Sunny climate, good schools, small-town friendliness. Santee prides itself on having a lean government that responds to its citizens' concerns.Collectively, these are among the key attributes of the City of Santee, which in 2016 had an estimated population of 58,000. Quality-of-life issues are important to local residents, who simultaneously value the abundance of open space as well as convenient shopping in the city’s retail core. Santee also boasts a low crime rate and a median annual household income in 2015 of $79,667, which was 21 percent higher than the state average.
Santee is ideally located between the Pacific Ocean and the mountains of the Cleveland National Forest. While Santee is considered part of the East County Region, the city is only 18 freeway miles from the San Diego’s premier beaches. Santee is connected to the coastline by State Route 52, a six-lane freeway that connects Interstate 5 in La Jolla to State Route 67. State Route 125 also intersects with State Route 52, forming a transportation hub in the heart of Santee.
Santee has nurtured a vibrant local economy by providing for a balance of retail, commercial and residential uses. The 700-acre Town Center district forms a downtown core comprised of business parks, high-density residential and retail businesses that feed off the synergy of Santee Trolley Square shopping complex and the Metropolitan Transit System trolley station.