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Enlarge HCHS/SOL Selected Census Tracts, San Diego County
Currently, San Diego County has a total population of 3 million with 28% identifying as Hispanic/Latino (SANDAG (2005a)). The vast majority (84%) of those identifying as Hispanic/Latino are of Mexican origin; over 22% of San Diego County’s population is Mexican (US Census Bureau (2005)).

    The combined region of South Suburban and South-Central San Diego County, commonly referred to as the "South Bay", is the target community. This area includes the communities of San Ysidro, Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, National City, and Bonita. These areas contain large proportions of minority residents, with Hispanics/Latinos representing the largest percentage (US Census Bureau (2005)). The highlighted areas in the map above represent the selected census tracts in the San Diego County. (Click on the map to enlarge).
Enlarge HCHS/SOL Selected Census Tracts, San Diego South Suburban and Central San Diego have a total (estimated current) population of 1,013,925, and has the highest concentration of Hispanics/Latinos in San Diego County. Hispanics/Latinos comprise 38% and 54% of the Central and South Suburban population, respectively (SANDAG Current Estimates, Fall 2005). City-specific, Hispanics/Latinos comprise 75.8% of San Ysidro’s population, 60% of National City’s population, nearly 50% of Chula Vista’s population, 40% of Imperial Beach’s population, and 30.5% of Bonita’s population. Over 50% of National City residents are Mexican-American with 43.1%, 33.6%, and 25.4% of Chula Vista, Imperial Beach, and Bonita residents, respectively, being Mexican-American. The map above provides a closer view of the selected areas in San Diego. (Click on the map to enlarge).
The targeted recruitment area has diversity in generational status. In San Diego County, immigration is no longer the main source of population growth of the Hispanic/Latino community. The last census reports the largest source of Hispanic/Latino population growth was natality (US Census Bureau (2005)) suggesting a growing but stable Hispanic/Latino population. The San Diego community is at the cusp of a dynamic transition from a predominantly immigrant group to an emerging American-born ethnic minority population.
The targeted area also represents diversity in household income. San Ysidro is a low-income community with a median household income of $13,000 per year and has the highest concentration of public housing in San Diego County. National City, in the Central region, has the next lowest median household income in the region at $31,255, but its 27% increase in median income was one of the largest of any jurisdiction between 1990 and 1998. The 2000 census reports Imperial Beach’s median household income as $35,882. Chula Vista had the fastest growing median income at over 30% between 1990 and 1998; its median household income is $44,861. Bonita’s median household income, according to the last census, was $70,109 (US Census Bureau (2005)). Based on a random digit dial phone survey in the target area conducted in 2007 among adults 18 to 69 years of age, 60.7% had completed high school.
Thus, the South and Central communities of the target area include a range of income/socioeconomic status levels, all with a majority Mexican-origin population.