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Merced County, California
Seal of Merced County, California
Seal
Map of California highlighting Merced County
Location in the state of California
Map of the U.S. highlighting California
California's location in the U.S.
Founded 1855
Seat Merced
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,972 sq mi (5,107 km²)
1,929 sq mi (4,996 km²)
43 sq mi (111 km²), 2.19%
Population
 - (2020)
 - Density

281,202
109/sq mi (42/km²)
Website www.co.merced.ca.us

Merced County (pronounced "Mer-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 2020 the population was 281,202. The county seat is Merced. The county is named after the Merced River.

History[]

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

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.

Geography[]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 5,107 km² (1,972 sq mi). 4,995 km² (1,929 sq mi) of it is land and 112 km² (43 sq mi) of it (2.19%) is water.

Cities and towns[]

Cities over 10,000 population[]

Incorporated cities under 10,000 population[]

Unincorporated Communities[]

Adjacent counties[]

Transportation infrastructure[]

Major highways[]

Public transportation[]

Airports[]

Merced Municipal Airport, located just southwest of downtown Merced, has a few commercial passenger flights. General aviation airports in the county include Castle Airport, Gustine Airport, and Los Banos Municipal Airport.

Demographics[]

As of the census² of 2000, there were 210,554 people, 63,815 households, and 49,775 families residing in the county. The population density was 42/km² (109/sq mi). There were 68,373 housing units at an average density of 14/km² (36/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was 56.21% White, 3.83% Black or African American, 1.19% Native American, 6.80% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 26.13% from other races, and 5.65% from two or more races. 45.34% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 55.1% spoke English, 35.3% Spanish, 3.2% Hmong, 2.9% Portuguese and 1.0% Panjabi 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.

Politics[]

Merced County voted for the winning candidate for president in every election from 1972 to 2012, before voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016. 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.

United States presidential election results for Merced County, California[1]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 39,397 43.30% 48,991 53.84% 2,605 2.86%
2016 28,725 40.39% 37,317 52.47% 5,085 7.15%
2012 27,581 44.33% 33,005 53.04% 1,636 2.63%
2008 28,704 44.81% 34,031 53.13% 1,316 2.05%
2004 32,773 56.54% 24,491 42.26% 696 1.20%
2000 26,102 51.77% 22,726 45.08% 1,590 3.15%
1996 20,847 44.41% 21,786 46.41% 4,305 9.17%
1992 17,981 36.48% 20,133 40.85% 11,170 22.66%
1988 21,717 51.20% 20,105 47.40% 592 1.40%
1984 24,997 58.85% 17,012 40.05% 468 1.10%
1980 18,043 48.77% 15,886 42.94% 3,067 8.29%
1976 14,842 46.08% 16,637 51.65% 729 2.26%
1972 17,737 54.33% 13,914 42.62% 997 3.05%
1968 11,595 40.90% 14,453 50.98% 2,301 8.12%
1964 8,814 31.18% 19,431 68.74% 24 0.08%
1960 11,990 43.37% 15,545 56.23% 111 0.40%
1956 11,430 45.99% 13,366 53.78% 56 0.23%
1952 13,512 53.26% 11,639 45.88% 219 0.86%
1948 7,721 42.60% 9,959 54.95% 444 2.45%
1944 6,518 41.31% 9,192 58.25% 69 0.44%
1940 6,101 36.35% 10,501 62.57% 182 1.08%
1936 3,230 25.50% 9,208 72.69% 230 1.82%
1932 2,920 27.20% 7,202 67.10% 612 5.70%
1928 4,644 60.17% 2,970 38.48% 104 1.35%
1924 3,573 52.94% 710 10.52% 2,466 36.54%
1920 3,457 62.99% 1,537 28.01% 494 9.00%
1916 2,132 40.72% 2,637 50.36% 467 8.92%
1912 10 0.24% 1,978 46.78% 2,240 52.98%
1908 1,107 44.58% 1,100 44.30% 276 11.12%
1904 972 49.07% 863 43.56% 146 7.37%
1900 811 41.59% 1,081 55.44% 58 2.97%
1896 653 36.24% 1,117 61.99% 32 1.78%
1892 782 39.66% 995 50.46% 195 9.89%
1888 773 43.04% 972 54.12% 51 2.84%
1884 809 45.47% 953 53.57% 17 0.96%
1880 516 41.08% 736 58.60% 4 0.32%



According to the California Secretary of State, as of October 20, 2008, there were 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.

Merced County has been somewhat of a bellwether county for presidential elections. Since 1916, it has voted for the winner in each election except in 1956, 1968, and 2016. Despite a leftward shift in recent years, Merced County voted "Yes" in the 2021 California gubernatorial recall election despite the fact that it had voted for Newsom by a margin of 4% in the 2018 California gubernatorial election.

See also[]

External links[]

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

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Merced County, California. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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