Bernalillo County

Bernalillo County

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


Bernalillo County Courthouse
Bernalillo County Courthouse

Bernalillo County has been one of the state's fastest growing counties, with 19 percent 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.

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

East Mountain Area: East of the Sandia and Manzano Mountains, the East Mountain Area offers an alternative to urban living. NM 14, a national scenic byway known as the Turquoise Trail, winds along the Sandia Mountains from Tijeras to Santa Fe County. NM 337 travels along the Manzano Mountains.

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 2010-2015 Population GraphBernalillo County Change in Housing Units 2010-2015 GraphMore Information


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


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


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


K-12: Albuquerque Public School District and private schools
Higher education: University of New Mexico, Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), and a variety of private schools



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MRCOG OfficeMid-Region Council of Governments
809 Copper Avenue, NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: 505-247-1750
Fax: 505-247-1753
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