San Diego

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San Diego
Photos from left to right: San Diego Skyline, Coronado Bay Bridge, the Museum in Balboa Park, the Serra Museum in Presidio Park, and the Lighthouse at Point Loma
Photos from left to right: San Diego Skyline, Coronado Bay Bridge , the Museum in Balboa Park , the Serra Museum in Presidio Park, and the Lighthouse at Point Loma
Seal of San Diego
San Diego flag
Location of the city in California and San Diego County
Location of San Diego in San Diego County (right) and California (left)
Basic data
Foundation : 1769
State : United States
State : California
County : San Diego County
Coordinates : 32 ° 43 ′  N , 117 ° 10 ′  W Coordinates: 32 ° 43 ′  N , 117 ° 10 ′  W
Time zone : Pacific ( UTC − 8 / −7 )
Inhabitants :
Metropolitan Area :
1,406,630 (as of 2016)
3,194,362 (as of 2014)
Population density : 1,674.6 inhabitants per km 2
Area : 963.6 km 2  (approx. 372 mi 2 ) of
which 840.0 km 2  (approx. 324 mi 2 ) are land
Height : 22 m
Postcodes : 92101-92117, 92119-92124, 92126-92140, 92142, 92145, 92147, 92149-92155, 92158-92172, 92174-92177, 92179, 92182, 92184, 92186, 92187, 92190-92199
Area code : +1 619, 858
FIPS : 06-66000
GNIS ID : 1661377
Website :
Mayor : Kevin Faulconer ( R )

San Diego (pronunciation: English [ ˌsæn diːˈeɪgoʊ ], Spanish [san ˈdjeɣo]) is the second largest city in the US state of California and the eighth largest in the United States . According to the last census in 2010, the city had a population of 1,301,621 (2016 estimate: around 1,400,000, US Census Bureau) and is located in southwest California near the border with Mexico . San Diego is the seat of the county government of San Diego County .

Because of the pleasant climate, San Diego is known by its residents as "America's Finest City". The waves of the Pacific are particularly suitable for surfing .

The city has developed into one of the most important centers of the telecommunications and biotech industry in recent years .


San Diego is located on an artificial harbor basin on the southern tip of California, about a two and a half hours drive south of Los Angeles and about half an hour north of Tijuana , Mexico. The city is bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west. To the east, mountains and the Anza Borrego Desert Park form a natural border. San Diego is divided in two by the city of Chula Vista . The highest point in the city is Cowles Mountain ( 486  m ) in Mission Trails Regional Park ; other elevations are the Black Mountain with 475  m and Mount Soledad with 251  m . The urban area continues to expand inland. In the south it extends to the Mexican border. The San Diego River flows through the city .


The area of ​​present-day San Diego was inhabited for a long time by the Kumeyaay Indians. On September 28, 1542, the Portuguese Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo , who was in Spanish service, was the first European to go ashore. He declared his discovery to be owned by the Spanish Crown and named it San Miguel. California was administratively part of the viceroyalty of New Spain .

The next Spaniard to visit the region was Sebastián Vizcaíno . On behalf of Spain, he sailed along the west coast to map it. In November 1602, on the feast day in honor of San Diego de Alcalá , he reached San Miguel and gave the place its current name, San Diego.

It was not until 1769 that Gaspar de Portolá established a military post and the Franciscan Junípero Serra established the first mission , the Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Due to constant problems with the water supply and the poor arable soil, the priest Luis Jayme postponed the mission by around ten kilometers in 1774, and the first settlers soon followed . In 1775 the Spaniards were able to successfully prevail against an indigenous revolt. As a result of these events, Luis Jayme and two other people were killed. In 1776 Junípero Serra returned and organized the reconstruction of the mission. In 1797, San Diego de Alcalá was the largest mission in California with over 1,400 neophytes .

In 1821 Mexico gained independence from Spain. The viceroyalty of New Spain, Alta California and thus San Diego became part of the nation state of Mexico. In 1834, San Diego was declared a city and the first elections were held. Juan Maria Osuna won the mayoral election against Pio Pico and became first mayor. In 1838 San Diego lost its city status again after a drastic population decline.

As a result of the Mexican-American War , San Diego fell to the United States in 1850 and was declared the city and seat of San Diego County. Joshua Bean became the first US mayor .

In 1869, local gold discoveries sparked a boom. As a result, San Diego was connected to the national rail network in 1885. At the end of the 1880s the gold rush subsided; the population of San Diego fell from 40,000 to 16,000.

In 1915/16, San Diego hosted the Panama-California Exposition .

In 1917, the United States' entry into World War I brought numerous military installations to San Diego.

In 1927 Charles Lindbergh transferred the San Diego-built Spirit of St. Louis from the airfield , which was later named after him, in record time to the east coast to Roosevelt Field in New York , the starting point of his legendary transatlantic flight . The aircraft industry began to establish itself in San Diego at the same time.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor , the United States Navy moved the headquarters of their Pacific Fleet back to San Diego in 1941 . Since the Second World War , the military shaped the cityscape of San Diego and triggered an economic boom. To this day it is the most important employer in the region.

On September 25, 1978 joined Boeing 727 of Pacific Southwest Airlines with a sport airplane, a Cessna 172 together. A total of 144 people died in the crash of Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182 .

On January 29, 1979, 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer shot dead two people and injured nine others outside Grover Cleveland Elementary School.

In 1981, the United States' first modern light rail system began operating with the San Diego Trolley .

On July 18, 1984, one of the worst rampages in US history took place in the San Ysidro district: 41-year-old James Oliver Huberty entered a McDonald’s branch, shot 21 people and injured 19 others before he was shot by the police.

After the end of the Cold War , the presence of the military decreased significantly, and the biotech and telecommunications industries have since revived in San Diego. The Main Inner Belt asteroid (3043) San Diego is named after the city.

Map of Southern California with San Diego and Los Angeles
San Diego skyline photographed from the Coronado Ferry Landing


Climate diagram of San Diego

The annual average temperature is 17.3 ° C, the average monthly rainfall is 24 mm. The winters are generally mild with an average temperature of 14 ° C.

Monthly Average Temperatures and Rainfall for San Diego, California
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 18.8 19.2 19.1 20.2 20.6 22.0 24.6 25.4 25.1 23.7 21.1 18.9 O 21.6
Min. Temperature (° C) 9.4 10.4 11.6 13.1 15.1 16.6 18.7 19.6 18.7 16.1 12.2 9.3 O 14.3
Precipitation ( mm ) 45.7 38.9 45.0 20.1 4.8 1.8 0.5 2.5 6.1 9.4 36.8 39.9 Σ 251.5
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 7.7 8.0 8.4 9.2 8.1 8.1 9.8 9.5 8.4 7.9 7.7 7.5 O 8.4
Rainy days ( d ) 4.7 4.4 5.2 2.8 1.1 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.9 1.4 3.8 4.5 Σ 29.4
Water temperature (° C) 15th 15th 16 16 17th 19th 21st 21st 20th 19th 18th 16 O 17.8
Humidity ( % ) 63 66 67 67 71 74 75 74 73 69 66 64 O 69.1
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Population development

San Diego is growing rapidly. The city's population almost quadrupled from 1950 to 2010, and from 1980 to 2010 the population increased by almost 50%:

year Residents¹
1950 334,387
1960 573.224
1970 696.769
1980 875,553
1990 1,110,549
2000 1,222,920
2010 1,301,621
2016 1,406,630

¹ 1950–2010: census results; 2016: US Census Bureau estimate


According to the 2010 census, the population was 45.1 percent white and 6.7 percent African-American; 15.9 percent were of Asian origin. 28.8 percent of the population were Hispanics . The median income per household in 2015 was 66,116 US dollars . 15.4 percent of the population lived below the poverty line.


In addition to the armed forces , the telecommunications and biotechnology industries are the most important branches of industry; San Diego is one of the three most important biotechnology centers in the USA. The renewable energies create more and more jobs here.

The rise of San Diego to one of the most important telecommunications centers is closely linked to Qualcomm . Founded in 1985 by Irwin Jacobs , the company is headquartered in San Diego and has played a key role in making San Diego the global " CDMA capital".

The Ryan aircraft works that built Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis aircraft are now part of the Northrop Grumman (NGC) group as the Ryan Aeronautical Center . They left the typical halls at the city's airport and moved to Rancho Bernardo, a northern part of the city. The plant developed and built the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft before it was taken over by NGC .

Chemical company WD-40 Company and pharmaceutical company Amylin Pharmaceuticals are based in San Diego.

There are also several shipyards in San Diego.

The 2003 workforce in the San Diego area was 1,481,400 and the unemployment rate was 4.3% (California 6.7%). In 2004, the highest number of employees was in the service sector with 509,500, followed by government with 206,600, retail with 137,000 and manufacturing with 103,900 employees.

The metropolitan area of ​​San Diego generated an economic output of 215.3 billion US dollars in 2016, making it 17th among the metropolitan areas of the United States.


City and County
Hall of San Diego

Republican Kevin Faulconer has been the city's mayor since March 3, 2014 .

Town twinning

The city of San Diego has the following 16 twin cities :

city country since
Alcalá de Henares SpainSpain Madrid, Spain 1982
Campinas BrazilBrazil São Paulo, Brazil 1995
Cavite PhilippinesPhilippines Calabarzon, Philippines 1969
Jalalabad AfghanistanAfghanistan Nangarhar, Afghanistan 2004
Edinburgh United KingdomUnited Kingdom Scotland, United Kingdom 1977
Jeonju Korea SouthSouth Korea Jeollabuk, South Korea 1982
Leon MexicoMexico Guanajuato, Mexico 1969
Panama PanamaPanama Panama 2014
Perth AustraliaAustralia Western Australia, Australia 1986
Quanzhou China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China Fujian, People's Republic of China
Taichung TaiwanRepublic of China (Taiwan) Taiwan 1983
Tema GhanaGhana Ghana 1976
Tijuana MexicoMexico Baja California, Mexico 1993
Warsaw PolandPoland Mazovia, Poland 1996
Vladivostok RussiaRussia Far East, Russia 1991
Yantai China People's RepublicPeople's Republic of China Shandong, People's Republic of China 1985
Yokohama JapanJapan Kantō, Japan 1957



Interstate 5

For more than 80% of the population of San Diego, the car is the main mode of transport. As a result, there is a very extensive network of expressways and motorways . The main freeway is Interstate 5 . It starts at the Mexican border, then runs through San Diego, Los Angeles , Sacramento , Seattle and finally ends at the Canadian border.

Other major motorways and expressways:

The San Diego Coronado Bay Bridge , opened in 1969, spans San Diego Bay and connects downtown with the coastal town of Coronado .

Public transport

Only about 3% of the population use public transport. It consists of trams , buses, and passenger trains ( Amtrak ).

Air traffic

There are several airports in San Diego. The largest and therefore most important is the San Diego International Airport . It is around 4.5 km from the city center. Over 18 million passengers are handled here annually, making it the 30th largest airport in the United States .

Sport, education, culture and religion

College football game between the San Diego State Aztecs and UCLA at Qualcomm Stadium

Until he moved to Los Angeles, the city's football team was the San Diego Chargers and the baseball team was the San Diego Padres . The games of both sports were played at Qualcomm Stadium until 2003 . Since 2004, the Padres have had their own stadium, PETCO Park in downtown San Diego.

San Diego is considered to be the cradle of modern triathlon . On September 25, 1974 , the first triathlon to be referred to as such took place in Mission Bay , a lagoon with a beach in the middle of the city. A few years later, the Ironman Hawaii emerged .

San Diego also has several colleges , with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) being the most famous. There are also the San Diego State University (SDSU) and the Catholic University of San Diego (USD).

Cultural facilities include a musical theater, opera house, and a philharmonic orchestra , which since 2003 has grown into one of the best orchestras in the country thanks to a $ 1 million donation from Qualcomm founder Jacobs. Finally, San Diego also has a number of museums and galleries. Best known is the Timken Museum with its nationally important collection of old masters . The San Diego Museum of Art is a major art museum in the city.

The annual Comic-Con International , the world's largest comic convention, has been held in San Diego since 1970 . Annual music festivals are the University's Sun God Festival or the CRSSD Festival in Waterfront Park.

The Roman Catholic diocese of San Diego has its seat in the city. St. Joseph Cathedral acts as the episcopal church .


Gaslamp Quarter
In the center of San Diego


San Diego Police Department patrol car

The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) is the San Diego Police Department with 2,781 staff and 840 volunteers. The annual budget is $ 277 million. The SDPD manages an area that is home to approximately 1.4 million people.


Downtown San Diego with the Navy Airfield in the foreground
Border security between San Diego (left) and Tijuana (right)

The Naval Base Coronado in the bay off San Diego in addition to Norfolk , Virginia , the largest naval base in the USA. It is the home port of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan , several amphibious assault ships and other warships of the US Navy's Pacific Fleet .

The naval base also includes Naval Air Station North Island , home to large numbers of Navy aircraft and the headquarters of the United States Naval Special Warfare Command , the command center of the Navy Seals special unit . From 1925 to 1997, the Naval Training Center San Diego was located north of the bay .

Several nuclear submarines are stationed at the Naval Submarine Base .

The Marine Corps maintains, among other things, the Miramar base , which until the mid-1990s was home to the famous Top Gun training program .

On May 11, 1962, as part of a series of tests, a nuclear weapon, code-named Swordfish, was detonated submarine just 740 km from San Diego .

sons and daughters of the town

Film city of San Diego

See also

Web links

Commons : San Diego  - Album containing pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: San Diego  Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Lutz D. Schmadel : Dictionary of Minor Planet Names . Fifth Revised and Enlarged Edition. Ed .: Lutz D. Schmadel. 5th edition. Springer Verlag , Berlin , Heidelberg 2003, ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7 , pp.  186 (English, 992 pp., [ONLINE; accessed October 3, 2019] Original title: Dictionary of Minor Planet Names . First edition: Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg 1992): “1982 SA. Discovered 1982 Sept. 20 by EF Helin at Palomar. "
  2. US Census Bureau QuickFacts selected: San Diego city, California; California. Retrieved November 7, 2017 .
  3. ^ US Department of Commerce, BEA, Bureau of Economic Analysis: Bureau of Economic Analysis. Retrieved July 4, 2018 (American English).
  4. Sister Cities ǀ City of San Diego Official Website. Retrieved May 16, 2020 .
  5. Knotts Soak City Water Park Opens for 2011 Season by Knotts Soak City Water Park Opens for 2011 Season , accessed May 17, 2011.
  6. a b