Key Facts and Figures

With its great weather, miles of sandy beaches, and major attractions, San Diego is known worldwide as one of the best tourist destinations. San Diego is also a location for cutting-edge businesses for telecommunications, biotechnology, software, electronics, and other major industries. Here's why San Diego is a great place to live and work:

  • Top Life Science and Bioscience location (#4 Jones Lang LaSalle 2015)
  • 14 advanced industries produce $42.1 B and pay $116,600/yr. on avg. (Brookings Institute)
  • #1 Concentration of military/defense assets in the world (San Diego Military Advisory Council)
  • #2 most inventive City in the world (Forbes 2013)
  • Global connections- direct flights to Tokyo, London and Shanghai
  • #1 most patent Sports and Active lifestyle sector with 1,200+ companies in the region. (San Diego Regional EDC)
  • Home to University of California San Diego (UCSD) ranked #3 best public university in the U.S. and #17 in the world (World University Rankings, 2016)
  • #1 lowest average commute times among peer cities. (Talent, Where San Diego Stands, 2016)
  • National Geographic’s “World Smart Cities”, only city in North America to be selected. (2015)
  • “Best Place to Launch a Startup” (Forbes 2014)
  • Tourism sector has 34M annual visitors generating $9.9B in spending. Supports 173K jobs. (2015)
  • 80+ Research Institutes in the region

Base Sectors

The following four base sectors constitute the backbone of San Diego's economy:

  • International Trade
  • Manufacturing
  • Military
  • Tourism


  • Several school districts serve San Diego, but the San Diego Unified School District is the 2nd largest in California.
  • There are 335 private schools throughout the City of San Diego.
  • Approximately 369,878 people in San Diego are enrolled in school, from nursery school to graduate or professional school.
  • 17.0% of San Diegans retain a graduate level or higher degree as well as 42.3% over the age of 25 have at least a bachelor's degree. Half (49.9%) of San Diegans over the age of 25 have at least an associate's degree and 87.3% over the age of 25 have at least a high school degree.


  • The median age of San Diego's population is 33.9, with just under a quarter under the age of 20, and 11.2% over 65.
  • With more than 1.39 million people, San Diego is the 8th largest city in the United States and the 2nd largest in California.
  • More than 100 languages are spoken by San Diego residents who have come from all parts of the world to live here.