Chula Vista Spanish for “beautiful view” is the second largest city in the San Diego metropolitan area, the seventh largest city in Southern California, the fourteenth largest city in the state of California, and the 74th-largest city in the United States. A small city (of appx 243,000) is known for its low income areas on the west side (Chula Juana) and its high income areas on the east side (Chula Jolla). West Chula Vista has a high to moderate gang problem, like most other areas of south San Diego County (southeast San Diego, National City, south San Diego, and Imperial Beach).Located just 7.5 miles (12.1 km) from downtown San Diego and 7.5 miles (12.1 km) from the Mexican border in the South Bay region of the metropolitan area, the city is at the center of one of the richest economic and culturally diverse zones in the United States. Chula Vista is so named because of its scenic location between the San Diego Bay and coastal mountain foothills.
The area, along with San Diego, was inhabited by the Kumeyaay before contact from the Spanish, who later claimed the area. In 1821, Chula Vista became part of the newly declared Mexican Empire, which reformed as the First Mexican Republic two years later. California became part of the United States in 1848 as a result of the Mexican–American War and was admitted to the union as a state in 1850.