San Diego Economy

San Diego is a city located in the south west corner of California. It is the second largest city of California and lies near the coast of Pacific Ocean along the West Coast of U.S. San Diego is often considered as the birth place of California as the Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who discovered California, landed for the first time in San Diego Bay. The San Diego City is considered as the administrative centre or Country seat of San Diego Country. The San Diego is often considered as the economic centre of San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos region. According to the 2009 Census report, the population size of California was found to be 3,208,466 and thus was ranked as the fifth most populous country of United State.

The economy of San Diego is largely depends on biotechnology, electronics manufacturing, financial and business service, telecommunications,software development, military and defense related manufacturing, wireless research, tourism and agriculture.

Military and Defense Role

According to the recent study conducted in 2008, the military alone had generated an estimated amount of $26.5 billions towards the San Diego economy. This study also confirmed that the military occupied about 28% of real estate in San Diego. The Military had also greatly improved the employment opportunities in San Diego. It was estimated that about 340,000 jobs were generated through the defense spending. Military alone accounts for about 23 % of San Diego’s employment. The Marine Corpse base, U.S Navy Port and Coast Guard Stations are the three most important defense and military bases of San Diego city.

Research Work

The most important type of research work taking place in the San Diego is the Biotechnology field. There are several biotechnology companies and research centers in San Diego. The two most important biotechnology companies which have its headquarters in San Diego are the Neurocrine Biosciences and the Nventa Biopharmaceuticals. Other major companies which have its offices and research centers in San Diego are Biogen Idec, Merck, Elan, Cytovance, Celgene, Pfizer, Integrated DNA Technologies, Genzyme, BD Biosciences and Vertex etc. The increased growth of biotechnology research was favored by these biotechnology companies along with the presence of the University of California, San Diego. These companies have greatly increased the employment opportunities in the San Diego and according to the recent study, about 32,000 biotech technicians are employed here. The mean wages of these technicians were estimated to be as $48270.

Manufacturing Industries Role

There are various manufacturing industries in San Diego which added a lot towards its economy. According to the study conducted in 2002, the manufacturing industry contributed around $ 25 billions towards the San Diego Economy. Some of the most important manufacturing industries of San Diego are the ship building yard, computer manufacturing industry, industrial machinery manufacturing industry, industries which manufacture sports goods, toys, metals etc. There are several defense contracting companies with its headquarters located in San Diego like NASSCO, General Atomics etc. There are also companies which develops wireless cellular technology. Qualcomm Incorporated is one such company which is one of the largest private sector technology employer with its headquarters located in San Diego.

There are many sophisticated software companies in San Diego amongst which the largest is a security software company Websense Inc. The export of goods manufactured in San Diego further added income towards the economy. In 2001, around $ 33.6 billions were contributed through the export of goods.

Tourism Contribution

The geographical features of San Diego along with other attractions like San Diego Zoo, San Diego Wild Animal Park, and Belmont Amusement Park etc. have attracted lots of tourists to the city. The cruise ships industries are also of great tourism importance. The San Diego’s cruise ship industry is the second largest in the California with about 180 cruise ships docking annually. In 2009, about 30 million tourists visited San Diego who had locally spent an estimated amount of $ 8 billion.

Agriculture Production

San Diego is the 20th largest agricultural producer of California. The agriculture mainly includes nursery products, foliage plants, flowers, avocados, strawberries, guavas, lemon etc. Agriculture contributes about $ 5.1 billion towards the economy. The climatic conditions in San Diego are favorable for agricultural crops and live stock rearing.  

Retail Sales Role

According to the FY 2008, the condition of retail sales was not much better. About 7 percent decrease was found in the retail sales of North San Diego. There was also a great fall in the sales of manufactured products and services.

Real Estate Role

The price of residential properties has gone very high during the recent years in San Diego, this condition was also referred to as “housing affordability crisis”. According to the California Association of realtors, the cost of median houses in San Diego during May 2007 was estimated to be around$ 612,370. Thus there occurred more than 20% decrease in the Housing Affordability Index. This resulted in net negative migration of the citizens and people started settling in more affordable region.

Employment Opportunities

The job market of a country is an important factor which usually contributes a lot towards the economy. But unfortunately, there was a great decline observed in San Diego’s job market which had adversely effected its economic growth.

Personal Income

According to a study conducted in 2000, it was estimated that the median income for a house hold was $45,733 and that of for a family was $ 53,060. The median income of male population was estimated as $ 36,984 and the median income of female population was estimated as $ 31,076. The per capita income for the city was estimated as $ 23,609. It was also found that around 14.6 % of the population was below the poverty line. According to the recent study conducted in 2008, the median house hold income was found to be increased to about $ 66, 715.