La Costa / La Costa Oaks / Carlsbad / Encinitas / Oceanside / Vista / San Marcos
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La Costa, which is the Southeast part of Carlsbad, is a coastal resort city lying along the Pacific Ocean in San Diego's North County region of Southern California. La Costa-Carlsbad is located 87 miles (140 km) south of Los Angeles and 35 miles (56 km) north of downtown San Diego. High property values, very high median family incomes, and high education levels have made Carlsbad one of the wealthiest communities in California and in the United States.
The majority of San Diego County's top twenty-five employers have their locations closer to Carlsbad than San Diego. A coastal location, thriving commercial sector, and award-winning school district all contribute to the high standard of living in the area. It is one of the highest-income places in the United States. The city is mainly known for shopping, tourism, a booming high-tech industry, and resort living. The population was 105,328 at the 2010 census. Carlsbad was incorporated in 1952, in large part to generate sufficient funding to connect with the water pipeline running through San Diego County, but also to avoid being annexed by Oceanside.
The city has drafted ordinances protecting sensitive wildlife habitat, becoming one of the first municipalities in the State of California to do so. The city has also pledged to protect a specified amount of land within the city limits from development of any kind and spends significant funds to restore habitats destroyed by newer development projects.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 39.1 square miles (101 km2) of which 37.7 square miles (98 km2) are land and 1.4 square miles (3.6 km2) are (3.55%) water, the majority of which is contained within three lagoons and one lake.
The northern area of the city is considered to be part of the tri-city area, which consists of northern Carlsbad, southern Oceanside and western Vista.Most of the current city area, including many of its boasted attractions, has been annexed from neighboring unincorporated areas since the 1970s.