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Encyclopedia > San Diego, CA
San Diego, California
Flag of San Diego Seal of San Diego
City nickname:"America's Finest City"
County San Diego County, California
Mayor Dick Murphy
City Attorney Michael Aguirre
City Council
District One Scott Peters
District Two Michael Zucchet
District Three Toni Atkins
District Four Tony Young
District Five Brian Maienschein
District Six Donna Frye
Distirct Seven Jim Madaffer
District Eight Ralph Inzunza
 - Total
 - Water

963.6 km² (372.0 mi²)
123.5 km² (47.7 mi²) 12.82%

 - Total (2000)
 - Metropolitan
 - Density


Time zone Pacific: UTC-8


32°46'46" N
117°8'47" W

City Flower: Carnation
City Urban Tree Jacaranda
City Native Tree Torrey Pine
City of San Diego Official Website (http://www.sannet.gov/)
Perspective View of San Diego
San Diego waterfront

San Diego is a city located in the southwestern corner of the state of California and the southwestern corner of the continental United States. It is the county seat of San Diego County, California. The city is noted for its temperate climate and beaches, which often close down for 30 days out of the year due to sewage spills. As of the 2004 census, the city had a total population of 3,253,987. The city is the second largest in California and the seventh largest in the United States.

San Diego is the home of numerous military facilities including Navy ports and Marine bases. It is the home port of the largest naval fleet in the world, including two Navy supercarriers, the USS Nimitz and the USS Ronald Reagan, five amphibs, several nuclear submarines, and numerous smaller ships. One of the United States Marine Corps' two Recruit Depots is located here. Several Navy vessels have been named USS San Diego in honor of the city.



The area has long been inhabited by the Kumeyaay people. The first European to visit the region was Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, sailing for Spain, in 1542. He named it San Miguel. The San Diego Bay and the area of present day San Diego were given their present names by Sebastian Vizcaino when he was mapping the coastline of Alta California for Spain in 1602. The explorers camped near a Native American village called "Nipaguay" and celebrated Mass in honor of San (or Saint) Diego de Alcala (Saint Didicus of Alcala). California was then part of the colony of New Spain.

In 1769, Gaspar de Portolá and his expedition founded a presidio (or military post) and on Sunday July 16, Franciscan Fathers Junípero Serra, Juan Viscaino and Fernando Parron raised and blessed a cross, establishing the first mission in Upper California, Mission San Diego de Alcala. Colonists began arriving in 1774, and the following year, 1775 the native people rebelled. They killed the priest and two others, and burned the mission. Father Serra organized the rebuilding and two years later a more fire-proof adobe structure was started. By 1797 the mission had become the largest in California, with over 1,400 natives associated with it.

In 1822, New Spain became Mexico. The governor of Alta California and Baja California moved the capitol to San Diego from Monterey. The mission was secularized in 1834 and 432 persons petitioned Governor José Figueroa to form a town, and Commandant Santiago Arguello endorsed it. Juan Maria Osuna was elected the first alcalde (or mayor), winning over Pio Pico in the 13 ballots cast. However the population of the town shrank to little over a hundred persons, and by the late 1830s it lost its township until the province of Alta California became part of the United States of America in 1850 following the Mexican-American War. The village was designated the seat of the newly designated "San Diego County" and incorporated as a city.

In 1885, San Diego was linked to the rest of the nation by railroad. San Diego was reincorporated as a city in 1886.

Significant U.S. Naval presence began in 1907 with the establishment of the Navy Coaling Station.

San Diego hosted two World's Fairs, the Panama-California Exposition in 1915 and the California Pacific International Exposition in 1935.

Since World War II, the military has played a leading role in the local economy. Following the end of the Cold War the military presence has diminished considerably. San Diego has since become a center of the emerging biotech industry and is home to telecommunications giant Qualcomm.

Largely because of their city's strong military presence, San Diegans have a reputation for being more politically conservative than residents of California's other coastal cities.


San Diego at sunset, 2001
Old Town, San Diego

San Diego is a major tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world. Among the many attractions are its beaches, mountains, and climate. Noted San Diego tourist attractions include:

* National Historic Landmark

San Diego is about two and a half hours south of Los Angeles and about half an hour north of Tijuana, Mexico.

Trolley (LRT) Old Town, San Diego


San Diego has trolley (LRT), bus, Coaster, and Amtrak service.


San Diego is located at 32°46'46" North, 117°8'47" West (32.779541, -117.146344)1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 963.6 km² (372.0 mi²). 840.0 km² (324.3 mi²) of it is land and 123.5 km² (47.7 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 12.82% water.

The city's borders are very irregularly shaped because of the absorption of many suburbs into the city limits.

Demographics (2000 census)

As of the census2 of 2000, there are 1,223,400 people, 450,691 households, and 271,315 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,456.4/km² (3,771.9/mi²). There are 469,689 housing units at an average density of 559.1/km² (1,448.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 60.18% White, 7.86% African American, 0.62% Native American, 13.65% Asian, 0.48% Pacific Islander, 12.39% from other races, and 4.83% from two or more races. 25.40% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 450,691 households out of which 30.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% are married couples living together, 11.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 39.8% are non-families. 28.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.4% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.61 and the average family size is 3.30.

In the city the population is spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 12.4% from 18 to 24, 34.0% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 32 years. For every 100 females there are 101.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 100.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $45,733, and the median income for a family is $53,060. Males have a median income of $36,984 versus $31,076 for females. The per capita income for the city is $23,609. 14.6% of the population and 10.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 20.0% of those under the age of 18 and 7.6% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Colleges and universities

Notable and non-notable secondary schools

Sports teams



Scripps Pier

External links

  • City of San Diego Official Website (http://www.sannet.gov/)
  • sandiego.com, Inc. (http://www.sandiego.com/)
  • San Diego Recreation Guide (http://www.sandiego-links.com/)
  • San Diego History (http://sandiegohistory.org/index.html)
  • Movie of the San Diego Exposition, 1915 (http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?papr:1:./temp/~ammem_28aA::)
  • San Diego Church Reviews & Guide (http://www.sandiegochurches.org)
  • Maps and aerial photos
    • Street map from Mapquest (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?latlongtype=decimal&latitude=32.779541&longitude=-117.146344&zoom=6)
    • Topographic map from Topozone (http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?lat=32.779541&lon=-117.146344&s=200&size=m&layer=DRG100)
    • Aerial photograph from Microsoft Terraserver (http://terraserver.microsoft.com/map.aspx?t=1&s=14&lon=-117.146344&lat=32.779541&w=750&h=500)
Counties and Largest Cities in California
Cities: Anaheim | Bakersfield | Fremont | Fresno | Glendale | Huntington Beach | Long Beach | Los Angeles | Modesto | Oakland | Oxnard | Riverside | Sacramento | San Bernardino | San Diego | San Francisco | San Jose | Santa Ana | Stockton
Counties: Alameda | Alpine | Amador | Butte | Calaveras | Colusa | Contra Costa | Del Norte | El Dorado | Fresno | Glenn | Humboldt | Imperial | Inyo | Kern | Kings | Lake | Lassen | Los Angeles | Madera | Marin | Mariposa | Mendocino | Merced | Modoc | Mono | Monterey | Napa | Nevada | Orange | Placer | Plumas | Riverside | Sacramento | San Benito | San Bernardino | San Diego | San Francisco | San Joaquin | San Luis Obispo | San Mateo | Santa Barbara | Santa Clara | Santa Cruz | Shasta | Sierra | Siskiyou | Solano | Sonoma | Stanislaus | Sutter | Tehama | Trinity | Tulare | Tuolumne | Ventura | Yolo | Yuba |

  Results from FactBites:
San Diego, CA - definition of San Diego, CA in Encyclopedia (1074 words)
San Diego is a city located in the southwestern corner of the state of California and the southwestern corner of the continental United States.
The San Diego Bay and the area of present day San Diego were given their present names by Sebastian Vizcaino when he was mapping the coastline of Alta California for Spain in 1602.
San Diego was reincorporated as a city in 1886.
San Diego, CA (710 words)
San Diego is one of the fastest-growing large cities in the United States.
San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium is the home of the Chargers of professional football and the Padres of professional baseball.
San Diego is the seat of San Diego State University (1897); the University of California-San Diego (1912), which includes the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (1903); the University of San Diego (1949); United States International University (1952); and an extensive junior college system.
  More results at FactBites »



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