I’ve almost gotten used to seeing an off-duty police officer in an idling squad car when I park at Whole Foods. Inside, a private security guard patrols the aisles. Some businesses along East Central have taken to buzzing in customers one at a time. In one shop I visited recently, big-screen monitors allowed the proprietor to keep watch on his front and back doors.
Such conspicuous security measures are some of the immediate costs to business associated with Albuquerque’s astonishing crime rate. But there are longer-term costs, too, which are harder to calculate with an accountant’s precision. These can be approached through demographics.
According to Census Bureau estimates, New Mexico has added a total of just 37,650 residents since 2010, for a 1.8% rate of growth. During the same period, the nation as a whole grew by 6.3%. The other Four Corners states and Texas more than doubled the national average. More people have moved to California since 2010 than live in New Mexico.