San Diego

Coordinates: 32°42′54″N 117°09′45″W / 32.71500°N 117.16250°W / 32.71500; -117.16250
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San Diego
California Tower at Balboa Park
Strong Mayor[3]
 • BodySan Diego City Council
 • MayorTodd Gloria (D)
 • City AttorneyMara Elliott (D)[4]
 • City Council[5]

D-District 9
 • State Assembly Members

D-80th District
 • State Senators
FIPS code
GNIS feature IDs1661377, 2411782

San Diego (

San Diego County, which has a population of nearly 3.3 million people as of 2021.[14] San Diego is known for its mild year-round Mediterranean climate, extensive beaches and parks, its long association with the United States Navy, and its recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology
development center.

Historically home to the Kumeyaay Native Americans, San Diego has been referred to as the Birthplace of California, since it was the first site visited and settled by Europeans on what is now the West Coast of the United States.[15] Upon landing in San Diego Bay in 1542, Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the area for Spain, forming the basis for the settlement of Alta California 200 years later. The Presidio and Mission San Diego de Alcalá, founded in 1769, formed the first European settlement in what is now California. In 1821, San Diego became part of the newly declared Mexican Empire, which reformed as the First Mexican Republic two years later. California was conquered by the U.S. in 1848 following the Mexican–American War and was admitted to the union as a state in 1850.

San Diego's main economic engines are military and defense-related activities, tourism, international trade, research, and manufacturing. The city is the economic center of the San Diego–Tijuana conurbation, the second-most populous transborder metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere (after Detroit–Windsor), home to an estimated 4.9 million people as of 2012.[16] The primary border crossing between San Diego and Tijuana, the San Ysidro Port of Entry, is the busiest international land border crossing in the world outside of Asia (fourth-busiest overall). The city's airport, San Diego International Airport, is the busiest single-runway airport in the world.[17]



San Diego's name can be traced back to the 16th century when Spanish explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno bestowed it upon the area in 1602. He named the bay and the surrounding area "San Diego de Alcalá" in honor of Saint Didacus of Alcalá.[18]

Kumeyaay Toponymy

Prior to the Spanish establishment of San Diego, the Kumeyaay town was called Kosa'aay, meaning "drying out place" in the Kumeyaay language.[19] After the establishment of San Diego, the Kumeyaay called town and city Tepacul Watai, meaning "Stacked Big".[20] Luiseño speakers in the North County region called it Pushuyi.[21]


Pre-colonial period

, referred to by the Spanish as Diegueños, have inhabited the area for thousands of years.

What has been referred to as the San Dieguito complex was established in the area at least 9,000 years ago.[22] The Kumeyaay may have culturally evolved from this complex or migrated into the area around 1000 C.E.[23] Archaeologist Malcolm Rogers hypothesized that the early cultures of San Diego were separate from the Kumeyaay, yet this claim is disputed, with others noting that it does not account for cultural evolution.[24] Rogers later reevaluated his claims, yet they were influential in shaping historical tellings of early San Diego history.[24]

The Kumeyaay established villages scattered across the region, including the village of Kosa'aay which was the Kumeyaay village that the future settlement of San Diego would stem from in today's Old Town.[19][25] The village of Kosa'aay was made up of thirty to forty families living in pyramid-shaped housing structures and was supported by a freshwater spring from the hillsides.[19]

Spanish period

Portuguese explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo landing in San Diego Bay in 1542, claiming California for the Spanish Empire

The first European to visit the region was explorer

Spaniard more commonly known as San Diego de Alcalá. On November 12, 1602, the first Christian religious service of record in Alta California was conducted by Friar Antonio de la Ascensión, a member of Vizcaíno's expedition, to celebrate the feast day of San Diego.[18]

The permanent

Gaspar de Portolà and including the mission president (and now saint) Junípero Serra.[27]


In May 1769, Portolà established the Fort Presidio of San Diego on a hill near the San Diego River above the Kumeyaay village of Cosoy,[19] which would later become incorporated into the Spanish settlement,[25] making it the first settlement by Europeans in what is now the state of California. In July of the same year, Mission San Diego de Alcalá was founded by Franciscan friars under Serra.[28][29] The mission became a site for a Kumeyaay revolt in 1775, which forced the mission to relocate six miles (10 km) up the San Diego River.[30] By 1797, the mission boasted the largest native population in Alta California, with over 1,400 neophytes living in and around the mission proper.[31] Mission San Diego was the southern anchor in Alta California of the historic mission trail El Camino Real. Both the Presidio and the Mission are National Historic Landmarks.[32][33]

Mexican period


In 1821, Mexico won its independence from Spain, and San Diego became part of the Mexican territory of Alta California. In 1822, Mexico began its attempt to extend its authority over the coastal territory of Alta California. The fort on Presidio Hill was gradually abandoned, while the town of San Diego grew up on the level land below Presidio Hill. The Mission was secularized by the Mexican government in 1834, and most of the Mission lands were granted to former soldiers. The 432 residents of the town petitioned the governor to form a pueblo, and Juan María Osuna was elected the first alcalde ("municipal magistrate"), defeating Pío Pico in the vote. Beyond the town, Mexican land grants expanded the number of California ranchos that modestly added to the local economy. (See, List of pre-statehood mayors of San Diego.)

However, San Diego had been losing population throughout the 1830s, due to increasing tension between the settlers and the indigenous Kumeyaay and in 1838 the town lost its pueblo status because its size dropped to an estimated 100 to 150 residents.[34] The ranchos in the San Diego region would face Kumeyaay raids in the late 1830s and the town itself would face raids in the 1840s.[35]

Americans gained an increased awareness of California, and its commercial possibilities, from the writings of two countrymen involved in the often officially forbidden, to foreigners, but economically significant hide and tallow trade, where San Diego was a major port and the only one with an adequate harbor: William Shaler's "Journal of a Voyage Between China and the North-Western Coast of America, Made in 1804" and Richard Henry Dana's more substantial and convincing account, of his 1834–36 voyage, the classic Two Years Before the Mast.[36]

Casa de Estudillo, built 1827, is one of San Diego's oldest buildings and served as inspiration for Helen Hunt Jackson's 1884 novel Ramona.

In 1846, the United States went to war against Mexico and sent a naval and land

Archibald Gillespie to march north to meet him. Their joint command of 150 men, returning to San Diego, encountered about 93 Californios under Andrés Pico


In the ensuing

San Pasqual Valley which is now part of the city of San Diego, the Americans suffered their worst losses in the campaign. Subsequently, a column led by Lieutenant Gray arrived from San Diego, rescuing Kearny's battered and blockaded command.[37] Stockton and Kearny went on to recover Los Angeles and force the capitulation of Alta California with the "Treaty of Cahuenga" on January 13, 1847. As a result of the Mexican–American War of 1846–48, the territory of Alta California, including San Diego, was ceded to the United States by Mexico, under the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. The Mexican negotiators of that treaty tried to retain San Diego as part of Mexico, but the Americans insisted that San Diego was "for every commercial purpose of nearly equal importance to us with that of San Francisco", and the Mexican–American border was eventually established to be one league south of the southernmost point of San Diego Bay, so as to include the entire bay within the United States.[38]

American period

View of San Diego Bay following the U.S. conquest of California

The state of California was admitted to the United States in 1850. That same year San Diego was designated the seat of the newly established County of San Diego and was incorporated as a city.

Joshua H. Bean, the last alcalde of San Diego, was elected the first mayor. Two years later the city was bankrupt;[39] the California legislature revoked the city's charter and placed it under control of a board of trustees, where it remained until 1889. A city charter was reestablished in 1889, and today's city charter was adopted in 1931.[40]

The original town of San Diego was located at the foot of Presidio Hill, in the area which is now

San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line, the earliest overland stagecoach and mail operation from the Eastern United States to California, coming from Texas through New Mexico Territory in less than 30 days.[41]

Horton Plaza honors Alonzo Horton, who helped develop Downtown

In the late 1860s,

John J. Montgomery
made the first controlled flights by an American in a heavier-than-air unpowered glider just south of San Diego at Otay Mesa, helping to pioneer a new science of aerodynamics.

In 1912, San Diego was the site of a

In 1916, the neighborhood of Stingaree, the original home of San Diego's first Chinatown and "Soapbox Row", was demolished by anti-vice campaigners to make way for the Gaslamp Quarter.[46]

Hand drawn illustration of Balboa Park
Balboa Park was built for the Panama-California Exposition of 1915.

In the early part of the 20th century, San Diego hosted the

Panama-California Exposition (1915) and the California Pacific International Exposition in 1935. Both expositions were held in Balboa Park, and many of the Spanish/Baroque-style buildings that were built for those expositions remain to this day as central features of the park. The buildings were intended to be temporary structures, but most remained in continuous use until they progressively fell into disrepair. Most were eventually rebuilt, using castings of the original façades to retain the architectural style.[47] The menagerie of exotic animals featured at the 1915 exposition provided the basis for the San Diego Zoo.[48] During the 1950s there was a citywide festival called Fiesta del Pacifico highlighting the area's Spanish and Mexican past.[49] In the 2010s there was a proposal for a large-scale celebration of the 100th anniversary of Balboa Park, but the plans were abandoned when the organization tasked with putting on the celebration went out of business.[50]

The southern portion of the

The Spirit of St. Louis was built in San Diego in 1927 by Ryan Airlines.[53]

Downtown San Diego, c. 1903


Japan surrendered five weeks earlier.[56][57][58]

After World War II, the military continued to play a major role in the local economy, but post-Cold War cutbacks took a heavy toll on the local defense and aerospace industries. The resulting downturn led San Diego leaders to seek to diversify the city's economy by focusing on research and science, as well as tourism.[59]

Starting in the 1980s, many areas of Downtown, such as the Marina District, underwent redevelopment.

From the start of the 20th century through the 1970s, the American

Portuguese Azores and Italy whose influence is still felt in neighborhoods like Little Italy and Point Loma.[61][62] Due to rising costs and foreign competition, the last of the canneries closed in the early 1980s.[63]

Downtown San Diego was in decline in the 1960s and 1970s, but experienced some urban renewal since the early 1980s, including the opening of

Gaslamp Quarter, and the construction of the San Diego Convention Center; Petco Park opened in 2004.[64] Outside of downtown, San Diego annexed large swaths of land and for suburban expansion to the north and control of the San Ysidro Port of Entry

As the Cold War ended, the military shrank and so did defense spending. San Diego has since become a center of the emerging biotech industry and is home to telecommunications giant Qualcomm. San Diego had also grown in the tourism industry with the popularity of attractions such as the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego, and Legoland California in Carlsbad.[citation needed]


San Diego-Tijuana area, a transborder agglomeration straddling the Mexico–United States border in the Californias

According to SDSU professor emeritus Monte Marshall, San Diego Bay is "the surface expression of a north-south-trending, nested graben". The Rose Canyon and Point Loma fault zones are part of the San Andreas Fault system. About 40 miles (64 km) east of the bay are the Laguna Mountains in the Peninsular Ranges, which are part of the backbone of the American continents.[65]

The city lies on approximately 200 deep canyons and hills separating its mesas, creating small pockets of natural open space scattered throughout the city and giving it a hilly geography.[66] Traditionally, San Diegans have built their homes and businesses on the mesas, while leaving the urban canyons relatively wild.[67] Thus, the canyons give parts of the city a segmented feel, creating gaps between otherwise proximate neighborhoods and contributing to a low-density, car-centered environment. The San Diego River runs through the middle of San Diego from east to west, creating a river valley that serves to divide the city into northern and southern segments. During the historic period and presumably earlier as well, the river has shifted its flow back and forth between San Diego Bay and Mission Bay, and its fresh water was the focus of the earliest Spanish explorers. Miguel Costansó, a cartographer, wrote in 1769, "When asked by signs where the watering-place was, the Indians pointed to a grove which could be seen at a considerable distance to the northeast, giving to understand that a river or creek flowed through it, and that they would lead our men to it if they would follow."[68][69] That river was the San Diego River.[68] Several reservoirs and Mission Trails Regional Park also lie between and separate developed areas of the city.

Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Notable peaks within the city limits include Cowles Mountain, the highest point in the city at 1,591 feet (485 m);[8] Black Mountain at 1,558 feet (475 m); and Mount Soledad at 824 feet (251 m). The Cuyamaca Mountains and Laguna Mountains rise to the east of the city, and beyond the mountains are desert areas. The Cleveland National Forest is a half-hour drive from downtown San Diego. Numerous farms are found in the valleys northeast and southeast of the city.

In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, The Trust for Public Land reported that San Diego had the 9th-best park system among the 50 most populous U.S. cities.[70] ParkScore ranks city park systems by a formula that analyzes acreage, access, and service and investment.


San Diego
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Metric conversion
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm

San Diego has one of the top-ten best climates in the United States, according to the

hot-summer Mediterranean climate[76] (Csa).[77] San Diego's climate is characterized by warm, dry summers and mild winters, with most of the annual precipitation falling between December and March. The city has a mild climate year-round,[78]
with an average of 201 days above 70 °F (21 °C) and low rainfall (9–13 inches [230–330 mm] annually).

The climate in San Diego, like most of Southern California, often varies significantly over short geographical distances, resulting in microclimates. In San Diego, this is mostly because of 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" cloud cover keeps the air cool and damp within a few miles of the coast, but yields to bright cloudless sunshine approximately 5–10 miles (8–16 km) inland.[79] Sometimes the June gloom lasts into July, causing cloudy skies over most of San Diego for the entire day.[80][81] Even in the absence of June gloom, inland areas 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 12 miles (19 km) inland from downtown San Diego, averages January lows of 42 °F (6 °C) and August highs of 88 °F (31 °C).

The average surface temperature of the water at Scripps Pier in the California Current has increased by almost 3 °F (1.7 °C) since 1950, according to scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.[82] Additionally, the mean minimum is now above 40 °F (4 °C), putting San Diego in hardiness zone 11, with the last freeze having occurred many decades ago.

Surfers at Pacific Beach

Annual rainfall along the coast averages 10.65 inches (271 mm) and the median is 9.6 inches (240 mm).[83] The months of December through March supply most of the rain, with February the only month averaging 2 inches (51 mm) or more. The months of May through September tend to be almost completely dry. Although there are few wet days per month during the rainy period, rainfall can be heavy when it does fall. Rainfall is usually greater in the higher elevations of San Diego; some of the higher areas can receive 11–15 inches (280–380 mm) per year. Variability from year to year can be dramatic: in the wettest years of 1883/1884 and 1940/1941, more than 24 inches (610 mm) fell, whilst in the driest years there was as little as 3.2 inches (80 mm). The wettest month on record is December 1921 with 9.21 inches (234 mm).

Snow in the city is rare, having been observed only six times in the century-and-a-half that records have been kept. In 1949 and 1967, snow remained on the ground for a few hours in higher locations like Point Loma and La Jolla. The other three occasions, in 1882, 1946, and 1987, involved flurries but no accumulation.[84] On February 21, 2019, snow fell and accumulated in residential areas of the city, but none fell in the downtown area.[85]

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 88
Mean maximum °F (°C) 78.8
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 66.4
Daily mean °F (°C) 58.4
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 50.3
Mean minimum °F (°C) 43.7
Record low °F (°C) 25
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.98
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 6.5 7.1 6.2 3.8 2.2 0.7 0.7 0.3 0.9 2.4 3.7 5.8 40.3
relative humidity
63.1 65.7 67.3 67.0 70.6 74.0 74.6 74.1 72.7 69.4 66.3 63.7 69.0
Average dew point °F (°C) 42.8
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
NOAA (sun, relative humidity, and dew point 1961–1990)[87][88][89]
  1. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e. the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1991 to 2020.
  2. 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.[86] Temperature records, however, only date from October 1874. For more information on data coverage, see ThreadEx


View of Coronado from Cabrillo National Monument

Like much of

canyons. The chaparral and coastal sage scrub habitats in low elevations along the coast are prone to wildfire, and the rates of fire increased in the 20th century, due primarily to fires starting near the borders of urban and wild areas.[91]

San Diego's broad city limits encompass a number of large nature preserves, including

Torrey Pines State Reserve, Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve, and Mission Trails Regional Park. Torrey Pines State Reserve and a coastal strip continuing to the north constitute one of only two locations where the rare species of Torrey Pine, Pinus torreyana, is found.[92]
Due to the steep topography that prevents or discourages building, along with some efforts for preservation, there are also a large number of canyons within the city limits that serve as nature preserves, including Switzer Canyon, Tecolote Canyon Natural Park,[93] and Marian Bear Memorial Park in San Clemente Canyon,[94] as well as a number of small parks and preserves.

Cowles Mountain from Lake Murray
Serra Museum at Presidio Park

San Diego County has one of the highest counts of animal and plant species that appear on the

Audubon Society, and it is known as one of the "birdiest" areas in the United States.[97][98]

San Diego and its backcountry suffer from periodic wildfires. In October 2003, San Diego was the site of the


The City of San Diego recognizes 52 individual areas as Community Planning Areas.


Chula Vista. A narrow strip of land at the bottom of San Diego Bay connects these southern neighborhoods with the rest of the city.[103]

For the most part, San Diego neighborhood boundaries tend to be understood by its residents based on geographical boundaries like canyons and street patterns.[104] The city recognized the importance of its neighborhoods when it organized its 2008 General Plan around the concept of a "City of Villages".[105]


Aerial view of central San Diego

San Diego was originally centered on the Old Town district, but by the late 1860s the focus had shifted to the bayfront, in the belief that this new location would increase trade. As the "New Town" – present-day Downtown – waterfront location quickly developed, it eclipsed Old Town as the center of San Diego.[42]

The development of skyscrapers over 300 feet (91 m) in San Diego is attributed to the construction of the

super-talls, as a regulation put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration in the 1970s set a 500 feet (152 m) limit on the height of buildings within a one-mile (1.6 km) radius of the San Diego International Airport.[108] An iconic description of the skyline includes its skyscrapers being compared to the tools of a toolbox.[109]

There are several new high-rises under construction, including two that exceed 400 feet (122 m) in height.


Historical population
2023 (est.)1,368,395[110]−1.3%
Population History of Western
U.S. Cities & Towns, 1850–1990[55]
U.S. Decennial Census[111]
Historical racial composition 2020[112] 2010[113] 1990[114] 1970[114] 1940[114]
White (non-Hispanic) 40.7% 45.1% 58.7% 78.9%[a] n/a
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 29.7% 28.8% 20.7% 10.7%[a] n/a
17.6% 15.9% 11.8% 2.2% 1.0%
Black or African American
6.6% 6.7% 9.4% 7.6% 2.0%
  1. ^ a b From 15% sample


San Diego, California – Racial and ethnic composition
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2000[115] Pop 2010[116] Pop 2020[117] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
alone (NH)
603,892 589,702 565,128 49.36% 45.10% 40.75%
Black or African American
alone (NH)
92,830 82,497 77,542 7.59% 6.31% 5.59%
Alaska Native
alone (NH)
4,267 3,545 3,200 0.35% 0.27% 0.23%
Asian alone (NH) 164,895 204,347 243,428 13.48% 15.63% 17.55%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 5,311 5,178 4,887 0.43% 0.40% 0.35%
Other race alone (NH) 3,065 3,293 8,208 0.25% 0.25% 0.59%
Mixed race or Multiracial (NH) 38,388 42,820 73,243 3.14% 3.28% 5.28%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 310,752 376,020 411,286 25.40% 28.76% 29.65%
Total 1,223,400 1,307,402 1,386,932 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%


The city had a population of 1,307,402 according to the 2010 census, distributed over a land area of 372.1 square miles (963.7 km2).

San Diego metropolitan area
, which had a total population of 3,095,313 at the 2010 census.

The 2010 population represents an increase of just under 7% from the 1,223,400 people, 450,691 households, and 271,315 families reported in 2000.

Puerto Rican
. Median age of Hispanics was 27.5 years, compared to 35.1 years overall and 41.6 years among non-Hispanic whites; Hispanics were the largest group in all ages under 18, and non-Hispanic whites constituted 63.1% of population 55 and older.

Map of racial distribution in San Diego, 2010 U.S. Census. Each dot is 25 people:  White  Black  Asian  Hispanic  Other

As of January 2019, the San Diego City and County had the fifth-largest homeless population among major cities in the United States, with 8,102 people experiencing homelessness.[120] In the city of San Diego, 4,887 individuals were experiencing homelessness according to the 2020 count.[121] A recent article from The San Diego Union-Tribune by Blake Nelson, published on December 11, 2023, reports a notable decline in the homeless population in downtown San Diego, specifically in the urban core. According to data from the Downtown San Diego Partnership, the number of individuals living outside or in vehicles has reached a two-year low, standing at approximately 1,200 as of last month. The decrease is attributed to the implementation of the city's camping ban and the concerted efforts to establish new shelters. While enforcement has led to relatively few individuals being punished, the threat of legal consequences appears to have played a role in the reduction.[122]

In 2000 there were 451,126 households, out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% were non-families. Households made up of individuals account for 28.0%, and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61, and the average family size was 3.30.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2000, 24.0% of San Diego residents were under 18, and 10.5% were 65 and over.[113] As of 2011 the median age was 35.6; more than a quarter of residents were under age 20 and 11% were over age 65.[123] Millennials (ages 26 through 42) constitute 27.1% of San Diego's population, the second-highest percentage in a major U.S. city.[124] The San Diego County regional planning agency, SANDAG, provides tables and graphs breaking down the city population into five-year age groups.[125]

Barrio Logan is a Chicano cultural hub and ethnic enclave

In 2000, the

median income for a household in the city was $45,733, and the median income for a family was $53,060. Males had a median income of $36,984 versus $31,076 for females. The per capita income for the city was $35,199.[126] According to Forbes in 2005, San Diego was the fifth wealthiest U.S. city,[127] but about 10.6% of families and 14.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.0% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.[126] San Diego was rated the fifth-best place to live in the United States in 2006 by Money magazine,[128] and it was rated #6 in Best Big Cities in 2018.[129] As of January 1, 2008 estimates by the San Diego Association of Governments revealed that the household median income for San Diego rose to $66,715, up from $45,733 in 2000.[130]

San Diego was named the ninth-most

seventh-highest population of gay residents in the U.S. Additionally in 2013, San Diego State University (SDSU), one of the city's prominent universities, was named one of the top LGBT-friendly campuses in the nation.[132]
According to a 2014 study by the
Roman Catholic beliefs.[133][134] while 27% claim no religious affiliation. The same study says that other religions (including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism
) collectively make up about 5% of the population.

The majority of San Diego's foreign-born population are born in Mexico, the Philippines, China and Vietnam.[135]


U.S. military
One America Plaza is the tallest building in San Diego.

The largest sectors of San Diego's economy are

defense/military, tourism, international trade, and research/manufacturing.[136][137] In 2014, San Diego was designated by a Forbes columnist as the best city in the country to launch a small business or startup company.[138]
San Diego recorded a
median household income of $79,646 in 2018, an increase of 3.89% from $76,662 in 2017.[139] The median property value in San Diego in 2018 was $654,700,[139] and the average home has two cars per household.[139]

Top employers

According to the city's 2022 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report,[140] the top employers in the city are:

Employer No. of Employees
Naval Base San Diego 41,321
University of California, San Diego 37,064
Sharp Health Care 18,839
County of San Diego 16,744
Scripps Health 13,787
San Diego Unified School District 13,559
Qualcomm, Inc. 11,546
City of San Diego 11,466
Kaiser Permanente 9,632
Northrop Grumman Corporation

Defense and military

View of Naval Base San Diego

The economy of San Diego is influenced by

defense contractors were started and are headquartered in San Diego, including General Atomics, Cubic, and NASSCO.[142][143]

San Diego hosts the largest naval fleet in the world:[144] In 2008 it was home to 53 ships, over 120 tenant commands, and more than 35,000 sailors, marines, Department of Defense civilian employees and contractors.[145] About 5 percent of all civilian jobs in the county are military-related, and 15,000 businesses in San Diego County rely on Department of Defense contracts.[145]

Marine Corps Recruit Depot

Military bases in San Diego include

Marine Corps bases, and Coast Guard
stations. The city is "home to the majority of the U.S. Pacific Fleet's surface combatants, all of the Navy's West Coast amphibious ships and a variety of Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command vessels".[145][146]

The military infrastructure in San Diego is still growing and developing, with numerous military personnel stationed there, numbers of which are expected to rise. This plays a significant role in the city's economy, as of 2020, it provides roughly 25% of the GDP and provides 23% of the total jobs in San Diego.[147][148][149]


Casa de Balboa at Balboa Park is home to the San Diego History Center.

Tourism is a major industry owing to the city's climate,

beaches,[150] and tourist attractions such as Balboa Park, Belmont amusement park, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and SeaWorld San Diego. San Diego's Spanish and Mexican heritage is reflected in many historic sites across the city, such as Mission San Diego de Alcalá and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Also, the local craft brewing industry attracts an increasing number of visitors[151] for "beer tours" and the annual San Diego Beer Week in November;[152] San Diego has been called "America's Craft Beer Capital".[153]

San Diego County hosted more than 32 million visitors in 2012; collectively they spent an estimated $8 billion. The visitor industry provides employment for more than 160,000 people.[154]

San Diego's cruise ship industry used to be the second-largest in California. Numerous cruise lines operate out of San Diego. However, cruise ship business has been in decline since 2008, when the Port hosted over 250 ship calls and more than 900,000 passengers. By 2016–2017, the number of ship calls had fallen to 90.[155]

Local sightseeing cruises are offered in San Diego Bay and Mission Bay, as well as whale-watching cruises to observe the migration of

Sport fishing is another popular tourist attraction; San Diego is home to southern California's biggest sport fishing fleet.[157]

International trade

The Port of San Diego is the third-busiest port in California.

San Diego's commercial port and its location on the

Foreign Trade Zone.[158]

The city shares a 15-mile (24 km) border with Mexico that includes two border crossings. San Diego hosts the busiest international border crossing in the world, in the San Ysidro neighborhood at the

San Ysidro Port of Entry.[159] A second, primarily commercial border crossing operates in the Otay Mesa area; it is the largest commercial crossing on the California–Baja California border and handles the third-highest volume of trucks and dollar value of trade among all United States-Mexico land crossings.[160]

San Ysidro Port of Entry is the 4th-busiest border crossing in the world.


refrigerated and frozen storage, so that it can handle the import and export of many commodities.[161] In 2009 the Port of San Diego handled 1,137,054 short tons of total trade; foreign trade accounted for 956,637 short tons while domestic trade amounted to 180,417 short tons.[162]

Historically tuna fishing and canning was one of San Diego's major industries,[163] although the American tuna fishing fleet is no longer based in San Diego. Seafood company Bumble Bee Foods is headquartered in San Diego, as was Chicken of the Sea until 2018.[164][165]


The AT&T Building

San Diego hosts several major producers of wireless cellular technology.

Cricket Communications and Novatel Wireless.[169] San Diego also has the U.S. headquarters for the Slovakian security company ESET.[170] San Diego has been designated as an iHub Innovation Center for potential collaboration between wireless and the life sciences.[171]


Illumina and Neurocrine Biosciences are headquartered in San Diego, while many other biotech and pharmaceutical companies have offices or research facilities in San Diego. San Diego is also home to more than 140 contract research organizations (CROs) that provide contract services for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.[176]

Real estate

La Jolla is a highly valued real estate market in San Diego.

San Diego has high real estate prices. San Diego home prices peaked in 2005, and then declined along with the national trend. As of December 2010, prices were down 36 percent from the peak,

median price of homes having declined by more than $200,000 between 2005 and 2010.[178] As of May 2015, the median price of a house was $520,000.[179] In November 2018 the median home price was $558,000. The San Diego metropolitan area had one of the worst housing affordability rankings of all metropolitan areas in the United States in 2009.[180] The San Diego Housing Market experienced a decline in the median sold price of existing single-family homes between December 2022 and January 2023, with a 2.9% decrease from $850,000 to $824,950.[181] As of 2023, the majority of homes (nearly 60%) in San Diego are listed above $1 million, with the city's median home price at $910,000, ranking it fourth highest among the 30 largest U.S. cities.[182][183]

Consequently, San Diego has experienced negative net migration since 2004. A significant number of people have moved to adjacent Riverside County, commuting daily to jobs in San Diego, while others are leaving the area altogether and moving to more affordable regions.[184]


Local government

Todd Gloria is the current Mayor of San Diego.

The city is governed by a mayor and a nine-member city council. In 2006, its government changed from a

Secure Communities program.[187][188] As of 2011, the city had one employee for every 137 residents, with a payroll greater than $733 million.[189]

The members of the city council are each elected from single-member districts within the city. The mayor and city attorney are elected directly by the voters of the entire city. The mayor, city attorney, and council members are elected to four-year terms, with a two-term limit.[190] Elections are held on a non-partisan basis per California state law; nevertheless, most officeholders do identify themselves as either Democrats or Republicans. In 2007, registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by about 7 to 6 in the city,[191] and Democrats currently (as of 2022) hold an 8–1 majority in the city council. The current mayor, Todd Gloria, is a member of the Democratic Party.

County Administration Center, seat of San Diego County Government

San Diego is part of

, Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk, and Treasurer/Tax Collector.

Areas of the city immediately adjacent to San Diego Bay ("tidelands") are administered by the Port of San Diego, a quasi-governmental agency which owns all the property in the tidelands and is responsible for its land use planning, policing, and similar functions. San Diego is a member of the regional planning agency San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). Public schools within the city are managed and funded by independent school districts (see below).

After narrowly supporting Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, San Diego provided majorities to all six Republican presidential candidates from 1968 to 1988. However, in more recent decades, San Diego has trended in favor of Democratic presidential candidates for president. George H. W. Bush in 1988 is the last Republican candidate to carry San Diego in a presidential election.

State and federal representation

San Diego Hall of Justice

In the

40th districts,[193] represented by Catherine Blakespear (D), Toni Atkins (D), and Brian Jones (R
), respectively.

In the California State Assembly, lying partially within the city of San Diego are the 77th, 78th, 79th, and 80th districts,[194] represented by Tasha Boerner (D), Chris Ward (D), Akilah Weber (D), and David Alvarez (D), respectively.

In the United States House of Representatives, San Diego County includes parts or all of California's 48th, 49th, 50th, 51st, and 52nd congressional districts,[195] represented by Darrell Issa (R),Mike Levin (D), Scott Peters (D), Sara Jacobs (D), and Juan Vargas (D) respectively.


Weinberger U.S. Courthouse

San Diego was the site of the 1912 San Diego free speech fight, in which the city restricted speech, vigilantes brutalized and tortured anarchists, and the San Diego Police Department killed a member of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

In 1916,

Japanese American farmers died.[196]


conspiracy and 12 counts of perjury, related to the alleged failure to report all campaign contributions.[197][198] After a series of appeals, the 12 perjury counts were dismissed in 1990 based on claims of juror misconduct; the remaining conspiracy count was reduced to a misdemeanor and then dismissed.[199]

A 2002 scheme to underfund pensions for city employees led to the San Diego pension scandal. This resulted in the resignation of newly re-elected Mayor Dick Murphy[200] and the criminal indictment of six pension board members.[201] Those charges were finally dismissed by a federal judge in 2010.[202]

Carter-Keep U.S. Courthouse

On November 28, 2005, U.S. Congressman

California's 50th congressional district, which includes much of the northern portion of the city of San Diego. In 2006, Cunningham was sentenced to a 100-month prison sentence.[203]
He was released in 2013.

In 2005 two city council members,

conspiracy to commit wire fraud for taking campaign contributions from a strip club owner and his associates, allegedly in exchange for trying to repeal the city's "no touch" laws at strip clubs.[204] Both subsequently resigned. Inzunza was sentenced to 21 months in prison.[205] In 2009, a judge acquitted Zucchet on seven out of the nine counts against him, and granted his petition for a new trial on the other two charges;[206] the remaining charges were eventually dropped.[207]

In July 2013, three former supporters of mayor Bob Filner asked him to resign because of allegations of repeated sexual harassment.[208] Over the ensuing six weeks, 18 women came forward to publicly claim that Filner had sexually harassed them,[209] and multiple individuals and groups called for him to resign. Filner agreed to resign effective August 30, 2013, subsequently pleaded guilty to one felony count of false imprisonment and two misdemeanor battery charges, and was sentenced to house arrest and probation.[210][211]


San Diego Police Department

Like most major cities, San Diego had a declining crime rate from 1990 to 2000. 1991 would mark the city's deadliest year, registering 179 homicides

region as a whole peaked at 278 homicides),[213] capping off an unabated, eight-year climb in murders, rapes, robberies, and assault dating back to 1983. At the time, the city was ranked last among the 10 most populous U.S. cities in homicides per 1,000 population, and ninth in crimes per 1,000.[214] From 1980 to 1994, San Diego surpassed 100 murders ten times before tapering off to 91 homicides in 1995. That number would not exceed 79 for the next 15 years.[215] Crime in San Diego increased in the early 2000s.[216][217][218] In 2004, San Diego had the sixth lowest crime rate of any U.S. city with over half a million residents.[218] From 2002 to 2006, the crime rate overall dropped 0.8%, though not evenly by category. While violent crime decreased 12.4% during this period, property crime increased 1.1%. Total property crimes per 100,000 people were lower than the national average in 2008.[219]

According to

Uniform Crime Report statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2010, there were 5,616 violent crimes and 30,753 property crimes. Of these, the violent crimes consisted of forcible rapes, 73 robberies and 170 aggravated assaults, while 6,387 burglaries, 17,977 larceny-thefts, 6,389 motor vehicle thefts and 155 acts of arson defined the property offenses.[220] In 2013, San Diego had the lowest murder rate of the ten largest cities in the United States.[221]


Primary and secondary schools

The Bishop's School
in La Jolla

Public schools in San Diego are operated by independent school districts. The majority of the public schools in the city are served by the San Diego Unified School District, the second-largest school district in California, which includes 11 K–8 schools, 107 elementary schools, 24 middle schools, 13 atypical and alternative schools, 28 high schools, and 45 charter schools.[222]

Several adjacent school districts which are headquartered outside the city limits serve some schools within the city; these include the Poway Unified School District, Del Mar Union School District, San Dieguito Union High School District, and Sweetwater Union High School District. In addition, there are a number of private schools in the city.

Colleges and universities

San Diego State University

According to education rankings released by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2017, 44.4% of San Diegans (city, not county) ages 25 and older hold bachelor's degrees, compared to 30.9% in the United States as a whole. The census ranks the city as the ninth-most educated city in the United States, based on these figures.[223]

The largest university in the area is the

classified "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity", and it has the 7th largest research expenditure in the country.[224]

Other public colleges and universities in the city include San Diego State University (SDSU) and the San Diego Community College District, which includes San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, and San Diego Miramar College.

University of San Diego

Private non-profit colleges and universities in the city include the

School of Architecture's satellite campus.

There is one medical school in the city, the

UC San Diego School of Medicine. There are three ABA accredited law schools in the city, which include California Western School of Law, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, and University of San Diego School of Law. There is also one law school, Western Sierra Law School
, not accredited by the ABA.


UC San Diego

The city-run San Diego Public Library system is headquartered downtown and has 36 branches throughout the city.[225] The newest location is in Skyline Hills, which broke ground in 2015.[226] The libraries have had reduced operating hours since 2003 due to the city's financial problems. In 2006 the city increased spending on libraries by $2.1 million.[227] A new nine-story Central Library on Park Boulevard at J Street opened on September 30, 2013.[228]

In addition to the municipal public library system, there are nearly two dozen libraries open to the public run by other governmental agencies, and by schools, colleges, and universities.[229] Noteworthy are the Malcolm A. Love Library at San Diego State University, and the Geisel Library at the University of California, San Diego.


The Museum of Us

The culture of San Diego, California is influenced heavily by the mixing of

U.S. military
also contributes to its culture.

Many popular museums, such as the

Santa Fe Depot
downtown. The downtown branch consists of two buildings on two opposite streets.

San Diego Museum of Art


San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum featuring the USS Midway
aircraft carrier.


Westfield Horton Plaza produces a variety of plays and musicals. Hundreds of movies and a dozen TV shows have been filmed in San Diego, a tradition going back as far as 1898.[232]


Petco Park, in Downtown San Diego, is the home of the San Diego Padres.

Sports in San Diego includes two

FBS). The Farmers Insurance Open is a professional golf tournament on the PGA Tour, played annually at Torrey Pines Golf Course

Of the modern "Big Five" major professional sports leagues in the United States (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLS) San Diego currently has a team in one, the San Diego Padres of MLB, with another, San Diego FC of Major League Soccer (MLS), debuting in 2025.

San Diego hosted the NFL's

San Diego Clippers from 1978 to 1984 (now the Los Angeles Clippers
). San Diego has never hosted an NHL franchise.

Top-tier professional teams

The following teams compete at their sport's highest level of domestic competition.

Club League Sport Since[a] Home venue Attendance[b] Titles
San Diego Padres MLB Baseball 1936[c]; 1969[d] Petco Park 40,915 (2023)[233]
San Diego FC MLS Soccer (men's) 2025[234] Snapdragon Stadium
San Diego Wave FC NWSL Soccer (women's) 2022 Snapdragon Stadium 20,718 (2023)[235]
San Diego Seals NLL Box lacrosse 2018 Pechanga Arena 5,115 (2023)
California Redwoods PLL Field lacrosse 2024[e] Torero Stadium
San Diego Legion MLR Rugby union (men's) 2018 Snapdragon Stadium 3,043 (2019)
San Diego Sockers
MASL Indoor soccer 1978;[f] 2009 Pechanga Arena[g] 2,746 (2019–20) 16[h]
San Diego Strike Force IFL
Indoor football
2019[i] Pechanga Arena 1,930 (2023)[237]
San Diego Wild NVA Volleyball (men's) 2023 varies
San Diego Mojo PVF Volleyball (women's) 2024[238] Viejas Arena
San Diego Surfers WPL Rugby union (women's) 1975;[j] 2011[k] Robb Athletic Field 2[l]
San Diego Growlers
Ultimate (men's) 2015 varies
San Diego Super Bloom WUL Ultimate (women's) 2022 varies
San Diego Lions USAFL Australian football 1997 varies 2[m]
San Diego Rebellion WNFC Football (women's) 2017;[n] 2019 Westview High School
San Diego Yacht Club America's Cup[o] Sailing 1886 San Diego Bay 3[p]

Bold indicates major professional league team.

Italic indicates professional-level club or semi-pro team competing in its sport's highest level league, where the sport has no fully-professional domestic competition.

  1. ^ First season in San Diego
  2. ^ Average home game attendance
  3. ^ Original founding as a Minor League Baseball (MiLB) team: San Diego Padres (PCL)
  4. ^ First season in San Diego in Major League Baseball
  5. ^ Team began play in 2019 as Redwoods Lacrosse Club, a charter member of the PLL, which was a touring-only league of nomadic teams for its first five seasons. The league assigned teams to home markets beginning in 2024, with San Diego's Torero Stadium becoming the home of the Redwoods
  6. ^ Original founding. Current team is the 3rd San Diego Sockers iteration of highest-level professional indoor soccer, revived in 2009. Previous teams: San Diego Sockers (1978–1996) and San Diego Sockers (2001–2004)
  7. ^ The Sockers plan to move to Frontwave Arena (capacity 6,367), a newly constructed arena in the suburb of Oceanside in 2023[236]
  8. 1984
  9. ^ Team was temporarily dormant for 2021 season due to effects of COVID-19 pandemic
  10. ^ Original founding as an amateur club
  11. ^ Team was temporarily dormant for 2023 season
  12. ^ 2016, 2018
    In addition to WPL championships, the team was won several club championships:
    D1: 3 (2009, 2010, 2023)
    USA Rugby Club 7s: 4 (2012, 2014, 2018, 2019)
  13. ^ 2001, 2006
  14. ^ Original founding as Women's Football Alliance Division II team
  15. ^ Non-annual competition, no fixed schedule- matches held years apart on dates agreed upon between the defender and the challenger
  16. ^ 1987, 1988, 1992

Minor league professional teams

The following teams compete below their sport's highest level of domestic competition.

Club League Tier[a] Sport Since[b] Home venue Attendance[c]
San Diego Gulls AHL 2 (NHL) Ice hockey 1966;[d] 2015[e] Pechanga Arena 6,953 (2022-23)[239]
San Diego Surf Riders MiLC 2 (MLC) Cricket 2021 Canyonside Park
San Diego Sockers 2 MASL2 2 (MASL) Indoor soccer 2017; 2021[f] Pechanga Arena
Albion San Diego NISA 3 (MLS & USLC) Soccer 1981;[g] 2019;[h] 2022[i] Canyon Crest Academy
  1. ^ Competition tier (parentheses indicate higher-level league(s)
  2. ^ First season in San Diego
  3. ^ Average home game attendance
  4. ^ Original founding. Current team is the 4th San Diego Gulls iteration of minor league professional ice hockey, revived in 2015. Previous teams: San Diego Gulls (1966–1974), San Diego Gulls (1990–1995) & San Diego Gulls (1995–2006)
  5. ^ Current AHL franchise was founded in 2000 as the Norfolk Admirals, later relocating to San Diego and assuming the Gulls name in 2015
  6. ^ Team was dormant for 2019–20 & 2021 seasons
  7. ^ Original founding as Albion SC youth academy
  8. ^ San Diego 1904 FC competed in the NISA from 2019 to 2021 before being absorbed into Albion San Diego in December 2021
  9. ^ First season as Albion San Diego following merger absorbing San Diego 1904 FC

College athletics

The San Diego State Aztecs (MW), the San Diego Toreros (WCC), and the UC San Diego Tritons (BWC) are NCAA Division I teams. The Cal State San Marcos Cougars (CCAA) and Point Loma Sea Lions (PacWest) are members of NCAA Division II, while the San Diego Christian Hawks (GSAC) and Saint Katherine Firebirds (CalPac) are members of the NAIA.

Club University Founding Affiliation Enrollment League Primary conference
San Diego State Aztecs San Diego State University 1897 Public (California State University 35,723[240] NCAA Division I (FBS) Mountain West Conference
San Diego Toreros University of San Diego 1949 Private (Roman Catholic) 8,815[241] NCAA Division I (FCS) West Coast Conference
UC San Diego Tritons University of California, San Diego 1960 Public (University of California) 42,968[242] NCAA Division I Big West Conference
Cal State San Marcos Cougars California State University San Marcos 1989 Public (California State University 14,311[243] NCAA Division II California Collegiate Athletic Association
Point Loma Sea Lions Point Loma Nazarene University 1902 Private (Church of the Nazarene) 3,179[244] NCAA Division II Pacific West Conference
San Diego Christian Hawks San Diego Christian College 1970 Private (Evangelical) 512 NAIA Golden State Athletic Conference
Saint Katherine Firebirds University of Saint Katherine 2011 Private (Eastern Orthodox) 264 NAIA California Pacific Conference

Annual sports events

Event Sport Since League Current venue
Farmers Insurance Open Golf (men's) 1952 PGA Tour Torrey Pines Golf Course
Holiday Bowl College football 1978 NCAA Division I FBS Petco Park
Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon Marathon 1998 Rock 'n' Roll Running Series Balboa Park (San Diego)
San Diego Bayfair Cup Hydroplane racing 1964 H1 Unlimited Mission Bay Park

The annual Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament (originally the San Diego Open and later the Buick Invitational) of the PGA Tour occurs annually at San Diego's municipally-owned Torrey Pines Golf Course, where it has taken place since 1968. The tournament was founded in 1952 and was played at a variety of venues in the San Diego area in its early years, beginning with San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista for its first two years. The tournament was also played in Rancho Santa Fe and El Cajon, as well as locally in Mission Valley and Rancho Bernardo during these years. The course was the site of the 2008 U.S. Open Golf Championship and the 2021 U.S. Open Golf Championship.

The Holiday Bowl has been an annual college football bowl game locally since its founding in 1978. The game was played at San Diego Stadium from its implementation until the stadium's closure in 2020. The game is now played at Petco Park. In the past, San Diego has also played host to the Harbor Bowl from 1947 to 1949 at Balboa Stadium, and the Poinsettia Bowl from 2005 to 2016 at San Diego Stadium. The original Poinsettia Bowl was played from 1952 to 1955 at Balboa Stadium between military services teams.

There are several road races including the



Bayfair Cup is a hydroplane boat race in the H1 Unlimited season. The race is held during the Bayfair Festival on Mission Bay

The San Diego Crew Classic, held in


The amateur beach sport Over-the-line was invented in San Diego, and the annual world Over-the-line championships are held at Mission Bay Park's Fiesta Island each year.


The San Diego Union-Tribune

Published within the city are the daily newspaper,

Times of San Diego is a free online newspaper covering news in the metropolitan area. Voice of San Diego
is a non-profit online news outlet covering government, politics, education, neighborhoods, and the arts. The San Diego Daily Transcript is a business-oriented online newspaper.

San Diego is also the headquarters of the national

conspiracy theories

San Diego led U.S. local markets with 69.6 percent broadband penetration in 2004 according to

San Diego's first television station was

Canal de las Estrellas), and KSWB-TV 69 (Fox). San Diego has an 80.6 percent cable penetration rate.[248]

San Diego Parade of Lights

Due to the ratio of U.S. and Mexican-licensed stations, San Diego is the largest

Bay City Television

San Diego's television market is limited to only

El Centro, is in the Yuma, Arizona television market while neighboring Orange and Riverside
counties are part of the Los Angeles market. (Sometimes, in the past, a missing network affiliate in the Imperial Valley would be available on cable TV from San Diego.) As a result, San Diego is the largest single-county media market in the United States.

The radio stations in San Diego include nationwide broadcaster

Pirate Radio
station at 106.9FM, as well as a number of local Spanish-language radio stations.



Santa Fe Depot is served by Amtrak California and Coaster trains.

With the automobile being the primary means of transportation for over 80 percent of residents, San Diego is served by a network of freeways and highways. This includes Interstate 5, which runs south to Tijuana and north to Los Angeles; Interstate 8, which runs east to Imperial County and the Arizona Sun Corridor; Interstate 15, which runs northeast through the Inland Empire to Las Vegas and Salt Lake City; and Interstate 805, which splits from I-5 near the Mexican border and rejoins I-5 at Sorrento Valley.

Major state highways include

San Diego-Coronado Bridge, and also passes through South San Diego as Palm Avenue; and SR 905, which connects I-5 and I-805 to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry

San Diego Trolley is operated by the S.D. Metropolitan Transit System.

The stretch of SR 163 that passes through Balboa Park is San Diego's oldest freeway, dating back to 1948 when it was part of US 80 and US 395. It has been called one of America's most beautiful parkways.[250]

San Diego's roadway system provides an extensive network of cycle routes. Its dry and mild climate makes cycling a convenient year-round option; however, the city's hilly terrain and long average trip distances make cycling less practicable. Older and denser neighborhoods around the downtown tend to be oriented to utility cycling. This is partly because the grid street patterns are now absent in newer developments farther from the urban core, where suburban-style arterial roads are much more common. As a result, the majority of cycling is recreational. In 2006, San Diego was rated the best city (with a population over 1 million) for cycling in the U.S.[251]

las Californias, connects San Diego to Tijuana International Airport in Baja California

San Diego is served by the

the Santa Fe Depot downtown. San Diego transit information about public transportation and commuting is available on the Web and by dialing "511" from any phone in the area.[258]

San Diego International Airport

The city has two major commercial airports within or near its city limits. Downtown

Montgomery Field (MYF) and Brown Field (SDM).[262]

San Diego Bay Festival of Sail

Recent regional transportation projects have sought to mitigate congestion, including improvements to local freeways, expansion of San Diego Airport, and doubling the capacity of the cruise ship terminal. Freeway projects included expansion of Interstates 5 and 805 around "The Merge" where these two freeways meet, as well as expansion of Interstate 15 through North County, which includes new high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) "managed lanes". A tollway (the southern portion of SR 125, known as the South Bay Expressway) connects SR 54 and Otay Mesa, near the Mexican border. According to an assessment in 2007, 37 percent of city streets were in acceptable condition. However, the proposed budget fell $84.6 million short of bringing streets up to an acceptable level.[263] Expansion at the port has included a second cruise terminal on Broadway Pier, opened in 2010. Airport projects include the expansion of Terminal Two.[264]


Water is supplied to residents by the Water Department of the City of San Diego. The city receives most of its water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which brings water to the region from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers, via the state project and the Colorado River, via the Colorado Aqueduct.[265]

Gas and electric utilities are provided by

Sempra Energy.[further explanation needed] The company provides energy service to 3.7 million people through 1.5 million electric meters and 900,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.[266]

Street lights

Gaslamp Quarter

In the mid-20th century the city had

sodium vapor lamps. This triggered an outcry from astronomers at Palomar Observatory 60 miles (100 km) north of the city, concerned that the new lamps would increase light pollution and hinder astronomical observation.[267] The city altered its lighting regulations to limit light pollution within 30 miles (50 km) of Palomar.[268]

In 2011, the city announced plans to upgrade 80% of its street lighting to new energy-efficient lights that use

induction technology, a modified form of fluorescent lamp producing a broader spectrum than sodium vapor lamps. The new system is predicted to save $2.2 million per year in energy and maintenance.[269] The city stated the changes would "make our neighborhoods safer."[269] They also increase light pollution.[270]

In 2014, San Diego announced plans to become the first U.S. city to install cyber-controlled street lighting, using an "intelligent" lighting system to control 3,000

LED street lights.[271]

Notable people

Sister cities

San Diego's

sister cities are:[272]

See also



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  2. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on November 3, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  3. ^ "City of San Diego City Charter, Article XV" (PDF). City of San Diego. Retrieved November 5, 2014.
  4. ^ "Office of the City Attorney". The City of San Diego. November 6, 2015. Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  5. ^ "City Council Offices". City of San Diego. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
  6. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 1, 2020.
  7. ^ "City of San Diego". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior. Retrieved October 16, 2014.
  8. ^ a b "San Diego: Geography and Climate". Retrieved October 16, 2014.
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  10. ^ "List of 2020 Census Urban Areas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
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  12. ^ "Total Gross Domestic Product for San Diego-Carlsbad, CA (MSA)". U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  13. ^ "ZIP code(tm) Lookup". United States Postal Service. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
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  16. ^ America: metropolitan areas. World Gazetteer. 2011. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved February 19, 2012.
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  18. ^ a b Mills, James (October 1967). "San Diego...Where California Began". Journal of San Diego History. 13 (4). Archived from the original on June 14, 2011. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
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  20. ^ "San Diego in Kumiai - English-Kumiai Dictionary | Glosbe". Retrieved November 17, 2023.
  21. ^ "Pushuyi in Spanish - Luiseno-Spanish Dictionary | Glosbe". Retrieved November 17, 2023.
  22. OCLC 745176510
  23. . The Kumeyaay could have derived from the San Dieguito or they may have arrived from the desert around 1000 C.E.
  24. ^ . He created a sequence of cultural periods... the San Dieguito Complex and La Jolla Complex... suggested that... [they were] mutually exclusive and not associated with the ancestral populations of the contemporary Kumeyaay. The problem with Rogers' hypothesis is that it did not account for cultural evolution... Rogers' theories were, and continue to be, a popular paradigm... At the end of his career, Rogers re-evaluated his original conclusions regarding the cultural groups he had established...
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  30. ^ Carrico, Richard. "Sociopolitical Aspects of the 1775 Revolt at Mission San Diego de Alcala". San Diego History Center | San Diego, CA | Our City, Our Story. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
  31. ^ "Keyfacts". Archived from the original on June 10, 2010. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  32. ^ "Mission San Diego". Mission San Diego. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  33. ^ "National Park Service, National Historical Landmarks Program: San Diego Presidio". October 10, 1960. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
  34. ^ "Timeline of San Diego History | San Diego History Center". December 24, 2015. Archived from the original on December 24, 2015. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  35. ^ Connolly, Mike. "Kumeyaay – The Mexican Period".
  36. .
  37. ^ Griswold del Castillo, Richard (Winter 2003). "The U.S.-Mexican War in San Diego, 1846–1847". San Diego Historical Society Quarterly.
  38. ^ Griswold de Castillo 1990, p. 39
  39. ^ "A History of San Diego Government". Office of the City Clerk. City of San Diego. Archived from the original on May 5, 2014. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
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  41. ^ Basil C. Pearce, "The Jackass Mail—San Antonio and San Diego Mail Line", San Diego Historical Society Quarterly, Spring 1969, Volume 15, Number 2
  42. ^ a b Engstrand 2005, p. 80
  43. ^ Hall, Matthew T. (February 8, 2012). "100 years ago, San Diego banned free speech". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
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External links