Bernalillo County


  • Area: 1,169 square miles
  • County seat: Albuquerque
  • Density: 568 people per square mile
  • Incorporated communities: Albuquerque, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, Tijeras
  • Population, 2015: 676,685
Bernalillo County Courthouse


Bernalillo County has been one of the state's fastest growing counties, with 19% growth between 2000 and 2010. The county is largely taken up by the City of Albuquerque but also includes the incorporated communities of Los Ranchos de Albuquerque and Tijeras, plus a number of unincorporated communities.


In 2005, the county opened the South Valley Economic Development Center, a business incubator. The $2.2 million, 16,000-square-foot building has offices, storage, computer lab, store and industrial kitchen.

  • East Mountain Area: East of the Sandia and Manzano Mountains, the East Mountain Area offers an alternative to urban living. New Mexico State Road 14, a national scenic byway known as the Turquoise Trail, winds along the Sandia Mountains from Tijeras to Santa Fe County. New Mexico State Road 337 travels along the Manzano Mountains.
  • Major private employers: Sandia National Laboratories, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, Lovelace Sandia Health System, Wal-Mart
  • Major public employers: Albuquerque Public Schools, University of New Mexico, Kirtland Air Force Base
  • Unincorporated areas: The South Valley and North Valley offer rural settings within minutes of downtown Albuquerque. They include some of the state's oldest communities - Atrisco (1692), Barelas (1707), Armijo (1695), Pajarito (before 1746), Los Padillas (before 1790), and Alameda (1710).


Bernalillo County boasts one of the most varied settings in the state. It stretches from the East Mountain area just beyond the Sandia Mountains across the Rio Grande to the Volcano Cliffs of the West Mesa, and along the river from Sandia Pueblo on the north to Isleta Pueblo on the south. The elevation ranges from 4,500 feet in the valley to 10,678 at Sandia Peak.


Bernalillo County was one of the first nine counties created by the Territorial Legislature in 1852. The county seat was initially Ranchos de Albuquerque but moved to the growing town of Albuquerque in 1854. An adobe courthouse once stood north of the plaza on Rio Grande Boulevard. In 1878 the town of Bernalillo succeeded in winning the county seat, but with the arrival of the railroad, Albuquerque outstripped Bernalillo in population and in 1883 won back the county seat.



Bernalillo County Population Graph


Bernalillo County Housing Graph

More Information


  • County manager, appointed by commission
  • Five commissioners, elected by district for four-year staggered terms


  • Electric: Public Service Company of New Mexico
  • Natural Gas: New Mexico Gas Company
  • Sewer: City of Albuquerque
  • Solid Waste: City of Albuquerque
  • Source: Ground water and Rio Grande surface water
  • Telephone: CenturyLink
  • Water: Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority


  • Air: Albuquerque International Sunport, passenger and freight
  • Bus, intercity: TNM&O, El Paso-Los Angeles Limousine Express, Autobuses Americanos
  • Commuter: New Mexico Rail Runner Express, Belen to Santa Fe
  • Freight: Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad
  • General aviation: Double Eagle II Airport
  • Interstate highways: I-25 (north-south) and I-40 (east-west)
  • Rail, passenger: Amtrak
  • Transit: City of Albuquerque


  • Higher education: University of New Mexico, Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), and a variety of private schools
  • Kindergarten to 12th grade: Albuquerque Public School District and private schools