System: One Albuquerque
- Types Of Transportation Available In Albuquerque: Bus, Rapid Transit, Sun Van Paratransit (passengers have to be ADA-certified), and car
Santa Fe vs. Albuquerque Economy
Albuquerque has a lower unemployment rate than Santa Fe and the national average. And the average salary in Albuquerque is $7,000 more than in Santa Fe. But Santa Fe has a higher average hourly rate than Albuquerque. Both cities have a mixture of top employers in the government and the public sectors.
Santa Fe Economy
- Santa Fe Average Hourly Rate: $19.96
- Santa Fe Average Salary: $61,000
- Santa Fe Unemployment Rate: 3.9% which is slightly lower than the national average
- Santa Fe Top Employers: Court Administrator Office, Santa Fe Recovery Center, and New Mexico Office of the Attorney General
- Albuquerque Average Hourly Rate: $18.17
- Albuquerque Average Salary: $68,000
- Albuquerque Unemployment Rate: 3.6% which is slightly lower than the national average
- Albuquerque Top Employers: New Mexico State Government, Sandia National Labs, and The University of New Mexico
Sports are a big part of any city. While Santa Fe, Albuquerque, or New Mexico doesn’t have any professional sports, there are plenty of semi-pro teams. Here’s a breakdown of the most popular sports teams in the state:
- Santa Fe: Santa Fe Fuego (independent baseball league), New Mexico Lobos (basketball), and New Mexico Scorpions (hockey)
- Albuquerque: New Mexico Ice Wolves (junior ice hockey team located in Albuquerque), Duke City Gladiators (indoor football), and New Mexico Thunderbirds (basketball)
Santa Fe vs Albuquerque Distance
How far is it from Santa Fe to Albuquerque? The total distance from Santa Fe to Albuquerque is 64.1 miles. Depending on traffic, it takes about 1 hour to get there, and the quickest route is via I-25 S.
Santa Fe or Albuquerque: Where Are You Moving?
Whether you decide to move to Santa Fe or Albuquerque, NM, Pro-Move Logistics is the #1 team of movers. We are hardworking, professional, reliable, trustworthy, and dedicated, and we will help to make your transition seamless. Call us at (505) 471-3434 for a free quote!