Santee is a suburban city in San Diego County, California, with a population of 53,413 at the 2010 census. Although it is a part of the East County region, Santee is located just 18 miles (29 km) from the Pacific Ocean. The city is connected to the coastline by State Route 52, a six-lane freeway that runs from Interstate 5 in La Jolla to State Route 67 in El Cajon. The city is bisected by the San Diego River, a linear greenbelt that includes parks, trails and more than 1,100 acres (450 ha) of natural riparian habitat. The region was the homeland of the Kumeyaay people. These original residents established the village of Sinyeweche on the banks of the San Diego River in the present day Santee area.
In 2010, the city was populated by 19,272 households, of which 64 percent had incomes greater than $45,000 annually. Unlike most of the county’s coastal cities, Santee still has sizable portions of vacant land suitable for development. It is a growing suburban community that in recent years has added upscale housing, a major corporate business park and expansive shopping centers, along with a destination recreational complex called Sportsplex USA Santee.
In 2009, the median household income was $78,872 per year, according to the San Diego Association of Governments. In 2010, Santee had one of the lowest crime rates among cities in San Diego County.
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