Albuquerque ( (listen) AL-bə-kur-kee, Spanish: [alβuˈkeɾke]), abbreviated as ABQ, is the most populous city in the U.S. state of New Mexico. The city's nicknames are The Duke City and Burque, both of which reference its 1706 founding by Nuevo México governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdés as La Villa de Alburquerque. Named in honor of then Viceroy the 10th Duke of Alburquerque, the Villa was an outpost on El Camino Real for the Tiquex and Hispano towns in the area (such as Barelas, Corrales, Isleta Pueblo, Los Ranchos, and Sandia Pueblo). Since the city's founding, it has continued to be included on travel and trade routes including Santa Fe Railway (ATSF), Route 66, Interstate 25, Interstate 40, and the Albuquerque International Sunport. The 2019 census-estimated population of the city is 560,513, making Albuquerque the 32nd-most populous city in the United States and the fourth-largest in the Southwest. It is the principal city of the Albuquerque metropolitan area, which had 915,927 residents as of July 2018.
Albuquerque serves as the county seat of Bernalillo County, and is in north-central New Mexico. The Sandia–Manzano Mountains run along the eastern side of Albuquerque, and the Rio Grande flows north to south through its center, while the West Mesa and Petroglyph National Monument make up the western part of the city. Albuquerque has one of the highest elevations of any major city in the U.S., ranging from 4,900 feet (1,500 m) above sea level near the Rio Grande to over 6,700 feet (2,000 m) in the foothill areas of Sandia Heights and Glenwood Hills. The civic apex is found in an undeveloped area within the Albuquerque Open Space; there, the terrain rises to an elevation of approximately 6,880 feet (2,100 m), and the metropolitan area's highest point is the Sandia Mountains crest at an altitude of 10,678 feet (3,255 m).
The economy of Albuquerque centers on science, medicine, technology, commerce, education, entertainment, and culture outlets.