La Vida Buena in the Land of Enchantment

Albuquerque's Got More to Offer Than Just Statistics

A friend mentioned moving back to Albuquerque from San Diego. I wondered exactly what might cause one of Burque's native sons to give up on the California dream. Turns out his main reason was that San Diego was a lot more expensive than Albuquerque.

Now I had known that Albuquerque is nationally about average on the cost of living index, in spite of New Mexico's status as one of the poorest states. What I didn't know was that while earning a measly wage 10 percent higher while working in San Diego (relative to Albuquerque) my buddy is paying for a 40 percent higher cost of living.

Here's a list of other cities (as compared to Albuquerque) the first number is how much more (or less) one will get paid and the second number is the commensurate increase (or decrease) in cost of living: Austin earn 1.2, spend 2.1; Seattle earn 14, spend 27.4; Santa Barbara earn 13, spend 34.5; Fort Myers (Florida) earn -1.9, spend -0.8; Portland (Maine) earn 0.3, spend 1.7; Anchorage earn 20.2, spend 22; Chicago earn 11.7, spend 9.3; Duluth (Minnesota) earn 2.3, spend -5.9. For example in Seattle he'd make 14 percent more wages but be porking up for a cost of living more than 27 percent higher than Albuquerque.

Of course there's no way to put a price tag on the sunny wide open spaces, cultural diversity and tasty chow that Burque has to offer, but at least now he has the numbers to help with his decision to move back home.