San Diego Population 2018

San Diego is a coastal Southern California city about 120 miles south of Los Angeles and along the border with Mexico. San Diego is the second largest Californian city and the eighth largest in the country. It is also one of the fastest growing U.S. cities.

San Diego is estimated to have a population of 1,339,000, up from an estimated 1.322 million in 2012.

San Diego has a population estimated at 1.339 million. At the last census in 2010, San Diego's population was 1.307 million. San Diego has a population density of 4,003 people per square mile in the city proper. The metropolitan population is much larger, however, and is estimated at 3.1 million people. This is the third-largest metro area after Los Angeles and San Francisco.

San Diego is also part of the San Diego-Tijuana international metropolitan area, or conurbation, which includes San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico. The region has a 2012 population of 4.9 million.

San Diego Demographics

According to the 2010 census, the ethnic and racial breakdown of San Diego was:

  • White: 58.9% (non-Hispanic: 45.3%)
  • Asian: 15.9% (5.9% Filipino, 2.7% Chinese, 2.5% Vietnamese, 1.3% Indian, 1.0% Korean)
  • African American: 6.7%
  • Native American: 0.6%
  • Pacific Islander: 0.5%
  • Other race: 12.3%
  • Two or more races: 5.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino of any race: 28.8% (24.9% Mexican, 0.6% Puerto Rican)

San Diego has the third largest homeless population in the country, with the largest percentage of homeless veterans. While San Diego was the fifth wealthiest city in the United States according to Forbes in 2005, almost 15% of the population was below the poverty line at this time.

San Diego History

San Diego was originally inhabited by the La Jolla and San Dieguito people, as well as the Kumeyaay people. The first European to visit the area was Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who claimed the bay for Spain in 1542 and named the site San Miguel. In 1602, Sebastian Vizcaino surveyed the coast on his ship San Diego and named current-day Mission Bay and Point Loma Saint Didacus, or San Diego de Alcala. That year, the first Christian religious service recorded in the area took place to celebrate the feast day of San Diego.

By 1769, Mission San Diego de Alacala was founded and developed the largest native population in Alta California. When Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, San Diego became a part of Alta California, a Mexican state. The town of San Diego then began to grow before it was secularized by Mexico in 1834 and its land was sold to wealthy settlers. By 1838, the town's population dropped from 1,400 to just 100-150.

In 1846, the United States went to war against Mexico, eventually capturing San Diego and other areas. San Diego, Los Angeles and other areas were ceded to the U.S. in 1847. Three years later, California was admitted to the United States and San Diego was designated the seat of San Diego county and incorporated as a city. By World War II, San Diego became a major military and defense hub, growing rapidly to reach 333,000 by 1950. The military continued to play a large role in the economy following World War II, although San Diego leaders eventually diversified the economy to focus on tourism, research and science.

San Diego Population Growth

With the U.S. economy improving, more immigration is boosting California's growth rate, and more foreigners are attracted to the region, particularly San Diego. Of the 28,200 residents added in the county between 2012 and 2013, 16,000 were foreign immigrants.

San Diego is expected to continue growing well into the future, reaching a projected 1.9 million people by 2050, or a 49% increase from 2000. The city proper will grow from 1.3 million at the 2010 census to 1.5 million in 2020. By 2050, San Diego is expected to become a white-minority city. The Hispanic population is projected to surpass the white population for the first time in 2035. By 2015, the white population is expected to stop growing and start decreasing in size by 2035.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate

San Diego Population in 2018Source: WPPilot

San Diego Race Data

Race Population Percentage
Some Other Race93,4846.65%
Black or African American88,9136.32%
Two or More Races65,8384.68%
American Indian and Alaska Native7,3000.52%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander5,2220.37%

Population Pyramid

0k0k0k0k0k0k Male Population0k0k0k0k0k0k Female Population8580757065605550454035302520151050

San Diego Housing Indicators

Indicator Value
Median Number of Rooms (per House)
Houses Without Mortgage
Houses With Mortgage
Vacancy Rate
Median Rent
Median Home Value
Renter-Occupied Units
Owner-Occupied Units
Total Housing Units

This chart shows the employment and labor force participation rates in San Diego for residents over 16 years of age. The 2015 unemployment rate is 5.5% and the labor force participation rate is 67.5%.

San Diego Family/Household Indicators

Indicator Value
Unmarried Partner Households (Same Sex)
Unmarried Partner Households (Opposite Sex)
Non Family Households
Female Householder (no husband) Families
Male Householder (no wife) Families
Married Couple Families
Average Family Size
Average Household Size