Merced County, California

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County of Merced
County
Merced Theatre.JPG San Luis Reservoir 1.jpg
UC Merced at night.jpg Boeing B-29 SuperfortressCAM.jpg
Images, from top down, left to right: The historic Merced Theatre, San Luis Reservoir, UC Merced, The B-29A Super Fortress exhibit at the Castle Air Museum in Atwater
Official seal of County of Merced
Seal
Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California
California's location in the United States
California's location in the United States
Country  United States
State  California
Region San Joaquin Valley
Incorporated 1855
County seat Merced
Area
 • Total 1,971.87 sq mi (5,107.1 km2)
 • Land 1,928.69 sq mi (4,995.3 km2)
 • Water 43.18 sq mi (111.8 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 255,793
 • Density 130/sq mi (50/km2)
Time zone Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
Website co.merced.ca.us

Merced County (/mərˈsɛd/ mər-SED), is a county located in the Central Valley of the U.S. state of California, north of Fresno and southeast of San Jose. As of the 2010 census, the population was 255,793, up from 210,554 at the 2000 census. The county seat is Merced. The county is named after the Merced River.

History[edit]

The county derives its name from the Merced River, or El Río de Nuestra Señora de la Merced (River of Our Lady of Mercy); named in 1806 by an expedition, headed by Gabriel Moraga, which came upon it at the end of a hot dusty ride.

Between 1841 and 1844, during the era when California was a province of independent Mexico, four Mexican grants were made in what became Merced County: Orestimba, Panoche de San Juan y Los Carrisalitos, San Luis Gonzaga and Sanjon de Santa Rita

Merced County was formed in 1855 from parts of Mariposa County. Parts of its territory were given to Fresno County in 1856.

On February 14, 2014, President Barack Obama met with area farmer Joe Del Bosque and his wife Maria, to see his fallow fields due to an extreme drought in California. Del Bosque is among many farmers who rely on Federal Water and most likely will experience an unprecedented zero water delivery this year from the Central Valley Project. (Patrick Cavanaugh)

Geography[edit]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,971.87 square miles (5,107.1 km2), of which 1,928.69 square miles (4,995.3 km2) (or 97.81%) is land and 43.18 square miles (111.8 km2) (or 2.19%) is water.[1]

Cities and towns[edit]

Cities over 10,000 population[edit]

Incorporated cities under 10,000 population[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Transportation infrastructure[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Public transportation[edit]

Airports[edit]

Merced Regional Airport, located two miles (3 km) southwest of downtown Merced, provides passenger air service. General aviation airports in the county include Castle Airport, Gustine Airport, and Los Banos Municipal Airport.

Crime[edit]

The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense.

Cities by population and crime rates[edit]

Demographics[edit]

2011[edit]

Places by population, race, and income[edit]

2010[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,141
1870 2,807 146.0%
1880 5,656 101.5%
1890 8,085 42.9%
1900 9,215 14.0%
1910 15,148 64.4%
1920 24,579 62.3%
1930 36,748 49.5%
1940 46,988 27.9%
1950 69,780 48.5%
1960 90,446 29.6%
1970 104,629 15.7%
1980 134,560 28.6%
1990 178,403 32.6%
2000 210,554 18.0%
2010 255,793 21.5%
Est. 2012 262,305 2.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[11]
2012 Estimate[12]

The 2010 United States Census reported that Merced County had a population of 255,793. The racial makeup of Merced County was 148,381 (58.0%) White, 9,926 (3.9%) African American, 3,473 (1.4%) Native American, 18,836 (7.4%) Asian, 583 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 62,665 (24.5%) from other races, and 11,929 (4.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 140,485 persons (54.9%).[13]

2000[edit]

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 210,554 people, 63,815 households, and 49,775 families residing in the county. The population density was 109 people per square mile (42/km²). There were 68,373 housing units at an average density of 36 per square mile (14/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 56.2% White, 3.8% Black or African American, 1.2% Native American, 6.8% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 26.1% from other races, and 5.7% from two or more races. 45.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 6.6% were of Portuguese and 6.0% German ancestry according to Census 2000. 55.1% spoke English, 35.3% Spanish, 3.2% Hmong, 2.9% Portuguese and 1.0% Punjabi as their first language.

There were 63,815 households out of which 45.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.8% were married couples living together, 14.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.0% were non-families. 17.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.25 and the average family size was 3.69.

In the county the population was spread out with 34.5% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 17.8% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 99.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.6 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,532, and the median income for a family was $38,009. Males had a median income of $31,721 versus $23,911 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,257. About 16.9% of families and 21.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.4% of those under age 18 and 10.7% of those age 65 or over.

As of 2008, according to the Lao Family Community, a nonprofit organization, about 8,000 Hmong lived in Merced County.[15]

Major Employers[edit]

  • Merced County Office of Education

Anberry Rehabilitation Hosp

  • Atwater Elementary Teachers
  • Bianchi & Sons Packing Co
  • Foster Farms
  • Golden Valley Health Ctr
  • Hilmar Cheese Co
  • J Marchini & Son
  • Liberty Packing Co
  • Live Oak Farms
  • Livingston District Office
  • Malibu Boats West Inc
  • Mc Lane Pacific
  • Merced County Human Svc
  • Mercy Medical Ctr
  • Pacific Gas & Electric Co
  • Quad/Graphics Inc
  • Sensient Dehydrated Flavors
  • University of Ca-Merced
  • Walmart
  • Walmart Supercenter
  • Werner Co
  • Western Marketing & Sales
  • Yosemite Wholesale Warehouse

[16]

Politics[edit]

Voter registration statistics[edit]

Cities by population and voter registration[edit]

Overview[edit]

Merced County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year GOP DEM Others
2012 44.3% 27,581 53.0% 33,005 2.7% 1,636
2008 45.0% 28,704 53.3% 34,031 1.7% 1,073
2004 56.5% 32,773 42.3% 24,491 1.2% 696
2000 51.8% 26,102 45.1% 22,726 3.2% 1,590
1996 44.4% 20,847 46.4% 21,786 9.2% 4,305
1992 36.5% 17,981 40.9% 20,133 22.7% 11,170
1988 51.2% 21,717 47.4% 20,105 1.4% 592
1984 58.9% 24,997 40.1% 17,012 1.1% 468
1980 48.8% 18,043 42.9% 15,886 8.3% 3,067
1976 46.1% 14,842 51.7% 16,637 2.3% 729
1972 54.3% 17,737 42.6% 13,914 3.5% 997
1968 40.9% 11,595 51.0% 14,453 8.1% 2,301
1964 31.2% 8,814 68.7% 19,431 0.1% 24
1960 43.4% 11,990 56.2% 15,545 0.4% 111
1956 46.0% 11,430 53.8% 13,366 0.2% 56
1952 53.3% 13,512 45.9% 11,639 0.9% 219
1948 42.6% 7,721 55.0% 9,959 2.5% 444
1944 41.3% 6,518 58.3% 9,192 0.4% 69
1940 36.4% 6,101 62.6% 10,501 1.1% 182
1936 25.5% 3,230 72.7% 9,208 1.8% 230
1932 27.2% 2,920 67.1% 7,202 5.7% 612
1928 60.2% 4,644 38.5% 2,970 1.4% 104
1924 52.9% 3,573 10.5% 710 36.5% 2,466
1920 63.0% 3,457 28.0% 1,537 9.0% 494

Previously reliably Democratic, Merced is now considered a bellwether county. It has voted for the winning candidate for president in every election since 1972. Democrat Barack Obama won a majority in the county in both 2008 and 2012. Republican George W. Bush won a majority in the county in both 2000 and 2004. This shift in favour of the Republican Party is a rarity given Californian politics' almost universal shift towards the Democratic Party in recent years. Since the opening of UC Merced, Merced County has tended to lean Democrat, with an overwhelming student population favoring the Democratic Party.

Merced is part of California's 18th congressional district, which is held by Democrat Dennis Cardoza. Merced was previously represented by Democratic representatives Gary Condit and Tony Coelho. In the state legislature Merced is in the 17th Assembly district, which is held by Democrat Cathleen Galgiani, and the 12th Senate district, which is held by Republican Anthony Cannella.

According to the California Secretary of State, as of October 20, 2008, there are 97,179 registered voters in Merced County. Of those, 44,704 (46.0%) are registered Democratic, 35,955 (37.0%) are registered Republican, 3,090 (3.2%) are registered with other political parties, and 13,430 (13.8%) declined to state a political party. Atwater and the unincorporated areas of Merced County have Republican plurality registration advantages. All of the other cities and towns in the county have Democratic pluralities or majorities in voter registration.

Places of interest[edit]

The former Castle Air Force Base and the United States Penitentiary, Atwater are located in an unincorporated area near Atwater.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Only larceny-theft cases involving property over $400 in value are reported as property crimes.
  2. ^ Other = Some other race + Two or more races
  3. ^ Native American = Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander + American Indian or Alaska Native
  4. ^ a b Percentage of registered voters with respect to total population. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B02001. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Office of the Attorney General, Department of Justice, State of California. Table 11: Crimes – 2009. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  4. ^ a b c United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime in the United States, 2012, Table 8 (California). Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  5. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B03003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  6. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19301. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  7. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19013. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  8. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19113. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  9. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  10. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B01003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  11. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Census.gov. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^ Oppenheim, Jamie. "Hmong youth not preserving traditions, professor says." Monday March 29, 2010. Retrieved on September 20, 2010.
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q California Secretary of State. February 10, 2013 - Report of Registration. Retrieved 2013-10-31.

Further reading[edit]

  • A Memorial and Biographical History of the Counties of Merced, Stanislaus, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa, California. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1892.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°11′N 120°43′W / 37.19°N 120.71°W / 37.19; -120.71