Pre-colonial periodThe original inhabitants of the region are now known as the San Dieguito and La Jolla people. The migrated into the area of San Diego around 1000 CE, who erected villages scattered across the region, including the village of which was the Kumeyaay village that the future settlement of San Diego would stem from in today's . The village of Cosoy was made up of thirty to forty families living in pyramid-shaped housing structures and was supported by a freshwater spring from the hillsides.
Spanish periodThe first European to visit the region was explorer , sailing under the flag of Castile but possibly born in Portugal. Sailing his flagship ''San Salvador'' from Navidad, New Spain, Cabrillo claimed the bay for the in 1542, and named the site "San Miguel". In November 1602, was sent to map the California coast. Arriving on his flagship ''San Diego'', Vizcaíno surveyed the harbor and what are now Mission Bay and and named the area for the Catholic Saint Didacus, a Spaniard more commonly known as ''San Diego de Alcalá''. On November 12, 1602, the first Christian religious service of record in was conducted by Friar Antonio de la Ascensión, a member of Vizcaíno's expedition, to celebrate the feast day of San Diego. The permanent European colonization of California and of San Diego began in 1769 with the arrival of four contingents of Spaniards from New Spain and the Baja California peninsula. Two seaborne parties reached San Diego Bay: the ''San Carlos'', under Vicente Vila and including as notable members the engineer and cartographer and the soldier and future governor , and the ''San Antonio'', under Juan Pérez. An initial overland expedition to San Diego from the south was led by the soldier and included the missionary, explorer, and chronicler , followed by a second party led by the designated governor and including the mission president (and now saint) . In May 1769, Portolà established the Fort on a hill near the above the Kumeyaay village of Cosoy, which would later become incorporated into the Spanish settlement, making it the first settlement by Europeans in what is now the state of California. In July of the same year, was founded by Franciscan friars under Serra. The mission became a site for a Kumeyaay revolt in 1775, which forced the mission to relocate up the San Diego River. By 1797, the mission boasted the largest native population in Alta California, with over 1,400 neophytes living in and around the mission proper. Mission San Diego was the southern anchor in of the historic mission trail El Camino Real. Both the Presidio and the Mission are .
Mexican periodIn 1821, won its independence from Spain, and San Diego became part of the Mexican territory of . 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 of the town petitioned the governor to form a , and Juan María Osuna was elected the first '' '' ("municipal magistrate"), defeating in the vote. Beyond the town, Mexican s expanded the number of that modestly added to the local economy. (See, '' ''.) However, San Diego had been losing population throughout the 1830s, due to increasing tension between the settlers and the indigenous and in 1838 the town lost its pueblo status because its size dropped to an estimated 100 to 150 residents. 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. 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: '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 '' ''. In 1846, the United States went to war against Mexico and sent a naval and land expedition to conquer Alta California. At first, they had an easy time of it, capturing the major ports including San Diego, but the Californios in southern Alta California struck back. Following the successful revolt in , the American garrison at San Diego was driven out without firing a shot in early October 1846. Mexican partisans held San Diego for three weeks until October 24, 1846, when the Americans recaptured it. For the next several months the Americans were blockaded inside the pueblo. Skirmishes occurred daily and snipers shot into the town every night. The Californios drove cattle away from the pueblo hoping to starve the Americans and their Californio supporters out. On December 1, the American garrison learned that the dragoons of General Stephen W. Kearney were at . Commodore sent a mounted force of fifty under Captain 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 , fought in the 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. Stockton and Kearny went on to recover Los Angeles and force the capitulation of Alta California with the " " on January 13, 1847. As a result of the of 1846–48, the territory of Alta California, including San Diego, was ceded to the United States by Mexico, under the terms of the 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 , so as to include the entire bay within the United States.
American periodThe state of California was admitted to the United States in 1850. That same year San Diego has designated the seat of the newly established San Diego County 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; 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. The original town of San Diego was located at the foot of Presidio Hill, in the area which is now . The location was not ideal, being several miles away from navigable water at its port at La Playa. In 1850, promoted a new development by the bay shore called "New San Diego", several miles south of the original settlement; however, for several decades the new development consisted only of a pier, a few houses and an Army depot for the support of . After 1854, the fort became supplied by sea and by steamboats on the Colorado River and the depot fell into disuse. From 1857 to 1860, San Diego became the western terminus of the San Antonio-San Diego Mail Line, the earliest overland and mail operation from the to California, coming from through in less than 30 days.Basil C. Pearce
GeographyAccording to SDSU professor emeritus Monte Marshall, is "the surface expression of a north-south-trending, nested graben". The Rose Canyon Fault, Rose Canyon and Point Loma Formation, Point Loma Fault (geology), fault zones are part of the San Andreas Fault system. About east of the bay are the Laguna Mountains in the Peninsular Ranges, which are part of the American Cordillera, backbone of the American continents. 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. Traditionally, San Diegans have built their homes and businesses on the mesas, while leaving the urban canyons relatively wild. 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 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. , 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.""Expeditions by Sea" ''The Explorers''. Trans. Richard F. Pourade. La Jolla: Copley, 1960. 64–72. That river was the San Diego River. Several reservoirs and Mission Trails Regional Park also lie between and separate developed areas of the city. Notable peaks within the city limits include Cowles Mountain, the highest point in the city at ; Black Mountain Open Space Park, Black Mountain at ; and Mount Soledad at . 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, Trust for Public Land, The Trust for Public Land reported that San Diego had the 9th-best park system among the 50 most populous U.S. cities. ParkScore ranks city park systems by a formula that analyzes acreage, access, and service and investment.
Communities and neighborhoodsThe City of San Diego recognizes 52 individual areas as Community Planning Areas. Within a given planning area there may be several distinct neighborhoods. Altogether the city contains more than 100 identified Neighborhoods of San Diego, California, neighborhoods. is located on San Diego Bay. Balboa Park (San Diego), Balboa Park encompasses several mesas and canyons to the northeast, surrounded by older, dense urban communities including Hillcrest, San Diego, Hillcrest and North Park, San Diego, North Park. To the east and southeast lie City Heights, San Diego, City Heights, the College Area, and Southeast San Diego. To the north lies Mission Valley and Interstate 8. The communities north of the valley and freeway, and south of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, include Clairemont, San Diego, Clairemont, Kearny Mesa, Tierrasanta, and Navajo, San Diego, Navajo. Stretching north from Miramar are the northern suburbs of Mira Mesa, Scripps Ranch, Rancho Peñasquitos, and Rancho Bernardo. The far northeast portion of the city encompasses Lake Hodges and the , which holds an agricultural preserve. Carmel Valley, San Diego, Carmel Valley and Del Mar Heights, San Diego, Del Mar Heights occupy the northwest corner of the city. To their south are Torrey Pines State Reserve and the business center of the Golden Triangle, San Diego, Golden Triangle. Further south are the beach and coastal communities of La Jolla, Pacific Beach, San Diego, Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, San Diego, Mission Beach, and Ocean Beach, San Diego, Ocean Beach. occupies the peninsula across from downtown. The communities of South San Diego (an Exclave), such as San Ysidro, San Diego, San Ysidro and Otay Mesa, are located next to the Mexico–United States border, and are physically separated from the rest of the city by the cities of National City, California, National City and Chula Vista. A narrow strip of land at the bottom of San Diego Bay connects these southern neighborhoods with the rest of the city. For the most part, San Diego neighborhood boundaries tend to be understood by its residents based on geographical boundaries like canyons and street patterns. The city recognized the importance of its neighborhoods when it organized its 2008 General Plan around the concept of a "City of Villages".
CityscapeSan Diego was originally centered on the 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. The development of skyscrapers over in San Diego is attributed to the construction of the El Cortez (San Diego), El Cortez Hotel in 1927, the tallest building in the city from 1927 to 1963. As time went on, multiple buildings claimed the title of San Diego's tallest skyscraper, including the Union Bank of California Building and Symphony Towers. Currently the tallest building in San Diego is One America Plaza, standing tall, which was completed in 1991. The downtown skyline contains no super-talls, as a regulation put in place by the Federal Aviation Administration in the 1970s set a limit on the height of buildings within a radius of the . An iconic description of the skyline includes its skyscrapers being compared to the tools of a toolbox. There are List of tallest buildings in San Diego, several new high-rises under construction, including two that exceed 400 feet (122 m) in height.
ClimateSan Diego has one of the top-ten best climates in the United States, according to the ''Farmers' Almanac'' and has one of the two best summer climates in the country as scored by The Weather Channel. Under the Köppen–Geiger climate classification system, the San Diego area has been variously categorized as having either a semi-arid climate (''hot semi-arid climate, BSh'' in the original classification and ''BSkn'' in modified Köppen classification with the n denoting summer fog) or a Mediterranean climate (''Csa''). 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, with an average of 201 days above and low rainfall ( 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, 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 inland. Sometimes the June gloom lasts into July, causing cloudy skies over most of San Diego for the entire day. 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 and August highs of . The city of El Cajon, California, El Cajon, just inland from downtown San Diego, averages January lows of and August highs of . The average surface temperature of the water at Scripps Pier in the California Current has increased by almost since 1950, according to scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Additionally, the mean minimum is now above , putting San Diego in hardiness zone 11, with the last freeze having occurred many decades ago. Annual rainfall along the coast averages and the median is . The months of December through March supply most of the rain, with February the only month averaging 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 per year. Variability from year to year can be dramatic: in the wettest years of 1883/1884 and 1940/1941, more than fell, whilst in the driest years there was as little as . The wettest month on record is December 1921 with . Snow in the city is so rare that it has been observed only six times in the century-and-a-half that records have been kept. In 1949 and 1967, snow stayed on the ground for a few hours in higher locations like Point Loma, San Diego, Point Loma and La Jolla. The other three occasions, in 1882, 1946, and 1987, involved flurries but no accumulation. On February 21, 2019, snow fell and accumulated in residential areas of the city, but none fell in the downtown area.
EcologyLike much of southern California, the majority of San Diego's current area was originally occupied on the west by coastal sage scrub and on the east by chaparral, plant communities made up mostly of drought-resistant shrubs. The steep and varied topography and proximity to the ocean create a number of different habitats within the city limits, including tidal marsh and 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. 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, ''Torrey pine, Pinus torreyana'', is found. 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, and Marian Bear Memorial Park in San Clemente Canyon, as well as a number of small parks and preserves. San Diego County has one of the highest counts of animal and plant species that appear on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service list of endangered species, endangered list of counties in the United States. Because of its diversity of habitat and its position on the Pacific Flyway, San Diego County has recorded 492 different bird species, more than any other region in the country. San Diego always scores high in the number of bird species observed in the annual Christmas Bird Count, sponsored by the Audubon Society, and it is known as one of the "birdiest" areas in the United States. San Diego and its backcountry suffer from periodic wildfires. In October 2003, San Diego was the site of the Cedar Fire (2003), Cedar Fire, at that time the largest wildfire in California over the past century. The fire burned , killed 15 people, and destroyed more than 2,200 homes. In addition to damage caused by the fire, smoke resulted in a significant increase in emergency room visits due to asthma, respiratory problems, eye irritation, and smoke inhalation; the poor air quality caused San Diego County schools to close for a week. October 2007 California wildfires, Wildfires four years later destroyed some areas, particularly within Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, Rancho Bernardo, as well as the nearby communities of Rancho Santa Fe, California, Rancho Santa Fe and Ramona, California, Ramona.
DemographicsThe city had a population of 1,307,402 according to the 2010 census, distributed over a land area of . The urban area of San Diego extends beyond the administrative city limits and had a total population of 2,956,746, making it the List of urbanized areas in California (by population), third-largest urban area in the state, after that of the Los Angeles metropolitan area and San Francisco metropolitan area. They, along with the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA MSA, Riverside–San Bernardino, form those metropolitan areas in California larger than the 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. The estimated city population in 2009 was 1,306,300. The population density was . The racial makeup of San Diego was 58.9% White American, White, 6.7% African American, 0.6% Native American, 15.9% Asian American, Asian (5.9% Filipino American, Filipino, 2.7% Chinese American, Chinese, 2.5% Vietnamese American, Vietnamese, 1.3% Indian American, Indian, 1.0% Korean American, Korean, 0.7% Japanese American, Japanese, 0.4% Laotian American, Laotian, 0.3% Cambodian American, Cambodian, 0.1% Thai American, Thai). 0.5% Pacific Islander American, Pacific Islander (0.2% Guamanian, 0.1% Samoan American, Samoan, 0.1% Native Hawaiian), 12.3% from Race (United States Census), other races, and 5.1% from two or more races. The ethnic makeup of the city was 28.8% Hispanic and Latino Americans, Hispanic or Latino (U.S. Census), Latino (of any race); 24.9% of the total population were Mexican American, 1.4% were Spanish American and 0.6% were Puerto Rican people, 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. , the San Diego City and County had the fifth-largest Homelessness in the United States, homeless population among major cities in the United States, with 8,102 people experiencing homelessness. In the city of San Diego, 4,887 individuals were experiencing homelessness according to the 2020 count. 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. the median age was 35.6; more than a quarter of residents were under age 20 and 11% were over age 65. Millennials (ages 18 through 34) constitute 27.1% of San Diego's population, the second-highest percentage in a major U.S. city. The San Diego County regional planning agency, SANDAG, provides tables and graphs breaking down the city population into five-year age groups. In 2000, the median household income, 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. According to ''Forbes'' in 2005, San Diego was the fifth wealthiest U.S. city, 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. San Diego was rated the fifth-best place to live in the United States in 2006 by ''Money (magazine), Money'' magazine, although it was no longer rated in the top 100 places by 2017. 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. San Diego was named the ninth-most LGBT rights in the United States, LGBT-friendly city in the U.S. in 2013. The city also has the Top US Gay Populations, seventh-highest percentage of gay residents in the U.S. Additionally in 2013, San Diego State University#LGBT-Friendly campus, San Diego State University (SDSU), one of the city's prominent universities, was named one of the top LGBT-friendly campuses in the nation. According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 68% of the population of the city identified themselves as Christians, with 32% professing attendance at a variety of churches that could be considered Protestant, and 32% professing Roman Catholic beliefs. while 27% claim Irreligion, no religious affiliation. The same study says that other religions (including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism) collectively make up about 5% of the population.
EconomyThe largest sectors of San Diego's economy are Defense industry, defense/military, tourism, international trade, and Research and development, research/manufacturing. 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. San Diego recorded a median household income of $79,646 in 2018, an increase of 3.89% from $76,662 in 2017.San Diego
Defense and militaryThe economy of San Diego is influenced by Port of San Diego, its deepwater port, which includes the only major submarine and shipbuilding yards on the West Coast of the United States, West Coast. Several major national defense contractors were started and are headquartered in San Diego, including General Atomics, Cubic Corporation, Cubic, and National Steel and Shipbuilding Company, NASSCO. San Diego hosts the largest naval fleet in the world: In 2008 it was home to 53 ships, over 120 tenant commands, and more than 35,000 sailors, marines, United States Department of Defense, Department of Defense civilian employees and contractors. 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. Military bases in San Diego include US Navy facilities, USMC, Marine Corps bases, and United States Coast Guard, 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". 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 GRP and provides 23% of the total jobs in San Diego.
TourismTourism is a major industry owing to the city's climate, Beaches in San Diego, California, beaches, and tourist attractions such as Balboa Park (San Diego), Balboa Park, Belmont Park (San Diego), 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 and . Also, the Beer in San Diego County, California, local craft brewing industry attracts an increasing number of visitors for "beer tours" and the annual San Diego Beer Week in November; San Diego has been called "America's Craft Beer Capital." 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. 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. Local sightseeing cruises are offered in San Diego Bay and Mission Bay, as well as whale-watching cruises to observe the migration of gray whales, peaking in mid-January. Sport fishing is another popular tourist attraction; San Diego is home to southern California's biggest sport fishing fleet.
International tradeSan Diego's commercial port and its location on the United States–Mexico border make international trade an important factor in the city's economy. The city is authorized by the United States government to operate as a Foreign trade zones of the United States, Foreign Trade Zone. The city shares a 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 Land Port of Entry Expansion Project, San Ysidro Port of Entry. A second, primarily commercial border crossing operates in the Otay Mesa, San Diego, 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. One of the Port of San Diego's two cargo facilities is located in at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal. This terminal has facilities for Shipping container, containers, bulk cargo, and refrigerated and frozen storage, so that it can handle the import and export of many commodities. 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. Historically tuna fishing and canning was one of San Diego's major industries, although the American tuna fishing fleet is no longer based in San Diego. Seafood company Bumble Bee Foods is headquartered in San Diego and Chicken of the Sea was until 2018.
CompaniesSan Diego hosts several major producers of wireless cellular technology. Qualcomm was founded and is headquartered in San Diego, and is one of the largest private-sector employers in San Diego. Other wireless industry manufacturers headquartered here include Nokia, LG Electronics, Kyocera International, Cricket Communications and Novatel Wireless. San Diego also has the U.S. headquarters for the Slovakian security company ESET. San Diego has been designated as an iHub Innovation Center for potential collaboration between wireless and the life sciences. The University of California, San Diego and other research institutions have helped to fuel the growth of . In 2013, San Diego had the second-largest biotech cluster in the United States, below the Greater Boston, Boston area and above the San Francisco Bay Area. There are more than 400 biotechnology companies in the area. In particular, the La Jolla, San Diego, California, La Jolla and nearby Sorrento Valley, San Diego, California, Sorrento Valley areas are home to offices and research facilities for numerous biotechnology companies. Major biotechnology companies like Illumina (company), 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.
Top employersAccording to the city's 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,City of San Diego, California Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Year ended June 30, 2016
Real estateSan 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 home price, median price of homes having declined by more than $200,000 between 2005 and 2010. As of May 2015, the median price of a house was $520,000. 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. Consequently, San Diego has experienced negative net migration since 2004. A significant number of people moved to adjacent Riverside County, California, Riverside County, commuting daily to jobs in San Diego, while others are leaving the region altogether and moving to more affordable regions.
Local governmentThe city is governed by a mayor and a nine-member city council. In 2006, its government changed from a council–manager government to a Mayor–council government, strong mayor government, as decided by a citywide vote in 2004. The mayor is in effect the chief executive officer of the city, while the council is the legislative body. The City of San Diego is responsible for San Diego Police Department, police, public safety, streets, water and sewer service, planning and zoning, and similar services within its borders. San Diego is a sanctuary city, however, San Diego County is a participant of the Secure Communities and administrative immigration policies, Secure Communities program. , the city had one employee for every 137 residents, with a payroll greater than $733 million. 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. 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, and Democrats currently () hold a 8–1 majority in the city council. The current mayor, Todd Gloria, is a member of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party. San Diego is part of , and includes all or part of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th supervisorial districts of the Government of San Diego County, California#Board of Supervisors, San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Other county officers elected in part by city residents include the San Diego County Sheriff, Sheriff, San Diego County District Attorney, District Attorney, San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk, Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk, and San Diego County Treasurer/Tax Collector, Treasurer/Tax Collector. Areas of the city immediately adjacent to ("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 #Education, below).
State and federal representationIn the California State Senate, San Diego County encompasses the California's 38th State Senate district, 38th, California's 39th State Senate district, 39th and California's 40th State Senate district, 40th districts, represented by , , and , respectively. In the California State Assembly, lying partially within the city of San Diego are the California's 77th State Assembly district, 77th, California's 78th State Assembly district, 78th, California's 79th State Assembly district, 79th, and California's 80th State Assembly, 80th districts, represented by , , , and , respectively. In the United States House of Representatives, San Diego County includes parts or all of California's California's 49th congressional district, 49th, California's 50th congressional district, 50th, California's 51st congressional district, 51st, California's 52nd congressional district, 52nd, and California's 53rd congressional district, 53rd congressional districts, represented by , , , , and , respectively.
Election historyAfter 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 Party (United States), Democratic presidential candidates for president. George H.W. Bush in 1988 is the last Republican candidate to carry San Diego in a presidential election.
Major scandalsSan 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, Rainmaking, rainmaker Charles Hatfield was blamed for $4 million in damages and accused of causing San Diego's worst Floods in the United States: 1901–2000#Southern California floods - January 1916, flood, during which about 20 Japanese American farmers died. Then-mayor Roger Hedgecock was forced to resign his post in 1985, after he was found guilty of one count of Conspiracy (criminal), conspiracy and 12 counts of perjury, related to the alleged failure to report all Campaign finance, campaign contributions. 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. 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 and the criminal indictment of six pension board members. Those charges were finally dismissed by a federal judge in 2010. On November 28, 2005, U.S. Congressman Duke Cunningham, Randy "Duke" Cunningham resigned after being convicted on federal bribery charges. He had represented United States House of Representatives, California District 50, 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. He was released in 2013. In 2005 two city council members, Ralph Inzunza and Deputy Mayor Michael Zucchet – who briefly took over as acting mayor when Murphy resigned – were convicted of extortion, wire fraud, and Conspiracy (criminal), 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. Both subsequently resigned. Inzunza was sentenced to 21 months in prison. 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; the remaining charges were eventually dropped. In July 2013, three former supporters of mayor Bob Filner asked him to resign because of allegations of repeated sexual harassment. Over the ensuing six weeks, 18 women came forward to publicly claim that Filner had sexually harassed them, 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 (crime), battery charges, and was sentenced to house arrest and probation.
CrimeSan Diego was ranked as the 20th-safest city in America in 2013 by ''Business Insider''. According to ''Forbes'' magazine, San Diego was the ninth-safest city in the top 10 list of safest cities in the U.S. in 2010. 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 within city limits (while the San Diego County, region as a whole peaked at 278 homicides), 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. 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. Crime in San Diego increased in the early 2000s. In 2004, San Diego had the sixth lowest crime rate of any U.S. city with over half a million residents. 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. 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. In 2013, San Diego had the lowest murder rate of the ten largest cities in the United States.
Primary and secondary schoolsState schools, 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. 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 universitiesAccording to education rankings released by the United States Census Bureau, 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. The largest university in the area is the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). The university is the southernmost campus of the University of California system and is the second largest employer in the city. It is the only university in the city that is Research I university, classified "R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity", and it has the 7th largest research expenditure in the country. 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. Private non-profit colleges and universities in the city include the University of San Diego (USD), Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU), National University (California), National University's San Diego campus, University of Redlands' School of Business San Diego campus, Brandman University's San Diego campus, San Diego Christian College, and John Paul the Great Catholic University. For-profit institutions include Alliant International University (AIU), California International Business University (CIBU), California College San Diego, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising's San Diego campus, NewSchool of Architecture and Design, Platt College (San Diego), Platt College, Southern States University (SSU), UEI College, and Woodbury University School of Architecture's satellite campus. There is one medical school in the city, the UCSD School of Medicine. There are three American Bar Association, 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.
LibrariesThe city-run San Diego Public Library system is headquartered downtown and has 36 branches throughout the city. The newest location is in Skyline Hills, which broke ground in 2015. 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. A new nine-story Central Library on Park Boulevard at J Street opened on September 30, 2013. 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. Noteworthy are the Malcolm A. Love Library at San Diego State University, and the Geisel Library at the University of California, San Diego.
CultureMany popular museums, such as the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Natural History Museum, the Museum of Us, the Museum of Photographic Arts, and the San Diego Air & Space Museum, are located in Balboa Park, which is also the location of the San Diego Zoo. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is located in La Jolla and has a branch located at the Union Station (San Diego), Santa Fe Depot downtown. The downtown branch consists of two buildings on two opposite streets. The Columbia, San Diego, California, Columbia district downtown is home to historic ship exhibits belonging to the San Diego Maritime Museum, headlined by the Star of India (ship), Star of India, as well as the unrelated San Diego Aircraft Carrier Museum featuring the aircraft carrier. The San Diego Symphony at Symphony Towers performs on a regular basis; from 2004 to 2017, its director was Jahja Ling. The San Diego Opera at Civic Center Plaza, now directed by David Bennett, was ranked by Opera America as one of the top 10 opera companies in the United States. Old Globe Theatre at Balboa Park produces about 15 plays and musicals annually. The La Jolla Playhouse at UCSD is directed by Christopher Ashley. Both the Old Globe Theatre and the La Jolla Playhouse have produced the world premieres of plays and musicals that have gone on to win Tony Awards or nominations on Broadway theatre, Broadway. The Joan Kroc, Joan B. Kroc Theatre at Kroc Center's Performing Arts Center is a 600-seat state-of-the-art theatre that hosts music, dance, and theatre performances. The San Diego Repertory Theatre at the Lyceum Theatres in 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.
Professional sportsThe San Diego region is currently home to one major professional team—Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball (MLB)'s San Diego Padres, as well as several other top-level professional sports teams and minor league teams.
BaseballThe San Diego Padres, Padres play at Petco Park in Downtown San Diego, Downtown's East Village, San Diego, East Village. Prior to the opening of Petco Park in 2004, the San Diego Padres, Padres had played their home games at San Diego Stadium (also known as Jack Murphy Stadium and Qualcomm Stadium) in Mission Valley, San Diego, Mission Valley since joining Major League Baseball in 1969 as an expansion team. The San Diego Padres, Padres originated as a Minor League Baseball, Minor League Baseball (MiLB) team in the Pacific Coast League, Pacific Coast League (PCL), where they played from 1936 through 1968 until they joined Major League Baseball. As a PCL team, the San Diego Padres, Padres were based at Lane Field (baseball), Lane Field (now the site of the InterContinental Hotel San Diego) in Downtown's Columbia, San Diego, Columbia neighborhood from 1936 through 1957, and Westgate Park in Mission Valley (now the site of Fashion Valley Mall) from 1958 through 1967. Their final season as a minor league team, 1968, was also their first at San Diego Stadium. San Diego has hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, MLB All-Star Game three times: 1978 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, 1978 and 1992 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, 1992 at San Diego Stadium, and 2016 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, 2016 at Petco Park. Additionally, Petco Park has served as one of the host sites of the World Baseball Classic three times: 2006 World Baseball Classic, 2006, the inaugural tournament (for which San Diego hosted the championship), 2009 World Baseball Classic, 2009, and 2017 World Baseball Classic, 2017.
FootballFrom 1961 through the 2016 season, the city hosted a National Football League, National Football League (NFL) franchise, the History of the San Diego Chargers, San Diego Chargers. The Chargers, members of the American Football League, American Football League (AFL) until the AFL–NFL merger in 1970, were based at Mission Valley's San Diego Stadium from 1967 through the 2016 season, and previously at Balboa Stadium in East Village, San Diego, East Village–Balboa Park (San Diego), Balboa Park from 1961 through 1966. In 2017, they moved to Los Angeles following a request by owner Dean Spanos to relocate the team to SoFi Stadium, a new stadium constructed by Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke, where the Chargers would be a tenant and share the new stadium with the Rams. They are now known as the Los Angeles Chargers. The San Diego Fleet, who also played at San Diego Stadium (then known as SDCCU Stadium) competed in the single season of the short-lived Alliance of American Football, Alliance of American Football (AAF). Three NFL Super Bowl championships were held at San Diego Stadium: Super Bowl XXII in 1988, Super Bowl XXXII in 1998, and Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003.
BasketballSan Diego has a history in professional basketball, all encompassed within an 18-year period from 1967 to 1984. The San Diego Rockets, a National Basketball Association, National Basketball Association (NBA) expansion franchise, played from 1967 to 1971. The franchise was founded and owned by local sports booster Bob Breitbard, Robert Breitbard, who also founded and owned the original San Diego Gulls (1966–74), San Diego Gulls hockey franchise of the Western Hockey League (1952–1974), Western Hockey League and developed the San Diego Sports Arena (initially known as the San Diego International Sports Center), where the Rockets played. In 1971, the Rockets were sold and relocated to Houston after Breitbard encountered financial distress due to tax-assessment issues surrounding the sports arena, which ultimately prevented sale of the team to another local owner. The tax issues also led to Breitbard relinquishing control of the arena to Canadian millionaire Peter Graham, who's alleged mismanagement of the arena hampered future sports tenants. The franchise is now known as the Houston Rockets. The 1971 NBA All-Star Game was held at the San Diego Sports Arena, hosted by the Rockets just months prior to the team's sale and relocation. During the 1971–72 NBA season, San Diego was the part-time home of the Golden State Warriors for six home games (one each month of the season). The Warriors notably changed their name from "San Francisco" to "Golden State" prior to the season as the team was searching for a new home arena and looked to make a play for the San Diego market (as well as Oakland, California, Oakland) following the departure of the Rockets to Houston. The team ultimately stayed in the San Francisco Bay Area, settling full time in Oakland at Oakland Arena the following season. From 1972 to 1975, San Diego was home to the San Diego Sails, San Diego Conquistadors of the American Basketball Association, American Basketball Association (ABA), the league's first (and ultimately only) expansion team. Known as the Conquistadors ( "The Q's") for its first three seasons, the name was changed to the San Diego Sails following a change in ownership for the 1975–76 San Diego Sails season, 1975–76 season. The franchise was folded 11 games into that season after ownership learned that the team was to be shut out of the upcoming ABA–NBA merger, reportedly at the insistence of then-Los Angeles Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke. Cooke was upset that the San Diego franchise had signed former Lakers star Wilt Chamberlain away from his franchise two years prior (Lakers ownership successfully sued Chamberlain over the contract, ultimately preventing Chamberlain from playing with the Conquistadors, relegating him to coaching duties) and also expressed unwillingness of allowing another team in Southern California. The Conquistadors/Sails played at Peterson Gymnasium for the 1972–73 San Diego Conquistadors season, 1972–73 season and Golden Hall (arena), Golden Hall for the 1973–74 San Diego Conquistadors season, 1973–74 season before ownership was permitted to base the team at the San Diego Sports Arena, where it played the remainder of its games. Professional basketball returned from 1978 to 1984, in the form of the NBA's San Diego Clippers, the relocated successor to the Buffalo Braves franchise. The team was based at the San Diego Sports Arena. In 1981, the Clippers were bought by Los Angeles-area real estate developer Donald Sterling. Sterling attempted to move the team the following year in 1982 to his home of Los Angeles, but his request was denied by the NBA, which investigated Sterling's alleged widespread mismanagement of the franchise the same year. The investigation report recommended the termination of Sterling's ownership of the Clippers on the basis that he had failed to pay creditors and players on time. Days before a scheduled vote to terminate his ownership, he announced he would sell the team, prompting the league to cancel the scheduled vote. Sterling ultimately remained owner, satisfying league officials by instead relinquishing operational duties of the franchise. In 1984, Sterling again applied to relocate the team to Los Angeles, and despite again being denied permission to do so from the NBA, moved the team to Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena. Lawsuits followed, but Sterling ultimately prevailed and was able to keep the team in Los Angeles, also in part due to his close personal friendship with then-Lakers owner Jerry Buss, who welcomed sharing the Los Angeles market with Sterling's franchise. The franchise is now known as the Los Angeles Clippers. San Diego has not hosted major professional basketball since.
Ice hockeyThough San Diego has never hosted a National Hockey League, National Hockey League (NHL) team, the city is represented by the San Diego Gulls of the American Hockey League, the highest level of minor league ice hockey. The current version of the Gulls, which began play in 2015 after relocating from Norfolk, Virginia, plays at Pechanga Arena and following a long lineage of professional ice hockey teams which have used the San Diego Gulls name. The San Diego Gulls (1966–74), original San Diego Gulls, which played from 1966 until 1974, were the first tenants at the San Diego Sports Arena.
SoccerSan Diego has never hosted a Major League Soccer, Major League Soccer (MLS) team, though it is currently represented by San Diego Loyal SC of the USL Championship (the highest level of minor league soccer) as well as San Diego 1904 FC of the National Independent Soccer Association (the second-highest level of minor league soccer). The city also hosts the San Diego Sockers (2009–), San Diego Sockers of the Major Arena Soccer League, the highest level of professional indoor soccer. The current version of the Sockers follows a lineage of other professional soccer teams which have used the San Diego Sockers name. In 2022, the city will become the home to a San Diego NWSL team, a new expansion team of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL), slated to play its home games at Torero Stadium for its inaugural season before moving to more permanent home by 2023.
LacrosseThe San Diego Seals of the National Lacrosse League, National Lacrosse League (NLL) represent San Diego at box lacrosse's highest level. The team was founded by Joseph Tsai and began play in 2018, playing their games at Pechanga Arena.
RugbyRugby is a developing sport in the city, with top level professional teams representing San Diego in both Rugby union, union and Rugby league, league rules competition. The San Diego Legion of Major League Rugby (MLR), the highest level of rugby union, is based in the city at Torero Stadium, having began play in 2018 as one of the league's founding franchises. The San Diego Swell of the North American Rugby League (NARL), the highest level of rugby league, were announced in 2021 as a founding member of the league and are expected to begin play in 2022. The San Diego Breakers, who played in the only season of PRO Rugby (2016 PRO Rugby season, 2016) before the league folded, likewise played at Torero Stadium. The USA Sevens, a major international rugby event, was also held at the same stadium from 2007 through 2009. San Diego is also represented by Old Mission Beach Athletic Club RFC, the former home club of United States national rugby union team, USA Rugby's former Captain Todd Clever. San Diego participated in the Western American National Rugby League between 2011 and 2013.
Other sportsSan Diego has hosted numerous other major sports events. College football's annual bowl games, bowl game, the Holiday Bowl, is held in the city. The annual Farmers Insurance Open golf tournament (formerly the Buick Invitational) on the PGA Tour occurs at Torrey Pines Golf Course. This course was also the site of the 2008 U.S. Open Golf Championship. Soccer, American football, and track and field are also played in Balboa Stadium, the city's first stadium, which was constructed in 1914. The San Diego Yacht Club hosted the America's Cup yacht races three times during the period 1988 to 1995. 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 every year.
Major professional team
Other highest-level professional teams
Minor league professional teams
College teamsSan Diego hosts three NCAA Division I universities: San Diego State University; the University of California, San Diego; and the University of San Diego. The city also hosts Point Loma Nazarene University of NCAA Division II. Also in the San Diego area are California State University San Marcos, California State University, San Marcos of NCAA Division II and the University of Saint Katherine of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, NAIA, both located in San Marcos, California, San Marcos, and San Diego Christian College of the NAIA, located in Santee, California, Santee.
MediaPublished within the city are the daily newspaper, ''The San Diego Union Tribune'' and its online portal of the same name, and the alternative newsweeklies, the ''San Diego CityBeat'' and ''San Diego Reader''. ''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 national Far-right politics in the United States, far-right cable TV channel One America News Network, One America News Network (OANN), which was founded in 2013 and is owned by Herring Networks. The network gained notoriety for being ardent supporters of Donald Trump and providing a platform for Right-wing populism, right-wing Conspiracy Theories, conspiracy theories. San Diego led U.S. local markets with 69.6 percent broadband penetration in 2004 according to Nielsen ratings, Nielsen//NetRatings. San Diego's first television station was KFMB-TV, KFMB, which began broadcasting on May 16, 1949. Since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensed seven television stations in Los Angeles, two VHF channels were available for San Diego because of its relative proximity to the larger city. In 1952, however, the FCC began licensing UHF channels, making it possible for cities such as San Diego to acquire more stations. Stations based in Mexico (with ITU prefixes of XE and XH) also serve the San Diego market. Television stations today include XHTJB-TDT, XHTJB 3 (Once TV), XETV-TDT, XETV 6 (Canal 5 (Mexico), Canal 5), KFMB-TV, KFMB 8 (CBS, with The CW Television Network, CW/MyNetworkTV, MNTV on DT2), KGTV 10 (American Broadcasting Company, ABC), XEWT-TDT, XEWT 12 (Televisa Regional), KPBS (TV), KPBS 15 (Public Broadcasting Service, PBS), KBNT-CD 17 (Univision), XHTIT-TDT 21 (Azteca 7), XHJK-TDT 27 (Azteca 13), XHAS-TDT, XHAS 33 (Telemundo), K35DG-D 35 (UCSD-TV), KDTF-LD 51 (Unimás), KNSD 39 (NBC), KZSD-LP 20 (Azteca America), KSEX-CD 42 (Infomercials), XHBJ-TDT 45 (Gala TV (Mexico), Gala TV), XHDTV-TDT, XHDTV 49 (Milenio Televisión), KUSI 51 (Independent), XHUAA-TDT 57 (Canal de las Estrellas), and KSWB-TV 69 (Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox). San Diego has an 80.6 percent cable penetration rate.San Diego market in Due to the ratio of U.S. and Mexican-licensed stations, San Diego is the largest media market in the United States that is legally unable to support a Duopoly (broadcasting), television station duopoly between two full-power stations under Federal Communications Commission, FCC regulations, which disallow duopolies in metropolitan areas with fewer than nine full-power television stations and require that there be eight unique station owners that remain once a duopoly is formed (there are only seven full-power stations on the California side of the San Diego-Tijuana market). Though the E. W. Scripps Company owns KGTV and KZSD-LP, they are not considered a duopoly under the FCC's legal definition as common ownership between full-power and Low-power broadcasting, low-power television stations in the same market is permitted regardless to the number of stations licensed to the area. As a whole, the Mexico side of the San Diego-Tijuana market has two duopolies and one triopoly (Entravision Communications owns both XHAS-TV and XHDTV-TV, Azteca (multimedia company), Azteca owns XHJK-TV and XHTIT-TV, and Televisa, Grupo Televisa owns XHUAA-TV and XHWT-TV along with being the license holder for XETV-TV, which was formerly managed by California-based subsidiary Bay City Television). San Diego's television market is limited to only . The Imperial County, California, Imperial Valley, including El Centro, is in the Yuma, Arizona television market while neighboring Orange County, California, Orange and Riverside County, California, 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 iHeartMedia; Entercom Communications, Local Media San Diego, and many other smaller stations and networks. Stations include: KOGO (AM), KOGO AM 600, KGB (AM), KGB AM 760, KCEO, KCEO AM 1000, KCBQ, KCBQ AM 1170, KPRZ, K-Praise, KLSD, KLSD AM 1360, KFSD, KFSD 1450 AM, KPBS-FM 89.5, KHTS-FM, Channel 933, KMYI, Star 94.1, KBZT, FM 94/9, KSSX, FM News and Talk 95.7, KYDO, Q96 96.1, KYXY, KyXy 96.5, Free Radio San Diego (AKA Pirate Radio San Diego) 96.9FM FRSD, KWFN 97.3, KXSN 98.1, KFBG (FM), Big-FM 100.7, 101.5 KGB-FM, KLVJ (FM), KLVJ 102.1, KSON (FM), KSON 103.7, KIOZ, Rock 105.3, and another ''Pirate Radio'' station at 106.9FM, as well as a number of local Spanish-language radio stations.
UtilitiesWater 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. Gas and electric utilities are provided by San Diego Gas & Electric, a division of Sempra Energy.
Street lightsIn the mid-20th century the city had mercury vapor street lamps. In 1978, the city decided to replace them with more efficient sodium vapor lamps. This triggered an outcry from astronomers at Palomar Observatory north of the city, concerned that the new lamps would increase light pollution and hinder astronomical observation. The city altered its lighting regulations to limit light pollution within of Palomar. In 2011, the city announced plans to upgrade 80% of its street lighting to new energy-efficient lights that use Electrodeless lamp, 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. The city stated the changes would "make our neighborhoods safer." They also increase light pollution. 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.
TransportationWith 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 (California), Interstate 5, which runs south to and north to Los Angeles; Interstate 8 (California), Interstate 8, which runs east to Imperial County, California, Imperial County and the Arizona Sun Corridor; Interstate 15, which runs northeast through the Inland Empire (California), Inland Empire to Las Vegas and Salt Lake City; and Interstate 805 (California), Interstate 805, which splits from I-5 near the Mexican border and rejoins I-5 at Sorrento Valley. Major state highways include California State Route 94, SR 94, which connects downtown with I-805, I-15 and East County; California State Route 163, SR 163, which connects downtown with the northeast part of the city, intersects I-805 and merges with I-15 at Miramar, San Diego, Miramar; California State Route 52, SR 52, which connects La Jolla with East County through Santee, California, Santee and California State Route 125, SR 125; California State Route 56, SR 56, which connects I-5 with I-15 through Carmel Valley, San Diego, Carmel Valley and Rancho Peñasquitos; California State Route 75, SR 75, which spans as the San Diego-Coronado Bridge, and also passes through South San Diego as Palm Avenue; and California State Route 905, SR 905, which connects I-5 and I-805 to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry. The stretch of SR 163 that passes through Balboa Park is San Diego's oldest freeway, and has been called one of America's most beautiful parkways. 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 of the grid street patterns 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. San Diego is served by the San Diego Trolley light rail system, by the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, SDMTS bus system, private Share taxi#United States, jitneys in some neighborhoods, and by Coaster (San Diego), Coaster and Pacific Surfliner, Amtrak Pacific Surfliner commuter rail; northern San Diego County, California, San Diego county is also served by the Sprinter (light rail), Sprinter light rail line. The trolley primarily serves downtown and surrounding urban communities, Mission Valley, San Diego, California, Mission Valley, east county, and coastal south bay. A mid-coast extension of the Trolley operates from to University City, San Diego, California, University City and the University of California, San Diego along the I-5 Freeway, beginning in November 2021. The Amtrak and Coaster trains currently run along the coastline and connect San Diego with Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ventura via Metrolink (Southern California), Metrolink and the Pacific Surfliner. There are two Amtrak stations in San Diego, in Old Town Transit Center (MTS Transit Center), Old Town and Union Station (San Diego, California), 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. The city has two major commercial airports within or near its city limits. Downtown (SAN), also known as Lindbergh Field, is the busiest single-runway airport in the United States. It served over 24 million passengers in 2018, and is dealing with larger numbers every year. It is located on San Diego Bay, from downtown, and maintains scheduled flights to the rest of the United States (including Hawaii), as well as to Canada, Germany, Mexico, Japan, and the United Kingdom. It is operated by an independent agency, the San Diego Regional Airport Authority. Tijuana International Airport has a terminal within the city limits in the Otay Mesa district connected to the rest of the airport in , , via the Cross Border Xpress cross-border footbridge. It is the primary airport for flights to the rest of Mexico, and offers connections via Mexico City to the rest of Latin America. In addition, the city has two general-aviation airports, Montgomery Field (MYF) and Brown Field Municipal Airport, Brown Field (SDM). 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 lane, 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. Expansion at the port has included a second cruise terminal on Broadway Pier, San Diego, Broadway Pier, opened in 2010. Airport projects include expansion of Terminal Two.
Sister citiesSan Diego's sister cities are: * Alcalá de Henares, Spain (est. 1982) * Campinas, Brazil (est. 1995) * Cavite City, Philippines (est. 1969) * Edinburgh, Scotland (est. 1977) * Jalalabad, Afghanistan (est. 2004) * Jeonju, South Korea (est. 1983) * León, Guanajuato, León, Mexico (est. 1969) * Panama City, Panama (est. 2015) * City of Perth, Perth, Australia (est. 1986) * Taichung, Taiwan (est. 1983) * Tema, Ghana (est. 1976) * Tijuana Municipality, Tijuana, Mexico (est. 1993) * Vladivostok, Russia (est. 1991) * Warsaw, Poland (est. 1996) * Yantai, China (est. 1985) * Yokohama, Japan (est. 1957)
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