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 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 Wealth and Economics
San Diego has the third largest homeless population in the country, with the most significant 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 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.
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 Alcala was founded and developed the most abundant 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 Mexico secularized it 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 the other regions 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, proliferating to reach 333,000 by 1950. The military continued to play a significant role in the economy following World War II, although San Diego leaders eventually diversified the economy to focus on tourism, research, and science.