Albuquerque (/lbkrki/(listen) AL-b-kur-kee; in Navajo Beeeldl Dahsinil, pronounced[pltl txsnl], Arawageeki in Keres; Vakke in Jemez Towa; Gogeki in Jicarilla Apache) is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Mexico. The city serves as the county seat of Bernalillo County, and it is situated in the north central part of the state, straddling the Rio Grande. The city population is 558,545 as of the July 1, 2017 population estimate from the United States Census Bureau, and ranks as the 32nd-largest city in the U.S. The Albuquerque metropolitan statistical area (or MSA) has a population of 909,906 according to the United States Census Bureau's most recently available estimate for 2016. Albuquerque is the 60th-largest United States metropolitan area. The Albuquerque MSA population includes the city of Rio Rancho, Bernalillo, Placitas, Corrales, Los Lunas, Belen, Bosque Farms, and forms part of the larger Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas combined statistical area, with a total population of 1,171,991 as of the July 1, 2016, Census Bureau estimates.
Albuquerque is home to the University of New Mexico (UNM), Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories, the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), Presbyterian Medical Services (PMS), Presbyterian Health Services, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque Biological Park, and Petroglyph National Monument. The Sandia Mountains run along the eastern side of Albuquerque, and the Rio Grande flows through the city, north to south. Albuquerque is also the home of the International Balloon Fiesta, the world's largest such gathering of hot-air balloons from around the globe. The event takes place during October.
Albuquerque was named in honor of Francisco Fernndez de la Cueva, 10th Duke of Alburquerque who was Viceroy of New Spain from 1702 to 1711. The growing village was named by provincial governor Francisco Cuervo y Valds. The Duke's title referred to the Spanish town of Alburquerque, in the province of Badajoz, near the border with Portugal.
The name has two theories of origin, which denote either Latin or Arabic roots. Under the Latin theory, the name derives from albus quercus meaning "white oak". The name was probably in reference to the prevalence of cork oaks in the region, which have a white wood when the bark is removed. Alburquerque is still a center of the Spanish cork industry, and the town coat-of-arms features a white cork oak. Another theory suggests that the name derives from the Arabic Abu al-Qurq, which means "father of the cork [oak]".
Learn more about Albuquerque, NM