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Aging and Independence Services

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Demographics - Aging and Independence

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 631 square miles are in incorporated areas of the county, while 3,630 square miles remain in unincorporated areas. The distribution of the older population among the cities in the county is uneven.

Those jurisdictions with relatively high concentrations of older residents include Del Mar (22%), La Mesa (21.1%), Solana Beach (20.6%), Coronado (17.9%), Carlsbad (17%), San Marcos (16.6%), and Vista 16.5%). The "oldest" unincorporated communities in the county, measured by the percentage of older persons, are Anza-Borrego (42%) and Julian (27%). Countywide the proportion of older persons 60+ living alone is 22 percent. Downtown, that percentage is 40%, by far the highest in the county.

Demographic Forecast -- 2010

The growth of the older population is a national and international phenomenon. By the year 2010, the total population of people aged 60+ living in San Diego County is predicted to be 524,319. The oldest age cohorts, growing at the fastest rate, have the highest likelihood of functional disabilities and chronic conditions, and will represent the biggest challenges to the county in terms of service demands.

Demographic Environment

San Diego County is the fourth most populated county in the United States, and has a total population of 3,017,204. Year 2004 SANDAG data indicates that there are 434,147 people aged 60+ in San Diego County.

Demographic Trends

SANDAG's 2020 Forecast (February 26, 1999) expects continued growth in the region's population, which is projected to total 3,853,297 by the year 2020. About 40% of this increase will be due to new residents moving into the county: natural increase (births minus deaths) will account for the remainder.

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 1998, the median age was 33.2
  • By 2015 is projected to be 36.1 years

Between 1980 and 1990, the San Diego region's growth rate of 3.0 percent per year was greater than both the national rate of 1.0 percent per year, and California's rate of 2.3 percent per year. The average rate of growth from 1990 to 2020 is expected to decline to 1.1 percent per year, due to the slowing of economic growth and lower fertility rates, as the population ages.

Minority populations comprised 35 percent of the region's total population in 1990. The 2020 forecast indicates that:

  • The population of Whites will increase by 13 percent by 2020
  • The population of Blacks will increase by 26 percent
  • The population of Hispanics, Asians and others will more than double

By the year 2020, this will make the overall ethnic composition:

  • 49% White
  • 5% Black
  • 33% Hispanic
  • 12% Asian and "Other"

The senior population continues to grow at a faster pace than the total population in the county. Between 1990 and 2000 it is projected that:

  • The 60+ population increased from 361,870 to 450,585
  • The 65+ population increased from 272,348 to 324,700
  • The 75+ population increased from 108,609 to 111,492
  • The general population increased from 2,498,016 to 3,004,434

The distribution of the older population among the cities in the county is uneven. For example, 22 percent of Del Mar's population is 60 or older, while only 9 percent of Imperial Beach's population is over the age of 60. Other jurisdictions with relatively high concentrations of older residents include:

  • La Mesa (21.1%)
  • Solana Beach (20.6%)
  • Coronado (17.9%)
  • Carlsbad (17.0%)
  • San Marcos (16.6%)
  • Vista (16.5%)
  • Oceanside (16%)

Lower concentrations of older residents are found in:

  • Encinitas, Poway and Santee (approximately 13%)
  • National City (12.4%)

 

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