Aging and Independence Services


 Demographics - Aging and Independence

For more information send us an email or phone 800-510-2020 (within San Diego County) or 800-339-4661 (outside the County).

The San Diego region encompasses 4,261 square miles, and has three distinct regions within its boundaries. Those regions are 182 miles of shoreline and coastal plain, the interior uplands and mountains, and the deserts of the Salton Basin.

Most of the urbanization is located in the western third of the county. Only 689 square miles are in incorporated areas of the county, while 3,572 square miles remain in unincorporated areas.

Characteristics of the Population

Recent studies by SANDAG indicate that the total population of the San Diego region grew from 2,813,833 to 3,224,432 from 2000 to 2010, an increase of over 15 percent. These studies estimate that during this time:

  • those aged 60 and over increased in number from 404,025 to 531,980;
  • those aged 65 and over increased from 313,750 to 378,604;
  • while those aged 75 and over increased from 153,691 to 191,037.

Among the general population, males and females are evenly numbered. Among older residents, however, females outnumber males. Females comprise:

  • 52 percent of the population aged 60-64;
  • 54 percent of the population aged 65-74;
  • and 59 percent of the 75 and older group.

Demographic Trends

The County of San Diego ranks as the fifth largest in the nation, and is the second largest within the state (behind Los Angeles County., based on U.S. Census Bureau 2009 population estimates.

SANDAG’s 2050 Growth Forecast (February 2010) expects continued growth in the region’s population, which is projected to total 3,870,000 by the year 2030. Approximately two-thirds of the growth will be due to natural increase, while one-third will be due to migration.

The median age for San Diego County is increasing and is expected to continue to rise as the baby boomers age:

  • in 1980, the median age for the San Diego region was 28.8 years;
  • in 1990, the median age was 30.9 years;
  • in 2000, the median age was 33.2;
  • the median age in 2010 was 35.3;
  • and, by 2030 it is projected to be 37.4 years.

Minority populations comprised 45 percent of the region’s total population in 2000. The 2030 forecast indicates that:

  • the population of Whites in the region will have increased by five percent by 2030;
  • the population of Blacks will have increased by 35 percent by 2030;
  • the population of Hispanics will have increased by 91 percent;
  • and the population of Asian and Others will have increased by 69 percent.

This will make the overall ethnic composition by 2030:

  • 42% White;
  • 5% Black;
  • 37% Hispanic;
  • 16% Asian and Other, by the year 2030.

As those in the baby boom generation age, the senior population continues to grow at a faster pace than the total population in the county. Between 2000 and 2030 it is projected that:

  • the 60+ population will increase from 404,025 to 929,766; a 130 percent increase;
  • the 65+ population will increase from 313,750 to 722,545; a 130 percent increase;
  • the 75+ population will increase from 153,691 to 324,855; a 111 percent increase;
  • the general population will increase from 2,813,833 to 3,870,000; a 38 percent increase.

The distribution of the older population among the cities in the county is uneven. For example, according to 2010 estimates, 32 percent of Del Mar’s population is 60 or older, while only 13 percent of National City’s population is over the age of 60. Other jurisdictions with relatively high concentrations of older residents include:

  • Solana Beach (27%);
  • Coronado (23%);
  • Carlsbad (21%).

Lower concentrations of older residents are found in:

  • Vista (13%)
  • Escondido (14%).

Source: Census 2000; Census 2009 Population Estimates; SANDAG 2010 Estimates; 2050 Regional Growth Forecast, SANDAG, March 2011.


For more information send us an email or phone 800-510-2020 (within San Diego County) or 800-339-4661 (outside the County).