About San Diego

San Diego Photograsphy by Mergener

San Diego County, one of 58 counties in the State of California, was established on February 18, 1850, just after California became the 31st state. The County stretches 65 miles from north to south, and 86 miles from east to west, covering 4,261 square miles.

Elevation ranges from sea level to 6,500 feet. The county is approximately the size of the state of Connecticut. It borders (to the north) Orange and Riverside Counties, (to the east) the agricultural communities of Imperial County, (on the west) the Pacific Ocean, and (to the south) the State of Baja California, Mexico.

Geographically, San Diego County is on the same approximate latitude as Dallas, Texas and Charleston, South Carolina.

San Diego County is comprised of 18 incorporated cities and 17 unincorporated communities. The county's total population in 2000 was 2,813,833. The 2000 Census data reports that the median age in San Diego County is 33 years. According to the U.S. Census 2000, San Diego is the third largest county (based on population) in the state.

The physical, social and economic development of the region has been influenced by its unique geography, which encompasses over 70 miles of beautiful coastline, broad valleys, lakes, forested mountains and the desert. The county can be divided into three basic geographic areas, all generally running in the north-south direction.

The coastal plain extends from the ocean to inland areas for 20 to 25 miles. The foothills and mountains, rising in elevation to 6,500 feet, comprise the middle section of the county.

The third area is the desert, extending from the mountains into Imperial County, 80 miles east of the coast. San Diegans can live in the mountains, work near the ocean, and take recreational day trips to the desert.

The City of San Diego has the 7th largest population of all cities in the U.S. and roughly half of San Diego County's total population resides in the City of San Diego.

Learn More About San Diego Historical Timeline