Merced, California

Merced is a city in Merced County, California and is the county seat. As of the April 2020 Census, it had an estimated population of 86,333. Incorporated on April 1, 1889, Merced operates under a council-manager government and is named after the nearby river that means “Mercy” in Spanish. Merced is located less than two hours away from Yosemite National Park to the east and Monterey Bay, the Pacific Ocean, and many beaches to the west. It has a total area of 23.25 square miles and an elevation of 171 feet.

The city of Merced was incorporated in 1889, and operates under the form of government called Council-Manager. A population’s growth has become faster than the state average since 1980. Over these past 9 years, it has been growing annually by around 3.4%.

The city’s top employers are the County of Merced, Merced City School District, AT&T Call Center, Merced Union High School District, Merced College, Quad Graphics, University of California, Merced, City of Merced, Scholle Corporation, and Walmart.


The racial makeup of Merced is 52.1% White, 6.3% African American, 1.5% Native American, 11.8% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 22.5% from other races, and 5.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 49.6%. The median age is 28.1 years. For every 100 females, there are 96.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 93.6 males.

Merced County is ranked sixth among the top producing counties in California. In 2019, Merced County generated over $3 million worth of production. The most popular crops in Merced are milk, cattle, almonds, chickens, and potatoes.

It has a semi-arid climate with its annual precipitation falling just short of a Mediterranean one. It features hot, dry summers and mild winters. In January the average temperature is 55 degrees Fahrenheit while in July it’s 97 degrees Fahrenheit on average.

Some points of interest in the city include the Merced National Wildlife Refuge, the Courthouse Museum, and Lake Yosemite. The Merced National Wildlife Refuge is a protected area of land that was established in 1951 to preserve more than 10, 000 acres of natural landscapes, such as native grasslands, wetlands, riparian areas, and vernal pools. The Merced County Courthouse Museum tells the story of the settlers in the Great Central Valley and depicts Merced County’s history. Lake Yosemite is located in the rolling Sierra Foothills just outside of Merced. It was built for irrigation purposes and currently supplies water to farms in the surrounding county.

The city of Merced is a hub for education, culture and business in the region. With its abundant shopping, pleasant neighborhoods and tree-lined streets, it’s an attractive place to live. It has bike paths along creeks that link major City parks filled with trees. Housing is still affordable compared to many other California locations. The revitalized downtown area is emerging as an entertainment center for the area; annual events & festivals bring regional recognition. The city became home to the 10th University of California campus, UC Merced. It is the first research university built in the U.S. in the 21st century.



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