San Diego County, California
San Diego County
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||4,526 sq mi (11,720 km2)|
|• Land||4,207 sq mi (10,900 km2)|
|• Water||319 sq mi (830 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. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,095,313. making it the second-most populous county in California and the fifth-most populous in the United States. Its county seat is San Diego, the eighth-most populous city in the United States. It is the south-westernmost county in the 48 contiguous United States.
San Diego County comprises the San Diego-Carlsbad, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is also part of the San Diego–Tijuana metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area shared between the United States and Mexico.
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.
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.
- History 1
- Climate 2.1
- Adjacent counties and municipalities 2.2
- National protected areas 2.3
- State parks and protected areas 2.4
- Mountains 2.5
- Bays and lagoons 2.6
- Lakes 2.7
- Rivers 2.8
- Major highways 3.1
- Border crossings to Mexico 3.2
- Railroads 3.3
- Light rail and local transit 3.4
- The Port of San Diego 3.5
- Airports 3.6
Law, government and politics 4
- Government 4.1
- Federal and state representation 4.2.1
Voter registration statistics 4.2.2
- Cities by population and voter registration 22.214.171.124
- Cities by population and crime rates 5.1
- Places by population, race, and income 6.1.1
- 2010 6.2
- 2009 6.3
- 2000 6.4
- 2011 6.1
- Metropolitan Statistical Area 7
- Education 8
- Tourism 9.1
- U.S. Navy 10.1
- U.S. Marine Corps 10.2
- U.S. Coast Guard 10.3
- Sports 11.1
- Sites of interest 11.2
- Newspapers 12.1
- Other media 12.2
- Cities 13.1
- Unincorporated communities 13.2
- Indian reservations 13.3
- See also 14
- Notes 15
- References 16
- Further reading 17
- External links 18
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 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 U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 4,526 square miles (11,720 km2), of which 4,207 square miles (10,900 km2) is land and 319 square miles (830 km2) (7.0%) 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 are the May 2014 San Diego County wildfires; before them was the Witch Creek Fire in 2007 and the Cedar Fire in 2003. 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, extremes 1874–present)|
|Record high °F (°C)||
|Average high °F (°C)||
|Average low °F (°C)||
|Record low °F (°C)||
|Rainfall inches (mm)||
|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|
|Percent possible sunshine||75||74||70||71||58||57||70||71||68||69||73||74||69|
|Source: NOAA (sun and relative humidity 1961–1990)|
Adjacent 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 (part)
- 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
There are 236 mountain summits and peaks in San Diego County including:
Bays and lagoons
- 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
- Santa Margarita River
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
- 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)
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 Center Building, constructed in 1935-1938 with funding from the Works Progress Administration.
San Diego County has historically been 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.
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 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.
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.
Federal and state representation
In the United States House of Representatives, San Diego County is split between 5 congressional districts:
- California's 49th congressional district, represented by Republican Darrell Issa
- California's 50th congressional district, represented by Republican Duncan D. Hunter
- California's 51st congressional district, represented by Democrat Juan Vargas
- California's 52nd congressional district, represented by Democrat Scott Peters and
- California's 53rd congressional district, represented by Democrat Susan Davis.
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).
Voter registration statistics
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.
|Population and registered voters|
|Registered voters[note 1]||1,530,462||50.0%|
|Peace and Freedom||4,140||0.3%|
|No party preference||412807||27.0%|
Cities by population and voter registration
|Cities by population and voter registration|
|Democratic||Republican||D–R spread||Other||No party preference|
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|
Violent crime rate
per 1,000 persons
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|
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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.
- 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, is ranked 23rd in the country (by daily circulation) as of March 2013. 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.
- 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
- Manzanita Reservation
- 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
- 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
- Official precipitation records for San Diego were kept at the Weather Bureau Office in downtown from October 1850 to December 1859 at the Mission San Diego and from November 1871 to June 1939 and a variety of buildings at downtown, and at San Diego Int'l (Lindbergh Field) since July 1939. Temperature records, however, only date from October 1874. For more information on data coverage, see ThreadEx
- "Chronology". California Counties. California State Association of Counties. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- climate map
-  Economics
- kumeyaay website
- San Diego Historical Society
- Journal of San Diego History, October 1967
- Coy, Owen C.; PhD (1923). California County Boundaries. Berkeley: California Historical Commission. p. 221.
- Ibid. 207
- Ibid. 113
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".
- Gerber, James ed. Economic Profile of the San Diego-Tijuana Region: Characteristics for Investment and Governance Decisions. Institute for Regional Studies of the Californias. 1995. p.11
- The California Chaparral Field Institute
- M. Kottek; J. Grieser; C. Beck; B. Rudolf; F. Rubel (2006). "World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated". Meteorol. Z. 15: 259–263.
- "Monthly Averages for San Diego, CA".
- "Monthly Averages for El Cajon, CA".
- Conner, Glen. History of weather observations San Diego, California 1849—1948. Climate Database Modernization Program, NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. pp. 7–8.
- "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data".
- "San Diego/Lindbergh Field CA Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved May 14, 2013.
- San Diego National Wildlife Refuge Complex website
- California Government Code § 23004
- "About County Government". Guide to Government. League of Women Voters of California. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
- "Supervisor's shameless self-preservation". San Diego Union Tribune. June 30, 2011. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
- Orr, Katie (June 9, 2010). "Voters Approve Term Limits for Supervisors". KPBS. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
- Perry, Tony (November 23, 2012). "Dave Roberts brings diversity to the San Diego County supervisors". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
- "The County Administration Center". San Diego County webpage. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Libby, Sarah (November 5, 2012). "Where to Find Us on Election Day". Voice of San Diego. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
- Amid the celebrations, farewell | The San Diego Union-Tribune
- San Diego County Proposition 8 Results by Community
- "Counties by County and by District". California Citizens Redistricting Commission. Retrieved September 24, 2014.
- "State Assemblymember". General Election, Tuesday, November 5, 2012. California Secretary of State. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B02001. American FactFinder. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- "Report of Registration - State Reporting Districts". sdvote.com. County of San Diego. 6 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
- Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice, State of California. Table 11: Crimes – 2009. Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime in the United States, 2012, Table 8 (California). Retrieved November 14, 2013.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Tables B01003 and B19025. American FactFinder. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B03003. American FactFinder. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19301. American FactFinder. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19013. American FactFinder. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19113. American FactFinder. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. American FactFinder. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B01003. American FactFinder. Retrieved October 21, 2013.
- Data unavailable
- "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data".
- San Diego County Commute
- "OMB Bulletin No. 13-01: Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of the Delineations of These Areas".
- "Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012" (
- "Table 2. Annual Estimates of the Population of Combined Statistical Areas: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012" (
- San Diego County Board of Education
- County of San Diego: San Diego County Library. Sdcl.org (2007-09-30). Retrieved on 2014-05-24.
- San Diego County Library: Annual Report FY 2009-2010. Dbpcosdcsgt.co.san-diego.ca.us (2009-09-21). Retrieved on 2014-05-24.
- Lewis, Connie (September 27, 2004). "Cruise Ships Face Stiffer Anti-Pollution Policies". San Diego Business Journal. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
- San Diego Metro Magazine
- "San Diego Economy". CityData.com.
- Estes, Kenneth W. (1999). The Marine Officer's Guide – Sixth Edition. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. p. 176.
- "Top 25 U.S. Newspapers for March 2013". Alliance for Audited Media. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
- "U-T Buys North County Times and Californian". San Diego Business Journal. September 10, 2012. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
- Horn, Jonathan (November 1, 2013). "U-T buys 8 local community newspapers". San Diego Union Tribune. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- "About CTN". San Diego County. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
- University of San Diego
- Pryde, Philip R. San Diego: An Introduction to the Region (4th ed. 2004), a historical geography
- Official Travel Resource for the San Diego Region
- Official website
- San Diego Geographic Information Source Website
- San Diego County Water Authority Map
- California State Association of Counties (CSAC)