Carlsbad is a seaside resort-town in the North County section of San Diego County. According to the state Department of Finance, the city had a total population of 90,271 in 2003. 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. It is one of the most expensive coastal cities in North County, San Diego, and one of the highest-income places in the country.
Because of its coastal location, scenic beauty, low population density, thriving commercial sector, abundance of upscale housing, and high performing school districts, Carlsbad is known for its high quality of life. Land is also a premium, thus, real estate is rather expensive even for Southern California. The annual Forbes Magazine ranking of the "Most Expensive ZIP Codes" in the U.S. ranked Carlsbad ZIP codes as some of the most expensive in the nation.