When I first started this “Where Millennials Can Make It” series, I put Albuquerque in the category of “Towns Luring Back Their Townies,” likening its appeal to the revitalization happening in Cleveland or Pittsburgh. But when I sat down to write this piece, I realized the city was in a category of its own. It’s not a post-industrial city being made over by its natives. It’s also not a place that’s just overflowing with jobs, nor one that particularly attracts young artists or scrappy entrepreneurs. You won’t find Albuquerque on many other “best cities for Millennials” lists.
But what I learned during my visit there is that Albuquerque’s off-the-radar status is exactly why young people love it. Since the recession, the U.S. economy has been been downright scary for Millennials. Albuquerque offers an oasis of sorts, where the property is cheap, the mountains are beautiful, and the nightlife is vibrant—but not overwhelming.