I have never been to Albuquerque but am considering moving there for Uni...I had a few questions regarding diversity and people's attitudes. (Please serious answers/no trolling :P)
How diverse is Albuquerque? I have heard there is a high population of American Indians (politically correct term?) and people of Hispanic descent. I looked up the demographics but those often do not give an accurate representation of the city...where I currently live (Southwest Florida) it says we have reportedly have a 20% population of African-Americans in my city, and yet from what I have seen it seems more like 5%...I do go all over the city for grocery shopping, visiting friends, playing baseball, or going to the beach and there are not any generally African Americans areas in my city.
I <3 diversity because while I was doing study abroad in Thailand and Japan, I was part of the minority and my school consisted of people from all over the world.
Next is how friendly is the population in general? I know every place has nice people and not-so-nice people...like how is the general feel of the city? Friendly? By friendly I mean like people are not completely self involved like in larger cities. It's hard to explain friendly, but you probably know what I mean, haha. Like, New Hampshire always had a friendly feel to it for me, but Mass seemed a little less friendly in general due to drivers, and people were generally distanced...in Japan, I always felt it was friendlier in Osaka then in Tokyo.
Responses are appreciated! Thanks :)
I agree with Krista regarding the myth of tricultural harmony-- makes for a nice marketing campaign, but the fact is there are real underlying issues that have never been resolved.... but that can be said of just about anywhere in the U.S. if you're sensitive and alert.
Also, I think you need to define "diversity" and what it is that you're looking for specifically... Albuquerque is not especially international, but in terms of "diversity" we do have Native Americans, Mexican Americans, Hispanos, African-Americans, Anglos... and (from my experience) a little bit of everything else.
In general I would say this is a fairly friendly place, in fact, I like to joke that New Mexico is the biggest small town I've ever lived in. I always run into someone I know--even if I'm on the other side of town.
Finally, if you're considering a move to attend school.... keep in mind that you don't have to stay after you graduate :-) even though they call this the "Land of Entrapment" and the quality of whatever program you are enrolling in may be a more important consideration.
It's worth mentioning that there are well-established and growing Southeast Asian and Cuban communities here as well.
Also, here's a strong second to Krista's suggestion that you visit before you make any decisions...making a multi-year relocation decision based on a couple blog conversations seems a bit unwise, perhaps.
When it comes down to it, the population is essentially half White and half Hispanic.
I think people can be friendly here. If you've lived in a real city, you'll see that it feels like a small town here in a lot of ways. People are more "folksy" here than in Boston or New York. But, I personally find that there are A LOT of sketchy people here as compared with the general population of larger cities. I feel more wary of people here than I do anywhere else I've ever lived.
I've found NM as a whole to be a very friendly state. There is also a general live and let live attitude. I talk to all my neighbors. I lived in the LA area for a year before moving here. I found LA to be very unfriendly and stressed. Albuquerque has been a refreshing change from that sort of lifestyle. I've been here 11 years now and I like the small-big-city vibe.
The diversity of the state is a big plus. As others have mentioned, it is largely Hispanic, Caucasian and Native American. But you can also find an engaged community of African-Americans in the city as well as Asian cultures. I study a Japanese martial art and patronize the wonderful Vietnamese restaurants that we have here.