Escondido is one of the eighteen incorporated cities in San Diego County and is one of the oldest cities in the County. The City has a total area of 37 square miles and is a full-service, general law city. Escondido falls under the 50th Congressional District.
The City of Escondido became part of a land grant to the Governor of the Californias in 1843. The Escondido Land and Town Company obtained the land grant in 1886, and the City of Escondido was incorporated on October 8, 1888.
The City’s economic development and growth was spurred by the agricultural industry, specifically citrus, grape, and hay and grain farming. This is reflected in the City’s population growth from 1,200 in 1900 to over 150,000 in 2020. Escondido still has a large agricultural industry today, with the largest crops being avocado, citrus, avocado, and walnuts. Other key industries include healthcare, education, retail, and construction. As of 2013, the top 3 employers in Escondido were Palomar Medical Center, the Escondido Union School District, and the City of Escondido.
In 2022, Escondido’s population is estimated to be 151,115 and the number of households is 48,268. The largest racial/ethnic groups in the City of Escondido are Hispanic at 51.9%, white at 35.8%, and Asian at 5.9%. In 2020, the City of Escondido’s median household income was $65,326 and the percentage of persons in poverty was estimated to be 13.6%. In the same year, the U.S. Census estimated that the County of San Diego’s median household income was $82,426, and the percentage of persons in poverty was 9.5%. Thus, the City of Escondido is poorer in comparison to the surrounding areas.
Escondido has the Council-Manager form of government, in which there are both elected officials on a council and an appointed local government manager. There are four council members who are elected by district and a mayor elected at large. Over the last 12 years, the Escondido City Council has maintained a conservative majority, with the exception of the liberal majority from 2018 to 2020.
The largest sources of governmental tax revenue for the City of Escondido have historically been sales and property tax revenue. The City’s largest governmental expenditures have historically been public safety and public works. Escondido’s General Fund budget is $117.1 million. More in-depth information on the City of Escondido’s financial position can be found in the SDTEF’s municipal analysis.