SAN DIEGO — The hustling, bustling city life isn’t for everyone. Even on the West Coast, some prefer small town vibes over the buzzing streets of ultra urban areas.

When it comes to incorporated cities in San Diego County, there are some that have a population much lower than others. Can you guess which city has the least amount of people living in it?

Here’s a breakdown of the region’s incorporated cities by population from most to least, based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s data as of January 4, 2020, as well as estimates come January 2022.

*Note: A town or city that’s incorporated has received a charter from the state, meaning it’s legally allowed to have its own elected officials, and, with some exceptions, make it owns rules.

CityPopulation Census 2020Population Estimate 2022
San Diego1,386,9601,381,162
Chula Vista275,500279,170
El Cajon106,183104,414
San Marcos94,86294,854
La Mesa61,11960,360
National City56,17255,550
Lemon Grove27,63527,224
Imperial Beach26,13125,791
Solana Beach12,93812,802
Del Mar3,9503,882
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

For those that live in the coastal incorporated city of Del Mar, the streets may feel less busy and you may know some of your neighbors by name. This community, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is the least populated.

On the contrary, it may comes as no surprise that most populated area is the City of San Diego. With over a million inhabitants, this spot may not be the best county area for residents who don’t like noise, nightlife, and high-rise living.

Incorporated cities like Encinitas, La Mesa, Santee and National City may be the happy medium for those who like a taste of both styles of living. These areas have recorded populations between 56,000 to 62,000 people.

It’s also important to note that population density, or the number of people per square mile of land area, plays a role in how busy or crowded a city may feel. The population density of each incorporated city in the county can be found here.

Where did your town fall on the list?