Merced, CA

44 Reviews

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Merced, CA

About Merced, CA

Merced, California is a mid-sized city located in Central Valley known for its proximity to Yosemite National Park or Lake Yosemite making it an ideal spot for outdoor recreation. Small city - Central California, mid-Central Valley, 80 miles south of Sacramento.

Location Details

State: California
County: Merced County
Metro Area: Merced Metro Area
City: Merced
Zip Codes: 95340 95348 95341
Cost of Living:
Time zone: Pacific Standard Time (PST)
Elevation: 22 ft above sea level
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Dig Deeper on Merced

Merced, California, established in 1872 by the Central Pacific Railroad, carries a name full of grace, derived from the Spanish "Nuestra Señora de la Merced" or "Our Lady of Mercy." This city, steeped in history, has grown significantly since its incorporation in 1889, notably with the establishment of the University of California, Merced in 2005. This marked the beginning of a new era for Merced, introducing it as a center for education and research in the heart of the state.

The geography of Merced is as intriguing as its history. Located in the San Joaquin Valley, it serves as a gateway to the Central Valley, offering easy access to major cities and natural wonders like Yosemite National Park. The flat, fertile lands surrounding Merced contribute significantly to its economy, primarily driven by agriculture. Fields of almonds, dairy farms, and poultry production paint the landscape, emphasizing the region's agricultural heritage.

Economically, Merced has diversified beyond agriculture, partly due to the influence of UC Merced. Education, healthcare, and retail have grown, providing jobs and supporting the local economy. However, agriculture remains a pivotal industry, highlighting the balance between tradition and innovation that characterizes the area.

When it comes to voting patterns, Merced reflects the broader trends of California, with shifts and changes that mirror statewide and national elections. Civic engagement is strong, and the community's values are represented through their active participation in the democratic process.

Living in Merced offers a unique blend of experiences. Residents enjoy the small-town feel with the benefits of a growing metropolitan area. The presence of UC Merced brings a youthful energy and opportunities for cultural and educational activities. Local museums and historical sites, such as the Merced County Courthouse Museum, offer glimpses into the area's past, while the Merced Multicultural Arts Center highlights contemporary creativity.

For newcomers, understanding the importance of agriculture and education to Merced's identity is key. The community is welcoming, with a spirit of collaboration and growth. New residents should be prepared to embrace the outdoors, with countless opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring the natural beauty of the region. The climate is typically Mediterranean, with hot summers and mild winters, ideal for year-round outdoor activities.

Merced's location makes it an appealing spot for those looking to balance rural tranquility with access to urban amenities. With its historical roots and forward-looking perspective, Merced offers a distinctive living experience in California's heartland.

Merced Cost of Living

Nearby national parks, emerging college town, and future job growth make Merced a great place to live.

+9.4% higher than avg
-32.0% lower than avg
$857 /mo
Monthly rent (2br)
-34.0% lower than avg
Merced Crime
47.1 / 100
Crime is ranked on a scale of 1 (low) to 100 (high). US average: 35.4
Minimum annual income
To live comfortably in Merced, California
for a family
for a single person
Pros & Cons of Merced
   Nearby national parks
Low educational attainment
   Emerging college town
Cost of living
   Future job growth
Current unemployment
Reviews for Merced
    See all (44)

Merced is totally slept on - you want a little bit of everything CA has to offer, at a fraction of the price of other CA cities? Merced is the place to go. The town  More

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Over 4 years ago

Good place to live. More affordable than most of california. The city is growing and there is alot of business and growth here. Moved from the Bay area years ago and  More

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Great place to live. Lots of progress and changes coming to the city. Great place to raise a family. UC Merced is expanding and businesses are investing. Downtown is  More

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