San Diego CA has long been known as “America’s Finest City.” Anyone who has been to San Diego has some inclination as to why this is true. Perfect weather, an abundance of activities, clean beaches with great surf, excellent restaurants and nightlife, top-notch schools, and friendly people are the first things that come to mind for most people. But it is always difficult to give statistical support to that subjective belief. It is, however, instructive to look at statistics that are available for crime rates and schools when evaluating San Diego homes.
Neighborhood safety is a key concern of anyone looking to buy a home in San Diego, or anywhere else for that matter. Knowledgeable San Diego Realtors refer prospective home buyers to the Automated Regional Justice Information System. This database was established in 1980 by a joint task force of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and its local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to compile crime statistics for San Diego County’s 18 incorporated cities.
According to ARJIS, crime rates in San Diego County (both violent crime and property crimes) dropped to a 25-year low in 2008. Last year there were only three property offenses per 1,000 people, and four violent offenses per 1,000 people. Since 1995 San Diego has had a lower property crime rate than the average national rate, and that number of property crimes has decreased in San Diego for five years in a row. Despite the fact that San Diego is the seventh largest city in the United States, it has the fourth-lowest violent crime rate in the nation and the sixth-lowest property crime rate in the nation.
San Diego is a large city made up of a number of smaller communities and neighborhoods. One champion of neighborhood statistics is Dr. Andrew Schiller, who is best known for the Case-Schiller index of house prices which appears regularly in newspapers across the country. Dr. Schiller is president of Location, Inc., a Rhode Island based company that compiles numerous statistics for cities and neighborhoods across the country. Their reports appear at NeighborhoodScout.com, which yesterday posted a report which lists the 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in America. San Diego is not on the list, and it is one of the few large United States cities that not represented there.
NeighborhoodScout also compiles other neighborhood statistics, including the top 100 Best Performing Public Schools in the United States. Here San Diego is included. San Dieguito High Academy in Encinitas, Coronado High in Coronado, and Canyon Crest Academy in Carmel Valley are each recognized as being in this elite field of public schools. No San Diego area schools appear on the list of 100 Worst Performing Public Schools.
Detailed information about schools serving any particular street address in San Diego can be found on the San Diego Unified School District’s Website (Click on Enrollment Options –> School Finder). Other top-rated public schools in San Diego County are in the Poway Unified School District which serves Poway, Rancho Penasquitos, and Rancho Bernardo, and the San Dieguito Union High School District which serves Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Cardiff by the Sea, and Del Mar.
What are the top reasons why San Diego is your favorite city? Please submit your comments and let everyone know how you feel.