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Life in
San Marcos
Population: 95,768
North County’s Education Hub


With a population of 94,042, San Marcos has the smallest yet fastest growing population along the 78 Corridor. The city’s population has grown by more than 11 percent since 2010, outpacing the other four cities along the Corridor by at least four percent and growing 1.8 times faster than the San Diego region. It is the location of the Corridor’s only public university – California State University San Marcos. Because of this, San Marcos has one of the highest concentrations of STEM degrees. Of those holding a Bachelor’s degree, more than 45 percent have their first degree in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics field of study.

San Marcos has strong craft beer, manufacturing and information & communications technology economies. The birthplace of San Diego’s most iconic craft beer company, Stone Brewing Co., San Marcos is home to numerous other established and new breweries. With ample amount of industrial and commercial real estate available, its a hub for launching new companies. 

The city also boasts a strong manufacturing economy, home to some of the region’s most internationally engaged businesses. Hunter Industries, a manufacturer of irrigation equipment, sells its products around the world – chief among these is supplying Buckingham Palace with its sprinkler system.

Learn more in the San Marcos Regional Profile and Data Dashboard.

Main Industries

Higher Education


Information & Communications Technology

Specialty Food and Microbreweries

San Marcos Highlights

  • Educational attainment in the city exceeded 33 percent in 2015, four percentage points shy of the San Diego region and second among the five 78 Corridor cities.
  • Claiming an impressive average unemployment rate of 3.7 percent in 2016, San Marcos is a stabilizing presence in North County. The city weathered the Great Recession better than the region, state and nation; even during the depths of the recession, San Marcos’ unemployment rate never exceeded ten percent - a remarkable claim for any California locality.

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