Some United States metropolitan areas take pride in being an economic and demographic model of the nation — that is, having qualities that make it most like the nation as a whole.
San Diego County is not such a place in a new study. Out of 52 major metropolitan areas, San Diego comes in 39th — an outlier, or an odd duck. This is no insult. The two metro areas least like the entire U.S. are the two richest — San Francisco and Silicon Valley (San Jose environs).
The study was put together by WalletHub, an organization that computes statistics on cities, metro areas, and states. The study measures such variables as percent male and female; distribution of race, foreign-born, and age groups; home rent-to-owner ratio; median housing price; vacancy rate; household income; percent of households below poverty level; distribution of jobs (percent construction, professional, etc.), and educational attainment.
The factor pulling San Diego down to outlier status is housing. Since local housing prices are among the highest in the nation, San Diego is well outside the normal bell-curve distribution.
Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Nashville, Jacksonville, and Charlotte, North Carolina are the five large metro areas that most match the U.S. overall.
There is a long list of 381 metro areas, including many small ones. El Centro is far down that list — 367th. It's low in sociodemographic, economic, and education variables.