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Growing and changing. Merced is a medium-sized city that experienced a rapid annual growth rate in the early 21st Century.

  • Annual growth rate 2020-2030: 1.1% County (projected)

  • Urban center: City residents comprise roughly one-third of the total county population. 

open air event downtown merced

Looking Forward

Merced is a medium-sized city that has experienced rapid growth in the 21st Century. Historically blue collar, with a strong base in food processing and distribution, that profile is changing. One new factor that could have a transformative effect on the the city's population is UC Merced, which has grown from 0 students in 2003 to approximately 9,000 students in 2021. As the proximity of a major university makes higher education more accessible for Central Valley residents we should expect a rising education attainment rate among our residents.

Demographic Overview

Sources:  Department of Finance for current population, E1: Cities, Counties, State Population Estimates; U.S. Census Bureau, ACS 2019-2024 DP04: Selected Housing Characteristics (March 2022).

Race & Ethnicity

Race & Ethnic Origins

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, ACS 2013-2018, Table DP05: Demographic and Housing Estimates (April 2020).

Notes: *Race alone or in combination with one or more. **Hispanic or Latino and Race

Source:  U.S. Census Bureau, ACS 2019-2024, Table DP05: Demographic and Housing Estimates (March 2022).

illustration - magnifying glass


  1. Department of Finance (; Report P-2A: Total Estimated and Projected Population 2010 to 2060 (March 2022)

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