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Age distribution of Times of San Diego readers in December. Data from Google Analytics

The final numbers for 2017 are in, and Times of San Diego ended the year with 309,000 readers in December and 2.32 million overall last year.

Readership in December was more than double the 144,345 recorded in December 2016, thanks to steady growth over the past year and trending news that ranged from the destructive Lilac Fire to a spectacular SpaceX launch to the tragic death of a local firefighter.

Readership for the entire year increased 17 percent from the 1.98 million different readers counted in 2016.

The readership numbers are “unique users” in Internet parlance, meaning someone who comes to the website at least once during a measurement period. A user who comes daily or even more often is still counted as one person.

Times of San Diego’s readers continued to be young, mobile and local in the final month of 2017.

Readers aged 18 to 44 accounted for 62 percent of all reading sessions. That youthful audience contrasts with traditional print and broadcast media, whose readers and viewers are largely aged 55 and older.

A full two-thirds of reading sessions were on smartphones and tablets. The website is optimized for fast display on mobile devices, and automatically adapts to different screen sizes.

Just under a quarter of reading sessions were in the City of San Diego, another 13 percent elsewhere in San Diego County and 15 percent elsewhere in California. The remainder were national and even international because of coverage of the Navy, research by UC San Diego and other scientific institutions, and companies like Qualcomm and Illumina.

Times of San Diego’s staff of six contributing editors and photographers post 20 to 25 articles daily on all aspects of life in San Diego County — from politics and crime to business and sports, education and arts, the military, science and more.

The site partners with Google, AOL and other national advertising networks and offers premium placement for local advertisers.

No subscription is required, but readers can sign up for a free email newsletter that is sent at 8 a.m. daily with the 10 most significant articles from the previous 24 hours.

The independent local news website was launched in March 2014 and has twice been recognized as the best news site in San Diego by the San Diego Press Club.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.