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East County, San Diego

East County
Region of the San Diego Metro Area
Santee in East County
Santee in East County
East County cities
East County cities
County San Diego County
Population 480,463

East County is a region of San Diego County, California. It is east of the city of San Diego.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Cities 4
    • Incorporated 4.1
    • Unincorporated CDPs 4.2
  • Education 5
    • Primary and secondary schools 5.1
    • Colleges and universities 5.2
  • Media 6
  • Landmarks 7
  • Politics 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11



East County does not have an official geographic definition. It commonly includes the four cities east of San Diego and South BayEl Cajon, La Mesa, Santee, and Lemon Grove—as well as suburban unincorporated communities such as Lakeside, Spring Valley, Jamul, and Alpine. Many sources also include vast swathes of the backcountry of San Diego County also known as the Mountain Empire, including communities along Interstate 8 such as Pine Valley and Descanso, and communities along the rural section of California State Route 94 such as Potrero, Boulevard, and Jacumba.[1] Other sources consider communities within the entire eastern two-thirds of the county to be East County, thereby encompassing places like Ramona, Julian, and Borrego Springs,[2][3] although the Ramona urban area—Ramona, San Diego Country Estates and Barona Mesa—is often considered part of inland North County.[4]

The populace of East County primarily dwells in the interior valleys east of San Diego proper while some development encroaches the coastal foothills.

A broader definition of East County exists that includes the Cuyamaca Mountains, Laguna Mountains, and Palomar Mountain, as well as the desert area of Anza-Borrego State Park.[5] Yet, this definition, when used by SANDAG, excludes the East Suburban centers.[6]

Prominent geologic formations include El Capitan, a large dome-shaped mountain overlooking Santee and Lakeside.


East County is the fourth most populous region in the San Diego metropolitan area, though its population is almost equivalent to that of South Bay.


Populations listed are 2010 Census populations


Unincorporated CDPs


Primary and secondary schools

East County is served by Santee School District, Grossmont Union High School District, Cajon Valley Union School District, Lakeside Union School District, Lemon Grove School District, and La Mesa-Spring Valley School District.

Colleges and universities

Grossmont College and Cuyamaca Community College are two community college's located in El Cajon. San Diego Christian College is located in El Cajon.



Important landmarks in East County included Gillespie Field, El Capitan, Mt. Helix, Santee Lakes, Sweetwater Reservoir and Lake Cuyamaca.


See also


  1. ^ See, e.g., East County Magazine neighborhoods, [1]. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  2. ^ See, e.g., Mellin, Maribeth, and Onstott, Jane. Insider's Guide to San Diego. 5th ed. Morris Book Publishing. 2010. p. 8
  3. ^ See also Vaughn, Jacqueline, and Cortner, Hanna J. Funding Fire: A Losing Proposition? The California Journal of Politics and Policy. Vol. 2, Issue 1. 2010. p.10.
  4. ^ North County Times: Coastal and Inland cities
  5. ^ Mellin, Maribeth, and Onstott, Jane. Insider's Guide to San Diego. 5th ed. Morris Book Publishing. 2010. p. 8
  6. ^ "MSA: East Suburban". Retrieved April 10, 2011. 

External links

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