San Diego County, California
|San Diego County, California|
|County of San Diego|
Location in the state of California
California's location in the United States
|Country||United States of America|
|Formed||February 18, 1850|
|County seat||San Diego|
|Largest city||San Diego (population and area)|
|• Body||Board of Supervisors|
|• Board of Supervisors|
|• Chief Administrative Officer||Helen Robbins-Meyer|
|• Total||4,525.52 sq mi (11,721.0 km2)|
|• Land||4,199.89 sq mi (10,877.7 km2)|
|• Water||325.62 sq mi (843.4 km2)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Density||680/sq mi (260/km2)|
|Time zone||Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)|
San Diego County is a county located in the southwestern corner of the State of California. It is the south-westernmost county in the 48 contiguous United States. The City of San Diego is its county seat and by far the largest city in the county. According to the census of 2010, San Diego County had a population of 3,095,313 people, making it the second most populous county in California, following Los Angeles County.
San Diego County has 70 miles (110 km) of coastline. Most of the county has a mild Mediterranean climate to semiarid climate, though there are mountains that receive frost and snow in the wintertime.
There are also 16 naval and military installations of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, and the U.S. Coast Guard in San Diego County. These include the Naval Base San Diego, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, and Naval Air Station North Island.
San Diego County defines the metropolitan statistical area of San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos and as Greater San Diego. San Diego County is also part of the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan area. This area has about five million people and it is the largest metropolitan area shared between the United States and Mexico.
Arising from an effort by the state government to identify regional economies, San Diego County and Imperial County are part of the Southern Border Region, one of nine such regions. As a regional economy, the Southern Border Region is the smallest but most economically diverse region in the state. However, the two counties maintain weak relations and have little in common aside from their common border.
From north to south, San Diego County extends from the southern borders of Orange County and Riverside County to the Mexico–United States border and Baja California. From west to east, San Diego County stretches from the Pacific Ocean to its boundary with Imperial County.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Transportation and infrastructure
- 4 Education
- 5 Economy
- 6 Military
- 7 Culture
- 8 Media
- 9 Law, government and politics
- 10 Metropolitan Statistical Area
- 11 Crime
- 12 Demographics
- 13 See also
- 14 Notes
- 15 References
- 16 Further reading
- 17 External links
In 1542, the Portuguese-born explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, sailing for Spain, claimed San Diego Bay for the Spanish Empire, and he named the site San Miguel. In November of 1602, Sebastián Vizcaíno surveyed the harbor and what are now Mission Bay and Point Loma and named the area for Saint Didacus, a Spaniard more commonly known as San Diego. European settlement in what is now San Diego County began with the founding of the San Diego Presidio and Mission San Diego de Alcalá by Spanish soldiers and clerics in 1769. This county was part of Alta California under the Viceroyalty of New Spain until the Mexican declaration of independence. From 1821 through 1848 this area was part of Mexico.
San Diego County became part of the United States as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, ending the U.S.-Mexican War. This treaty designated the new border as terminating at a point on the Pacific Ocean coast which would result in the border passing one Spanish league south of the southernmost portion of San Diego Bay, thus ensuring that the United States received all of this natural harbor.
San Diego County was one of the original counties of California, and it was created at the time of California statehood in 1850.
At the time of its establishment in 1850, San Diego County was relatively large, and included all of southernmost California which was south and east of Los Angeles County. As such it included areas of what are now Inyo County and San Bernardino County, as well as all of what is now Riverside County and Imperial County.
During the later part of the 19th century, there were numerous changes in the boundaries of San Diego County, when various areas became separated for the counties mentioned above. The most recent changes were the establishments of Riverside County in 1893 and Imperial County in 1907. Imperial County was also the last county to be established in California, and after this division, San Diego no longer extended from the Pacific Ocean to the Colorado River, and it no longer covered the entire border between California and Mexico.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 4,525.52 square miles (11,721.0 km2), of which 4,199.89 square miles (10,877.7 km2) (or 92.80%) is land and 325.62 square miles (843.4 km2) (or 7.20%) is water. The county is larger in area than the combined states of Rhode Island and Delaware.
San Diego County has a varied topography. On its western side is 70 miles (110 km) of coastline. Most of San Diego between the coast and the Laguna Mountains consists of hills, mesas, and small canyons. Snow-capped (in winter) mountains rise to the northeast, with the Sonoran Desert to the far east. Cleveland National Forest is spread across the central portion of the county, while the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park occupies most of the northeast. Although the western third of the county is primarily urban, the mountains and deserts in the eastern two-thirds of the county consist primarily of undeveloped backcountry. Most of these backcountry areas are home to a native plant community known as chaparral. San Diego County contains more than a million acres (4,000 km²) of chaparral, twice as much as any other California county.
North San Diego County is known as North County; the exact geographic definitions of "North County" vary, but it includes the northern suburbs and sometimes certain northern neighborhoods of the City of San Diego.
The eastern suburbs are collectively known as East County, though most still lie in the western third of the county. The southern suburbs and southern detached portion of the city of San Diego, extending to the Mexican border, are collectively referred to as South Bay.
Periodically the area has been subject to wildfires that force thousands to evacuate. The most recent have been the Cedar Fire in 2003 and the Witch Creek Fire in 2007. California defines a fire season in which fires are most likely to occur, usually between the months of late July and late October (which are the driest months of the area). Signs are posted in numerous spots of the county providing information on the level of threats from fires based on weather conditions.
Under the Köppen climate classification system, the San Diego area straddles areas of Mediterranean climate (CSa) to the north and semi-arid climate (BSh) to the south and east. As a result, its often described as "arid Mediterranean" and "semi-arid steppe". San Diego's climate is characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters with most of the annual precipitation falling between November and March. The city has mild, mostly dry weather, with an average of 201 days above 70 °F (21 °C) and low rainfall (9–13 inches (23–33 cm) annually). Summer temperatures are generally warm, with average highs of 70–78 °F (21–26 °C) and lows of 55–66 °F (13–19 °C). Temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) only four days a year. Most rainfall occurs from November to April. Winter temperatures are mild, with average high temperatures of 66–70 °F (19–21 °C) and lows of 50–56 °F (10–13 °C).
The climate in the San Diego area, like much of California, often varies significantly over short geographical distances resulting in microclimates. In San Diego's case this is mainly due to the city's topography (the Bay, and the numerous hills, mountains, and canyons). Frequently, particularly during the "May gray/June gloom" period, a thick marine layer will keep the air cool and damp within a few miles of the coast, but will yield to bright cloudless sunshine approximately 5–10 miles (8.0–16.1 km) inland. This happens every year in May and June. Even in the absence of June gloom, inland areas tend to experience much more significant temperature variations than coastal areas, where the ocean serves as a moderating influence. Thus, for example, downtown San Diego averages January lows of 50 °F (10 °C) and August highs of 78 °F (26 °C). The city of El Cajon, just 10 miles (16 km) northeast of downtown San Diego, averages January lows of 42 °F (6 °C) and August highs of 88 °F (31 °C).
Rainfall along the coast averages about 10 inches (25 cm) of precipitation annually, which occurs mainly during the cooler months of December through April. Though there are few wet days per month during the rainy period, rainfall can be heavy when it does fall. However, the rainfall is greater in the higher elevations of San Diego. Some of the higher areas of San Diego can receive 11–13 inches (28–33 cm) of rain a year.
|Climate data for San Diego Int'l Airport (1981–2010 normals)|
|Average high °F (°C)||65.1
|Daily mean °F (°C)||57.1
|Average low °F (°C)||49.0
|Rainfall inches (mm)||1.98
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.01 in)||6.7||7.1||6.5||4.0||1.4||0.8||0.7||0.4||1.2||2.8||4.1||5.8||41.5|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||239.3||227.4||261.0||276.2||250.5||242.4||304.7||295.0||253.3||243.4||230.1||231.3||3,054.6|
|Source: NOAA (sun 1961–1990)|
Largest cities in San Diego County by population
Largest cities (2010 census population):
Cities and towns in San Diego County
Incorporated cities and towns
- 4S Ranch
- Barrett Junction
- Blossom Valley
- Borrego Springs
- Camp Pendleton North
- Camp Pendleton South
- Casa de Oro-Mount Helix
- Del Dios
- De Luz
- Elfin Forest
- Eucalyptus Hills
- Fairbanks Ranch
- Flinn Springs
- Four Corners
- Granite Hills
- Harbison Canyon
- Harmony Grove
- Hidden Meadows
- La Presa
- Lake Morena Village
- Lake San Marcos
- Lincoln Acres
- Live Oak Springs
- Mount Laguna
- Oak Grove
- Ocotillo Wells
- Pauma Valley
- Pine Hills
- Pine Valley
- Rancho San Diego
- Rancho Santa Fe
- San Diego Country Estates
- Santa Ysabel
- Shelter Valley
- Spring Valley
- Tierra del Sol
- Valley Center
- Warner Springs
- Winter Gardens
San Diego County has 18 federally recognized Indian reservations, more than any other county in the United States. Although they are typical in size to other Indian reservations in California (many of which are termed "Rancherías"), they are relatively tiny by national standards, and all together total 200.2 square miles (518.5 km²) of area.
- Barona Indian Reservation
- Campo Indian Reservation
- Capitan Grande Reservation
- Cuyapaipe Indian Reservation
- Inaja and Cosmit Indian Reservation
- Jamul Indian Village
- La Jolla Indian Reservation
- La Posta Indian Reservation
- Los Coyotes Indian Reservation
- Manzanita Indian Reservation
- Mesa Grande Indian Reservation
- Pala Indian Reservation
- Pauma and Yuima Indian Reservation
- Rincon Indian Reservation
- San Pasqual Indian Reservation
- Santa Ysabel Indian Reservation
- Sycuan Indian Reservation
- Viejas Indian Reservation
Boundaries (counties and municipalities)
National protected areas
- Cabrillo National Monument
- Cleveland National Forest (part)
- San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which includes several individual wildlife refuge areas:
- San Diego Bay South Bay
- San Diego Bay Sweetwater Marsh
- Tijuana Slough National Wildlife Refuge
- Seal Beach National Wildlife Refuge (located in Orange County)
- San Diego National Wildlife Refuge
- Vernal Pools
State parks and protected areas
- Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (portions are also in Imperial and Riverside counties)
- Torrey Pines State Reserve
- Cuyamaca Rancho State Park
- Palomar Mountain State Park
- San Pasqual Battlefield State Historic Park
- Old Town San Diego State Historic Park
- Border Field State Park
- Tijuana River Natural Estuarine Research Reserve
- San Onofre State Beach
- Moonlight State Beach
- Carlsbad State Beach
- South Carlsbad State Beach
- Leucadia State Beach
- San Elijo State Beach
- Cardiff State Beach
- Torrey Pines State Beach
- Silver Strand State Beach
- Cuyamaca Mountains
- In-Ko-Pah Mountains
- Jacumba Mountains
- Laguna Mountains
- Palomar Mountain
- Peninsular Ranges
- San Ysidro Mountains
- Santa Ana Mountains
- Volcan Mountains
There are 236 mountain summits and peaks in San Diego County including:
- Black Mountain
- Cuyamaca Peak (second highest point in San Diego County)
- Cowles Mountain (highest point in the city of San Diego)
- Mount Helix
- Hot Springs Mountain (highest point in San Diego County)
- Margarita Peak
- Mount Soledad
- Stonewall Mountain
Bays and lagoons
- Buena Vista Lagoon
- Agua Hedionda Lagoon
- Batiquitos Lagoon
- Carlsbad Lagoon
- San Elijo Lagoon
- Mission Bay
- San Diego Bay
- Lake Cuyamaca
- Lake Hodges
- Santee Lakes
- Sweetwater Reservoir
- Otay Lakes
- Lake Wohlford
- El Capitan Reservoir
- Sutherland Reservoir
- Lake Henshaw
- Lake Murray
- San Vicente Reservoir
- Lake Jennings
- Barrett Reservoir
- Natural Rock Tanks
- Little Laguna Lake
- Big Laguna Lake
- Big Lake
- Twin Lakes
- Jean, Lake
- Lost Lake
- Swan Lake
- Lake Miramar
- Lake Poway
- Dixon Lake
- San Diego River
- San Luis Rey River
- San Dieguito River
- Sweetwater River (California)
- Otay River
- Tijuana River
Transportation and infrastructure
Border crossings to Mexico
- AMTRAK (Pacific Surfliner)
- The Coaster
- San Diego and Arizona Eastern Railway
- San Diego and Imperial Valley Railroad
Light rail and local transit
The Port of San Diego
Primary Civilian Airports
- Lindbergh Field (San Diego International Airport) (SAN)
- Montgomery Field, (MYF)
- McClellan-Palomar Airport, (CLD or CRQ) a.k.a. Palomar Airport or Carlsbad Airport
- Gillespie Field, (SEE) in El Cajon
- Agua Caliente Airport
- Borrego Valley Airport
- Fallbrook Airport
- Oceanside Municipal Airport
- Ocotillo Airport
- Ramona Airport, (RNM)
- Brown Field Municipal Airport, (SDM) (formerly East Field, NAAS Otay Mesa, and NAAS Brown Field)
San Diego County contains three public state universities: University of California, San Diego; San Diego State University; and California State University, San Marcos. Major private universities in the county include University of San Diego (USD), Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), Alliant International University (AIU), and National University.
Within the county there are 24 public elementary school districts, 6 high school districts, and 12 unified school districts. There are also 5 community college districts.
There are two separate public library systems in San Diego County: the San Diego Public Library serving the city of San Diego, and the San Diego County Library serving all other areas of the county. In 2010 the county library had 33 branches and two bookmobiles; circulated over 10.7 million books, CDs, DVDs, and other material formats; recorded 5.7 million visits to library branches; and hosted 21,132 free programs and events. The San Diego County Library is one of the 25 busiest libraries in the nation as measured by materials circulated.
Tourism plays a large part in the economics of the San Diego metropolitan area. Tourists are drawn to the region for a well rounded experience, everything from shopping to surfing as well as its mild climate. Its numerous tourist destinations include Horton Plaza, Westfield UTC, Seaport Village, Westfield Mission Valley and Fashion Valley Mall for shopping. SeaWorld San Diego and Legoland California as amusement parks. Golf courses such as Torrey Pines Golf Course and Balboa Park Golf Course. Museums such as the San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego Museum of Art, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Natural History Museum, USS Midway Museum, and the San Diego Air and Space Museum. Historical places such as the Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Wildlife refuges, zoos, and aquariums such as the Birch Aquarium at Scripps, San Diego Zoo's Safari Park, San Diego Zoo and San Diego-La Jolla Underwater Park. Outdoor destinations include the Peninsular Ranges for hiking, biking, mountainboarding and trail riding. Surfing locations include Swami's, Stone Steps Beach, Torrey Pines State Beach, Cardiff State Beach, San Onofre State Beach and the southern portion of Black's Beach.
The region is host to the second largest cruise ship industry in California which generates an estimated $2 million annually from purchases of food, fuel, supplies, and maintenance services. In 2008 the Port of San Diego hosted 252 ship calls and more than 800,000 passengers.
San Diego is the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Eleventh Naval District and is the Navy's principal location for West Coast and Pacific Ocean operations. Naval Base San Diego, California is principal home to the Pacific Fleet (although the headquarters is located in Pearl Harbor). NAS North Island is located on the north side of Coronado, and is home to Headquarters for Naval Air Forces and Naval Air Force Pacific, the bulk of the Pacific Fleet's helicopter squadrons, and part of the West Coast aircraft carrier fleet.
The Naval Special Warfare Center is the primary training center for SEALs, and is also located on Coronado. The area contains five major naval bases and the U.S. Marines base Camp Pendleton. Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton is the major West Coast base of the United States Marine Corps and serves as its prime amphibious training base. It is located on the Southern California coast, bordered by Oceanside to the south, San Clemente to the north, and Fallbrook to the east.
- Naval Base San Diego, also known as 32nd Street Naval Station
- Naval Amphibious Base Coronado
- Naval Air Station North Island
- Naval Base Point Loma, which includes the Submarine Base and the Fleet Antisubmarine Warfare Training Center
- Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR)
- Naval Medical Center San Diego, also known as Bob Wilson Naval Hospital and Balboa Naval Hospital
U.S. Marine Corps
- Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
- Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
- Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego
U.S. Coast Guard
|San Diego Padres||Baseball||Major League Baseball||PETCO Park|
|San Diego Chargers||Football||National Football League||Qualcomm Stadium|
Sites of interest
- Anza-Borrego State Park, the largest state park in California with high levels of both plant and animal biodiversity
- Mount Laguna Observatory, owned and primarily operated by San Diego State University
- Palomar Observatory, owned and primarily operated by the California Institute of Technology
- The Ramona Valley wine-producing region, located 28 miles (45 km) northeast of the City of San Diego
- San Diego Zoo Safari Park, formerly known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park, 35 miles (56 km) north of the San Diego Zoo and east of Escondido
- Sea World of San Diego, on Mission Bay.
- Mission Bay Recreation Area, including Fiesta Island, a sheltered bay popular for water sports, also known for the annual Over the line tournament.
- Mission San Diego de Alcala, the first of California's 21 Spanish missions. It is an operating Roman Catholic parish and also is open for historical interest tours during the week. It is located near the interchange of Interstates 8 and 15.
- Balboa Park, with numerous museums and other cultural locations, located just north of Downtown San Diego.
- San Diego Zoo, located in Balboa Park
- Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, located at the western end of Mission Valley, north of Downtown San Diego. It preserves and recreates the original settlement of San Diego during its pueblo, Alta California, and early American periods, through 1872.
- Presidio Park, located on a bluff directly above Old Town, a city historic park on the site of the San Diego Presidio, the first European settlement in California.
- Cabrillo National Monument, located at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula. It has historical exhibits about Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and World War II as well as the Old Point Loma Lighthouse which is open to the public. It offers striking views of the harbor and ocean, natural areas for hiking and bird watching, and tide pools.
- San Diego Bay contains the aircraft carrier USS Midway now used as a memorial ship and as a floating museum, and the eight floating museum ships of the San Diego Maritime Museum. Harbor cruises, sailing, and sport fishing are also available.
- Legoland California is a "Lego" theme park in Carlsbad.
- Alta Vista Gardens is a Botanical Garden in Vista, California dedicated to bringing together 'People, Nature & Art'.
San Diego County is served by many newspapers. The major regional paper is The San Diego Union-Tribune, also known as U-T San Diego, which is ranked 25th in the country. The Union-Tribune serves both San Diego County and neighboring Imperial County. The former North County Times, based in Escondido and serving portions of Riverside County and North County, was purchased by the Union-Tribune in 2012 and closed down. For about a year after absorbing the North County Times the Union-Tribune published a North County edition, but the regional edition was later abandoned. The Los Angeles Times is also delivered in portions of the county. Many of the area's cities, towns and neighborhoods have their own local newspapers; the Union Tribune bought eight local weeklies in 2013 and is continuing to publish them as independent local newspapers. The San Diego Daily Transcript reports business and legal news. Privately published papers like the Military Press Newspaper and the Navy Dispatch serve the military community both on and off base.
County Television Network is a public-access television cable channel, offering a "hometown blend of C-SPAN, the Lifetime, History, Travel, and Discovery channels" for the county, and funded by fees paid by cable companies.
Law, government and politics
The Government of San Diego County is defined and authorized under the California Constitution, California law, and the Charter of the County of San Diego. Much of the Government of California is in practice the responsibility of county governments such as the Government of San Diego County. The County government provides countywide services such as elections and voter registration, law enforcement, jails, vital records, property records, tax collection, public health, and social services. In addition the County serves as the local government for all unincorporated areas. Some chartered cities such as San Diego and Chula Vista provide municipal services such as police, public safety, libraries, parks and recreation, and zoning. Other cities such as Del Mar and Vista arrange to have the County provide some or all of these services on a contract basis.
The county government is composed of the elected five-member Board of Supervisors, several other elected offices and officers including the Sheriff, the District Attorney, Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk, and Treasurer/Tax Collector, and numerous county departments and entities under the supervision of the Chief Administrative Officer such as the Probation Department. In addition, several entities of the government of California have jurisdiction conterminous with San Diego County, such as the San Diego Superior Court.
Under its foundational Charter, the five-member elected San Diego County Board of Supervisors is the county legislature. The board operates in a legislative, executive, and quasi-judicial capacity. As a legislative authority, it can pass ordinances for the unincorporated areas (ordinances that affect the whole county, like posting of restaurant ratings, must be ratified by the individual city). As an executive body, it can tell the county departments what to do, and how to do it. As a quasi-judicial body, the Board is the final venue of appeal in the local planning process.
As of January 2013 the members of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors are:
- Greg Cox, District 1, Chairman
- Dianne Jacob, District 2
- Dave Roberts, District 3
- Ron Roberts, District 4 (no relation)
- Bill Horn, District 5
For several decades, ending in 2013, all five supervisors were Republican, white, graduates of San Diego State University, and had been in office since 1995 or earlier. The Board was criticized for this homogeneity, which was made possible because supervisors draw their own district lines and are not subject to term limits. (In 2010 voters put term limits in place, but they only apply going forward, so that each incumbent supervisor can serve an additional two terms before being termed out.) That pattern was broken in 2013 when Slater-Price retired; she was replaced by Democrat Dave Roberts, who won election to the seat in November 2012 and was inaugurated in January 2013.
The San Diego County Code is the codified law of San Diego County in the form of ordinances passed by the Board of Supervisors. The Administrative Code establishing the powers and duties of all officers and the procedures and rules of operation of all departments.
The county motto is "The noblest motive is the public good." County government offices are housed in the historic County Administration Building, constructed in 1935-1938 with funding from the Works Progress Administration.
Voter registration statistics
|Population and registered voters|
|Registered voters[note 1]||1,575,770||51.5%|
|Peace and Freedom||4,098||0.3%|
|No party preference||404,114||25.6%|
Cities by population and voter registration
|Cities by population and voter registration|
|Democratic||Republican||D–R spread||Other||No party preference|
|2012||45.2% 536,406||52.7% 626,373||2.1% 25,270|
|2008||44.1% 539,939||54.3% 664,685||1.7% 19,270|
|2004||52.5% 596,033||46.4% 526,437||1.1% 12,378|
|2000||49.6% 475,736||45.7% 437,666||4.7% 45,232|
|1996||45.8% 402,876||44.1% 389,964||10.3% 91,311|
|1992||35.7% 352,125||37.2% 367,397||27.1% 267,124|
|1988||60.2% 523,143||38.3% 333,264||1.5% 12,788|
|1984||65.3% 502,344||33.4% 257,029||1.3% 9,894|
|1980||60.8% 435,910||27.3% 195,410||11.9% 85,546|
|1976||55.7% 353,302||41.6% 263,654||2.7% 16,839|
|1972||61.8% 371,627||34.3% 206,455||3.8% 23,055|
|1968||56.3% 261,540||36.1% 167,669||7.7% 35,654|
|1964||50.3% 214,445||49.7% 211,808||0.0% 33|
|1960||56.4% 233,045||43.3% 171,259||0.3% 1,106|
|1956||64.5% 195,742||35.2% 106,716||0.4% 1,147|
|1952||63.5% 186,091||35.9% 105,255||0.6% 1,688|
|1948||49.4% 101,552||47.8% 98,217||2.8% 5,690|
|1944||45.4% 75,746||53.9% 89,959||0.6% 1,059|
|1940||43.3% 55,434||55.6% 71,188||1.2% 1,488|
|1936||35.0% 35,686||63.5% 64,628||1.5% 1,540|
|1932||41.5% 35,305||53.6% 45,622||5.0% 4,223|
|1928||67.1% 47,769||32.0% 22,749||0.9% 633|
|1924||49.0% 22,726||6.4% 2,944||44.7% 20,721|
|1920||63.8% 19,826||27.3% 8,478||9.0% 2,783|
San Diego County has historically been thought of as a Republican stronghold. The Republican presidential nominee carried the county in every presidential election from 1948 through 2004, except in 1992 when Bill Clinton won a plurality. In 2008, Barack Obama became the first Democratic presidential candidate to win a majority of votes in San Diego County since World War II; he won a majority of county votes again in 2012.
|2010||49.8% 452,205||44.0% 399,845|
|2006||65.5% 509,059||30.2% 234,938|
|2003||59.5% 485,563||23.6% 192,605|
|2002||51.7% 342,095||40.6% 268,278|
|1998||46.3% 340,834||49.5% 364,169|
|1994||63.4% 477,439||32.0% 240,937|
|1990||57.1% 383,959||36.4% 244,759|
|1986||65.2% 381,094||31.5% 184,395|
|1982||52.8% 330,037||44.6% 279,113|
|1978||35.9% 197,167||57.5% 316,223|
|1974||54.2% 249,444||42.8% 196,930|
|1970||60.1% 253,378||37.5% 158,098|
|1966||63.8% 252,070||36.2% 142,890|
|1962||55.8% 201,969||42.4% 153,389|
The city of San Diego itself is more Democratic than the county's average and has voted for Democrats Clinton, Gore, Kerry, and Obama, respectively, in the last six presidential elections. In the 2004 presidential election, San Diego, Encinitas, National City, Del Mar, and some other areas voted for John Kerry; San Marcos, Escondido, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Coronado, Santee, Poway, El Cajon, and Vista overwhelmingly backed George W. Bush. Chula Vista, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, Solana Beach, and Imperial Beach are considered swing areas of the county – Chula Vista and Imperial Beach narrowly backed Al Gore in 2000 but narrowly voted for Bush in 2004, while Solana Beach switched from Bush in 2000 to Kerry in 2004. La Mesa narrowly voted for Bush both times, and Lemon Grove narrowly went Democratic both times. However, all of these swing areas as well as Oceanside voted for Obama in 2008.
One unique feature of the political scene is the use of Golden Hall, a convention facility next to San Diego's City Hall, as "Election Central." The County Registrar of Voters rents the hall to distribute election results. Supporters and political observers gather to watch the results come in; supporters of the various candidates parade around the hall, carrying signs and chanting; candidates give their victory and concession speeches and host parties for campaign volunteers and donors at the site; and television stations broadcast live from the floor of the convention center. The atmosphere at Election Central on the evening of election day has been compared to the voting portion of a political party national convention.
In the House of Representatives, all of California's 50th, 52nd, and 53rd districts and parts of the 49th and 51st districts are in the county. The seats are held by Republicans Darrell Issa (49th district) and Duncan D. Hunter (50th district) and Democrats Juan Vargas (51st district), Scott Peters (52nd district), and Susan Davis (53rd district).
In the State Assembly, parts of the 71st and 75th districts and all of the 76th-80th districts are in the county. As of January 2013 assemblymembers are: District 71, Brian W. Jones (R); District 75, Marie Waldron (R); District 76, Rocky J. Chavez (R); District 77, Brian Maienschein (R); District 78, Toni Atkins (D); District 79, Shirley Weber (D); and District 80, Lorena Gonzalez (D). 
In the State Senate, all of the 39th district and parts of the 36th, 38th and 40th districts are in the county. As of January 2013 senators are: District 36, Joel Anderson (R); District 38, Mark Wyland (R); District 39, Marty Block (D); and District 40, Ben Hueso (D).
On Nov. 4, 2008 San Diego County voted 53.8% for Proposition 8 which amended the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriages, thus restoring Proposition 22 which was overturned by a ruling from the California Supreme Court. However the city of San Diego, along with Del Mar, Encinitas, and Solana Beach, voted against Proposition 8.
According to the San Diego County Registrar of Voters, as of June 2013, there are 1,556,739 registered voters in San Diego County. Of those, 547,897 (35.2%) are registered Democratic, 526,306 (33.8%) are registered Republican, 51,993 (3.3%) are registered American Independence Party, 11,657 (0.7%) are registered Libertarian, 7,675 (0.5%) are registered Green, 4,012 (0.3%) are registered Peace & Freedom and 401,340 (25.8%) declined to state a political party.
Metropolitan Statistical Area
The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated San Diego County as the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. The United States Census Bureau has ranked the San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area as the 17th most populous metropolitan statistical area and the 18th most populous primary statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012. Greater San Diego ranks as the 38th largest metropolitan area in the Americas.
The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense.
|Population and crime rates|
|Motor vehicle theft||13,938||4.55|
Cities by population and crime rates
|Cities by population and crime rates|
|City||Population||Violent crimes||Violent crime rate
per 1,000 persons
|Property crimes||Property crime rate
per 1,000 persons
Despite having a per capita income that ranks between the Los Angeles metropolitan area and the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego County has relatively few places with a both a high population and levels of income significantly higher than its state and the United States. The San Diego metropolitan area only has two places with a both a population of over 50,000 per capita income of over $40,000: Carlsbad and Encinitas. In contrast, the Los Angeles metropolitan area has 10 and the San Francisco Bay Area has 12. (See California locations by income.) Even when controlling for population, the San Diego metropolitan area has unusually few large areas with high per capita incomes compared to the state's other two major metropolitan areas. This is because much of the county's high-income residents are concentrated in the northern part of the city of San Diego, which is reported as one unit for most demographic purposes.
The county's largest continuous high-income urban area has the appearance of a triangle constructed from a first point on the northern edge of Carlsbad, a second point southeast of Escondido, and a third point on the southern edge of La Jolla. The region is pictured to the right. It contains all or most of the cities of Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Del Mar, and Poway in addition to a substantial portion of northern San Diego.
|Population, race, and income|
|Black or African American||154,076||5.0%|
|American Indian or Alaska Native||20,597||0.7%|
|Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander||14,266||0.5%|
|Some other race||220,000||7.2%|
|Two or more races||135,992||4.4%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||967,858||31.6%|
|Per capita income||$30,955|
|Median household income||$63,857|
|Median family income||$74,633|
Places by population, race, and income
|Places by population and race|
|Asian||Black or African
|Hispanic or Latino
(of any race)
|Camp Pendleton North||CDP||6,948||65.7%||14.8%||4.3%||11.1%||4.1%||24.3%|
|Camp Pendleton South||CDP||11,193||61.0%||23.4%||3.5%||11.8%||0.3%||25.4%|
|Casa de Oro-Mount Helix||CDP||18,498||84.2%||4.4%||3.0%||7.8%||0.7%||17.1%|
|Lake San Marcos||CDP||5,240||86.7%||10.0%||2.0%||1.0%||0.2%||10.9%|
|Rancho San Diego||CDP||21,495||82.4%||7.7%||4.7%||5.1%||0.1%||15.2%|
|Rancho Santa Fe||CDP||3,128||93.9%||3.6%||1.9%||0.0%||0.6%||6.2%|
|San Diego Country Estates||CDP||10,392||91.1%||4.6%||1.5%||1.5%||1.3%||11.0%|
|Places by population and income|
|Place||Type||Population||Per capita income||Median household income||Median family income|
|Camp Pendleton North||CDP||6,948||$17,401||$38,167||$38,062|
|Camp Pendleton South||CDP||11,193||$16,311||$50,457||$51,189|
|Casa de Oro-Mount Helix||CDP||18,498||$41,613||$86,109||$97,319|
|Lake San Marcos||CDP||5,240||$37,429||$45,888||$67,045|
|Rancho San Diego||CDP||21,495||$40,776||$89,604||$103,677|
|Rancho Santa Fe||CDP||3,128||$104,522||$193,913||$194,402|
|San Diego Country Estates||CDP||10,392||$34,728||$96,069||$100,694|
The 2010 United States Census reported that San Diego County had a population of 3,095,313. The racial makeup of San Diego County was 1,981,442 (64.0%) White, 158,213 (5.1%) African American, 26,340 (0.9%) Native American, 336,091 (10.9%) Asian (4.7% Filipino, 1.6% Chinese, 1.4% Vietnamese, 0.8% Indian, 0.7% Korean, 0.6% Japanese, 0.2% Laotian, 0.2% Cambodian, 0.2% Thai, 0.5% Other Asian), 15,337 (0.5%) Pacific Islander, 419,465 (13.6%) from other races, and 158,425 (5.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 991,348 persons (32.0%).
|Population reported at 2010 United States Census|
(of any race)
|San Diego County||3,177,063||1,981,442||158,213||26,340||336,091||15,337||419,465||158,425||991,348|
(of any race)
(of any race)
|Camp Pendleton North||10,616||7,530||992||146||299||41||725||883||2,586|
|Camp Pendleton South||2,684||2,083||114||90||31||6||248||112||794|
|Casa de Oro-Mount Helix||18,762||14,881||1,108||89||593||96||996||999||3,235|
|Lake San Marcos||4,437||3,978||37||20||133||3||186||80||464|
|Rancho San Diego||21,208||17,535||817||105||940||56||739||1,016||3,117|
|Rancho Santa Fe||3,117||2,910||10||1||87||4||45||60||176|
|San Diego Country Estates||10,109||9,107||91||90||147||34||276||364||1,126|
(of any race)
|All others not CDPs (combined)||161,717||117,868||5,163||5,149||10,820||534||15,668||6,515||36,431|
As of 2009 Census Bureau estimates, there were 3,053,793 people, 1,067,846 households, and 663,449 families residing in the county. The population density was 670 people per square mile (259/km²). There were 1,142,245 housing units at an average density of 248 per square mile (96/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 79.4% White American, 5.6% Black or African American, 1% Native American, 10.4% Asian, 0.5% Pacific Islander, 10.3% from other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. 31.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 67.0% spoke only English at home; 21.9% spoke Spanish, 3.1% Tagalog and 1.2% Vietnamese.
In 2000 there were 994,677 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.29.
In the county the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 11.30% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 19.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 101.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.7 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $47,067, and the median income for a family was $53,438. Males had a median income of $36,952 versus $30,356 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,926. About 8.9% of families and 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 6.8% of those age 65 or over.
In 2000, only about 3% of San Diego County residents left the county for work while 40,000 people commuted into the metropolitan area.
- National Register of Historic Places listings in San Diego County, California
- List of school districts in San Diego County, California
- List of high schools in San Diego County, California
- List of breweries in San Diego County, California
- List of museums in San Diego County, California
- Southern Border region of California
- List of United States counties
- Percentage of registered voters with respect to total population. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.
- Only larceny-theft cases involving property over $400 in value are reported as property crimes.
- Other = Some other race + Two or more races
- Native American = Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander + American Indian or Alaska Native
||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (May 2010)|
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- Ibid. 207
- Ibid. 113
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- Data unavailable
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- County of San Diego Official Website
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- San Diego County Water Authority Map
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