About Albuquerque, NM

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Albuquerque i/ˈælbəˌkɜrki/ is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is a high-altitude city and serves as the county seat of Bernalillo County,[6] and it is situated in the central part of the state, straddling the Rio Grande. The city population was 555,417 as of the July 1, 2012, population estimate from the United States Census Bureau,[7] and ranks as the 32nd-largest city in the U.S. The Albuquerque MSA has a population of 902,797 according to the United States Census Bureau's most recently available estimate for July 1, 2013.[8] Albuquerque is the 59th-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 1,163,964 as of the July 1, 2013 Census Bureau estimates. With its population growing bigger over the years, Albuquerque is the fastest growing city in New Mexico.

Albuquerque is home to the University of New Mexico (UNM), Kirtland Air Force Base, Sandia National Laboratories, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute, Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), Presbyterian Health Services, 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.

The growing village soon to become Albuquerque was named by the provincial governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdes in honor of Francisco, Duke of Alburquerque, who was viceroy of New Spain from 1653 to 1660. Francisco's title referred to the Spanish town of Alburquerque, the name of which derived from the Latin albus quercus meaning "white oak".[9] This 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,[10] and the town coat-of-arms features a white cork oak.[11]

The first "r" in Alburquerque was later dropped, probably due to association with the prominent general Alfonso de Albuquerque, whose family originated from the Spanish town, but used a variant spelling in their name. The change was also in part due to the fact that citizens found the original name difficult to pronounce.[12]

Source: Wikipedia

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