I can see why people live here, but man, the crime
You can look up the statistics for yourself. The really amazing weather. The low cost of living. The high crime rates. The high rate of babies being born on Medicaid. The high rate of welfare use. The poverty, etc.
As someone who's lived here for six years, what I can add is my personal experience.
Before moving here, I experienced two instances of crime in my life during several decades. In the years I've lived here, I've experienced some instance of crime happening to me or my friends or family or someone near me (such as on my street or apartment complex) approximately once every month and a half.
i'm truly floored by how much crime and illegal behavior has been part of my life here. I don't lead a very dangerous or foolhardy life or anything.
-multiple long SWAT raids on my street
-people being shot on my street
-drug dealing on my street
-concern about retaliation from said violent drug-dealers while trying to deal with the problem
-getting heart problems and chest pain from secondhand meth smoke (I have chemical sensitivity) and having to go to the ER
-noticing meth at some point everywhere I've lived in the city
-someone trying to break into my apartment at 2am, while I was luckily awake and heard them rattling the doorknob and yelled "get the hell away from here"
-car break-ins happening to my friends and family
-multiple car thefts where I lived
-multiple burglaries on my street
-people "casing" the neighborhood
-someone trying to kick in my front door while I was inside
-homeless people knocking on my door
-panhandlers at almost every intersection
-dangerous road rage directed at me
-cars swerving in and out of traffic dangerously almost anytime I drive anywhere
-someone rear-ending me who had really pathetic car insurance, practically not insured at all
-extraordinarily loud cars and motorcycles that people modify to make louder, some of which can be heard from about half a mile away
-constant vehicle noise anytime there is good weather -- you can hear some revving motorcycle or car from some great distance almost every 30 seconds, it seems (this is not legal here)
-many "boom cars" that can be heard with low bass from a great distance (also not legal here)
-low-class people blasting such loud music from their aftermarket stereo systems that my own car vibrates massively
-fleeing felons being arrested on my street
-difficulty getting APD to attend to any of these issues since they are spread so thin
-a friend being assaulted at knifepoint and having to go to the ER for stitches
every time I try to list what I've experienced, I realize I'm forgetting major things. I'm sure I'm forgetting some things in this list.
Then I started researching the numerous nuisance properties in Albuquerque, and some of them are just astonishing.
That's not including the way the ERs are packed by low-income Medicaid recipients, and it takes hours and hours to be seen. It's very hard to get a doctor appointment anywhere in this city. Parts of town look a lot like Mexico.
Voters are largely concerned about "progressive" issues here and will not elect politicians who will really address the crime adequately. We had Dan Lewis up for mayor in 2017, and he lost to progressive Keller, who's doing some things but seems preoccupied with being empathetic and progressive and getting re-elected by the progressive voter base. Corruption is rife and politicians just don't seem up to the task of turning around the economy or safety here. We hear a lot from them about sanctuary city stuff and immigrant rights and diversity and resources for the homeless. I don't feel the voter base here, or the people they elect, really care enough as is warranted about basic safety and economic health of the city/state.
I might continue living here. The traffic is very light, the weather couldn't be better, in my opinion, and the cost of living is good. But I'm just done with this city emotionally. I practice as many safety measures as I can, and I just keep my headspace elsewhere. I recommend streaming services, books, online exercise classes (since your car may be broken into if you go to a real gym in ABQ), ... and just stay safe and stay mentally connected to sane, functional parts of the country.
J | Albuquerque, NM