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San Diego Leads Nation In Military Expenditures

— A new report finds San Diego leads the nation in total military spending. It's also fourth in the nation when it comes to defense contracting.

National University Institute of Policy Research based in San Diego released the findings.

Its shows San Diego is ranked at the top in total military expenditures, payrolls, and retirement and disability payments. Its also at the top in defense contract work.

Researcher Kelly Cunningham says the increase in military spending can be traced back to 2001 after the September 11 terrorist attacks. He says the military is keeping San Diego's economy afloat.

“We would be much more devastated by the other financial problems like a lot of other places like Phoenix, Las Vegas and Riverside counties,” Cunningham said. “Two out of five jobs have a tie to the military or defense spending (in San Diego). So it's still a big part of our way of life, our economy.”

Cunningham says the number of defense contracts jumped 147 percent over the past nine years. He says roughly 58,000 veterans and military family members now live in San Diego County.

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