Introduction to Santee, California

Santee is a city located in the eastern part of California's San Diego County, about 20 miles northeast of the city of San Diego. Nestled between hills and surrounded by lakes, the city is serviced primarily by California State Highways 52 and 125. Other nearby thoroughfares include State Highway 67 and Interstates I-8 and I-15. Neighboring communities are El Cajon (to the south) and Lakeside (to the east).

Santee History

Known as Cowleston, the town was originally named for one of its founding fathers, George A. Cowles. Three years after Cowles' death in 1887, his widow married Milton Santee, a local realtor and surveyor. In 1891, she received permission to operate the post office under her new husband's name and two years later, the community followed her lead and changed the town's name to Santee. Prior to its incorporation in 1980, Santee had seen many of its choice areas annexed by its neighboring city of El Cajon. With approximately half of its land still undeveloped today, Santee is one of the few cities in the county with space to grow. No longer just a bedroom community of homes, the city now boasts major commercial centers in its downtown area and a business community which employs thousands.

Recreation in Santee

Santee has two major regional parks: Mission Trails Regional Park and Santee Lakes Regional Park. Started in 1974, Mission Trails has become one of the largest urban parks in the nation with over 40 miles of hiking trails, boating on Lake Murray and camping at Kumeyaay Lake. Santee Lakes Park offers camping, fishing and is the site of numerous annual events such as Spring Eggstravaganza at Santee Lakes, Movies by The Lake and Santa at the Lakes. Another outdoor venue is the Sycamore Canyon Open Space Preserve and Goodan Ranch, which offers over 5,000 acres of both natural and developed recreational acres.


Total Population 56,255
Male Share of the Population 48.3%
Female Share of the Population 51.7%
Senior Citizens 12.2%
Employed Population 16+ 26,552
Age of the Population 38


% of people married 49.6%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 26.6%
Median Earnings25+ $45,571
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $24,543
Median Earnings With High School Degree $37,808


Median Family Income $87,492
% Above Poverty Level 92.2%
% Below Poverty Level 7.8%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 26 minutes
% Working from Home 3.9%
% Walking and Biking to Work 0.8%
% Using Public Transportation 1%


People Living Alone 21.5%
Median Gross Rent $1,400
Median House Value $348,100


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 35.2%
US/American 0.1%
English 9.8%
Irish 14.4%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Santee Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 13 miles NE of San Diego, California
County San Diego
Metro Area San Diego
Standard Zip Codes 92071
P.O. Box Zip Codes 92072
Phone Area Codes 619
Time Zone Pacific (-8 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 32.838
Longitude -116.973

Santee Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station EL CAJON
Distance 1.6 miles
Jan Temp 42 to 68 F
Apr Temp 50 to 74 F
Jul Temp 62 to 87 F
Oct Temp 55 to 80 F
Annual Precip 11.9 inches
Distance 9.5 miles
Jan Temp 44 to 67 F
Apr Temp 49 to 70 F
Jul Temp 61 to 81 F
Oct Temp 55 to 77 F
Annual Precip 11.9 inches
Distance 16.3 miles
Jan Temp 49 to 65 F
Apr Temp 56 to 67 F
Jul Temp 65 to 73 F
Oct Temp 61 to 72 F
Annual Precip 9.6 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
El Cajon 102,383 $51,036
La Mesa 58,858 $70,460
Lemon Grove 26,225 $60,704
National City 60,043 $43,386
Poway 49,484 $109,805
San Diego 1,359,791 $78,321

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

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Santee High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 2,281 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 20

Serves 1,787 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 22.1

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