Moving to San Diego, California

Moving to San Diego, California

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    If you’re reading this, you’re considering visiting or moving to San Diego, California. You’re in the right place! Here, we’ll discuss everything you need about America’s Finest City, San Diego.

    San Diego is one of the most prominent and well-known cities in the United States. As the birthplace of California, the city is renowned for its craft beer industry, sports culture, 70 miles of Pacific coast beaches offering water recreation activities, near-perfect weather year-round, and world-renowned family attractions.

    Its association with the U.S. Navy and the emergence of biotechnology and healthcare centers have created paths for business opportunities, job openings, and economic development for the country.

    So, if you’re among those folks, read the blog post below for more information about moving to San Diego, CA.

    Quick facts regarding moving to San Diego, CA:

    Where is San Diego, CA, located?

    San Diego, located in Southern California, is a Pacific Ocean city with a border with Mexico. Positioned at San Diego Bay, it is approximately 120 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

    Population of San Diego, CA

    With about 1,381,162 residents, San Diego, CA, population ranks as the 8th most popular city in the US and the second most populous city in California, followed by Los Angeles. 

    • San Diego, CA’s population density is 4381 people per every square mile of 372 square miles.
    • The median age of the male and female population in San Diego, CA, are 34 and 35.9 years, respectively.
    • The population of San Diego, California, is currently rising at a rate of 0.14%. 
    • The poverty rate in San Diego, CA,  is 10.5%, less than the national average of 13.9% and California’s average of 12.9%.
    • The most spoken languages in San Diego are English and Spanish.

    Diversity of San Diego, CA

    San Diego’s largest ethnic groups, with a diverse population, is divided into:

    • White (Non-Hispanic)- 42%
    • Asian (Non-Hispanic)- 16.9%
    • White (Hispanic)- 16.2% 
    • Other (Hispanic): 7.72%
    • Two+ (Hispanic): 7.66%

    Is San Diego, CA, safe?

    San Diego is one of California’s safest places to live, with a crime rate of 12% lower than the US average of 20% than the state average. Hence, moving to San Diego, CA, with family or after retirement can be a suitable option.

    Here are some crime and safety stats for San Diego, CA. 

    • San Diego has an overall crime rate of 23 crimes per thousand residents.
    • The chance of violent crime in San Diego, CA, is 1 in 253, and for property crime, it’s 1 in 52.
    • Property crimes, including burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, and arson, & violent crimes, including Aggravated assault and robbery, are the most common crimes in San Diego.
    • Crime like homicides, robberies, and car thefts have decreased by 17%, 12%, and 4%, respectively, from last year in San Diego.
    Crime typeSan DiegoCaliforniaUS
    Violent crime24.425.222.7
    Property crime31.437.134

    The safe neighborhoods in San Diego, CA are:

    • Rancho Encantada
    • Del Mar
    • Via de la Valle
    • San Pasqual Valley
    • Carmel Valley
    • La Jolla
    • Nestor
    • Egger Highlands
    • Miramar
    • Scripps Ranch

    Cost of Living in San Diego, CA

    Living a pleasant life in San Diego, California, is much pricier than the national average by 54.9%, with an index of 154.9. If you are relocating to Sun Diego, California, here are the city’s cost of living components.

    • The average cost of living in San Diego, CA, is around $2248 for students, $1428 for a single person, and $4960 for a family of four without rent. 
    • Living comfortably in San Diego, CA, requires a minimum income of $79,324 for a single person and $159,840 for a family.
    • San Diego’s average annual household income is $121,230, while the median is $89,457.

    Here is a table summarizing the cost of living in San Diego, CA:

    Expense CategoryCostComparison to the National Average
    Cost of Living Index154.954.9% higher
    Median Home Price$1,004,634123% higher
    Median Rent$3,055/month123% higher
    Utilities (Energy Bill)$199.81/month13% higher
    Transportation (Gas)$4.47/gallon32% higher
    Grocery (Bread, Milk, Eggs, Bananas)$4.34, $2.72, $2.52, $3.76 respectively12% higher
    Healthcare (Doctor’s Visit, Dentist Visit, Optometrist Visit)$130.41, $112.51, $122.84 respectively4% higher
    Recommended Minimum Income$84,000 (single person), $159,840 (family)Varies by family size

    Job Market in San Diego, CA

    San Diego’s job growth looks promising, with an expected gain of nearly 207,600 jobs by 2024. Significant growth is anticipated in various sectors, including professional services, education, healthcare, social assistance, leisure, and hospitality.

    • The fastest-growing job market in San Diego includes roles like medical and health services managers, software developers or engineers, and logistics managers.
    • The average annual salary in San Diego is $69,443, with a median salary of $61,958.
    • The unemployment rate in San Diego is 4.10%.
    • The average male salary in San Diego is an average hourly wage of $34.17 and an annual salary of $71,074, while for females, it’s $53,040.

    The top employers in San Diego, CA, are:

    • University of California, San Diego.
    • County of San Diego.
    • Qualcomm.
    • Kaiser Permanente.
    • General Atomics
    • Illumina
    • Sempra
    • United States Navy

    The most common jobs in San Diego, CA, are:

    • Physicians
    • surgeons
    • Managers in finance, healthcare, and technology.
    • Sales representatives
    • Retail workers.
    • Office and Administrator
    • Teacher

    The highest-paying jobs in San Diego, CA, are:

    • Staff Psychiatrist
    • CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist)
    • Hospitalist
    • Obstetricians
    • Chief Executives
    • Natural Science Managers
    • Dentists

    Tax rates in San Diego, CA

    If you are moving to San Diego, CA, you must pay the following taxes listed below:

    • Sales Tax: San Diego’s total local sales tax rate is 7.75%, including state, county, city, and special district taxes.
    • Property Tax: San Diego County has an average effective property tax rate of 0.87% of assessed value.
    • Income Tax: California’s progressive income tax system has 1% to 12.3% rates. Incomes over $1 million face an extra 1% tax.

    Housing market in San Diego, CA

    The San Diego, CA, housing market is highly competitive, with homes getting around five offers and selling within approximately 18 days.

    • The average home cost in San Diego, CA, is $915,000, showing a 7.6% increase from the previous year.
    • The median value of homes in San Diego, CA, is $664,000.
    • Approximately 47.7% of San Diego, CA residents own their homes.
    • The median list price per square foot for homes in San Diego, CA, is $660, marking a 6.1% rise from last year.
    • The average rent in San Diego is between $2363 and $3735 per month.
    • The cost to build a house in San Diego, California, is $200 – $400 per square foot, or $1,000,000 and $1,250,000. 
    Housing costsSan DiegoUSA  
    Median home cost$915,000,$338,100
    Rental cost of a studio$2,363 to $3,735$1080
    Rental cost of 1 bedroom$1,927 to $2,656$1180
    Rental cost of 2 bedroom$3,150$1430
    Rental cost of 3 bedroom$4599$1860

    Top neighborhoods in San Diego, CA

    The best places to live in San Diego, CA, are as follows:

    • Torrey Hills
    • La Jolla
    • Del Mar Mesa
    • Via de la Valle
    • East Village
    • Gaslamp Quarter
    • Barrio Logan
    • Imperial Beach
    • Hillcrest
    • North Park & University Heights

    Education system in San Diego, CA

    The education system in San Diego consists of public, private, elementary, and NTS Schools. The San Diego Unified School District is recognized as one of the premier large urban school districts in the United States. The top-performing schools of San Diego stand out with 92-99% of graduation rates.

    • San Diego, California, has 822 schools, including 417 preschools, 210 middle schools, 155 high schools, and 522 private schools.
    • The San Diego Unified School District, the second-largest in California, serves over 121,000 students. It employs almost 6,000 teachers across its 226 educational facilities.
    • The San Diego Unified School District maintains a student-teacher ratio of 22:1.
    • In San Diego, the cost of education varies by school type. For example, the tuition at the University of San Diego, a private institution, is $56,444—higher than the national average cost of tuition.
    • However, the net price, representing the average cost after aid and scholarship funds are deducted, is $35,440 for the average student receiving need-based aid.

    Middle schools in San Diego, CA:

    • Muirlands Middle School
    • Standley Middle School
    • Challenger Middle School
    • Marshall Middle School
    • Lewis Middle School

    Elementary schools in San Diego, CA:

    • La Jolla Elementary
    • Jerabek Elementary
    • Torrey Pines Elementary
    • Silver Gate Elementary
    • Scripps Elementary

    High schools in San Diego, CA:

    • Preuss School UCSD
    • Canyon Crest Academy
    • Del Norte High School
    • Westview High School
    • Sage Creek High School

    Colleges and universities in San Diego, CA:

    How Fast Can You Commute in San Diego, CA?

    In San Diego, CA, the average one-way commute is around 24.0 minutes, shorter than the US average of 26.4 minutes.

    For getting to work:

    • Car: 82.5% of workers drive, and 8.7% carpool.
    • Public Transportation: Approximately 3.5% use public transportation.
    • Working from Home: About 9.6% work from home.

    Available public transportation in San Diego includes:

    • San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS): Operates buses and the San Diego Trolley, covering extensive areas in the city.
    • North County Transit District (NCTD): Operates the Coaster commuter train connecting San Diego with North County cities and the Sprinter light rail connecting Oceanside and Escondido.
    • Ferries: Golden Gate Ferries and SF Bay Ferries provide water transportation across San Diego Bay, connecting with North and East Bay cities.

    Weather and climate in San Diego, CA

    San Diego, California, falls under a hot-summer Mediterranean climate known for scorching, sun-drenched summers and milder, wetter winters. It leans towards aridity compared to typical Mediterranean climates, and its winters remain relatively dry.

    • The warm season spans approximately 2.8 months, stretching from July 10 to October 4, with August being the hottest month with an average high of 77°F.
    • The winter season endures for around 4.1 months, from November 29 to April 2, with December being the coldest month with an average low of 51°F.
    • San Diego receives less than 12 inches (30 cm) from December through March, 146 sunny days and 117 partly cloudy days, and 0 inches of snowfall yearly.
    • The best time to visit California San Diego is Spring and fall, from March to May and September to November.

    Here is a table showing the average high and low temperatures for each month in San Diego, CA:

    MonthAverage High (°F)Average Low (°F)

    Things to Do in San Diego, CA

    Check out the list of things to do and places to see in San Diego, CA:

    • Explore exhibits and restored aircraft on the USS Midway, a 47-year veteran of the U.S. Navy at the USS Midway Museum.
    • Home to over 3,700 animals, San Diego Zoo is among the world’s best, featuring 650+ species.
    • La Jolla Cove, a small, scenic beach surrounded by cliffs, is perfect for relaxation and is often photographed.
    • Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre site, holds museums, gardens, and the San Diego Zoo, making it ideal for walking and picnicking.
    • Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve offers coastal trails through pine forests, providing stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.
    • Enjoy a San Diego Padres game and a fantastic baseball experience with a city skyline view at Petco Park.
    • San Diego’s 70 miles of coastline offer beaches for everyone, including Carlsbad, Coronado, Del Mar, and Encinitas.
    • San Diego hosts various cultural events, from comedy shows to exhibitions and concerts.
    • LEGOLAND California is a theme park and aquarium with interactive exhibits, rides, and family-friendly attractions.
    • Spanning 1,800 acres, San Diego Zoo Safari Park houses wild and endangered animals from different continents.
    • SeaWorld San Diego is an animal theme park, oceanarium, and marine mammal park with shows, rides, and exhibits.
    • Birch Aquarium at Scripps, a public exploration center, offers marine life exhibits for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

    Pros and Cons of Living in San Diego, CA

    Last but not least, check out the pros and cons of living in San Diego, California, to get a clear picture of the benefits and drawbacks of the city. 

    Pros of Living in San DiegoCons of Living in San Diego
    Beautiful weatherHigh cost of living
    Abundant outdoor activitiesTraffic congestion
    Access to the beachLimited outdoor space
    Great food optionsMeager nightlife
    Diverse city
    Laid-back vibe
    Good for millennials
    Clean city

    Final Verdict

    In brief, San Deigo, CA, is the finest place for living and raising a family if you plan to move to California. The world-class creational opportunities, vibrant community, dining, perfect weather, SeaWorld, zoo, parks, and many water activities have made the city attractive and booming.

    We hope you found all the valuable information before moving to San Diego, CA, the oldest city in California. We wish you the best of luck in your forthcoming journey.

    Photo Credit: Justin Brown