NerdWallet, an online service that provides information about personal finances, travel and higher education, recently featured a list of the best metropolitan areas for veterans. Albuquerque was featured among the medium sized cities. The University of New Mexico was mentioned because of its Veterans Resource Center, which is staffed by veterans to help other veterans who are thinking about returning to school or are in school.

Among reasons Albuquerque was included is because it is home to the Kirtland Air Force Base, its great job market and the lowest unemployment on NerdWallet's list, at just 7.4 percent, and lower for veterans, at 5.2 percent.

NerdWallet reports, "While veterans only make up 12.1 percent of the city population, they make up 16.9 percent of the businesses in Albuquerque." They also noted the VA Health Care System.

"And with its great weather, its no wonder veterans flock to Albuquerque to settle after their military career," they reported.

NerdWallet calculated the best metros for veterans by answering the following questions:

1. Are there opportunities for veterans? We looked the overall unemployment of rate of the metro areas as well as the ratio of unemployed vets compared to the rest of the population to see if job prospects were good.

2. Is there peer support? We analyzed veterans as a percentage of the population to see if there was social support for veterans. We also looked at the percentage of veteran-owned businesses, both completely and partially-owned, to see if there were opportunities to work with other veterans.

3. Is the economy doing well? We looked at the percentage of job growth from February 2012 to February 2013 to see if there was job growth. We also looked at the affordability of the city as indicated by the median household spending per month.

Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; email: cgonzal@unm.edu