About Merced

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Merced is a dynamic community of about 86,750 people, with friendly small town living in a mid-size city. The University of California Merced campus, opened in 2005, provides new educational and economic opportunity, adding to the already-established growth of the region. Merced’s population is youthful and diverse.

Located in the heart of California’s agricultural Central Valley, Merced is the region’s hub for education, culture, and business. The community offers abundant shopping, pleasant neighborhoods and tree-lined streets. Bicycle paths along creeks link major City parks. Even with recent increases in prices, Merced’s housing remains affordable compared to many other California locations. Merced’s revitalized downtown is emerging as the entertainment center of the area. Annual events and festivals bring regional and even national recognition.

Merced’s Valley location southeast of San Francisco provides easy access to the central California coast, Sierra Nevada mountains and national parks, and major cities. Merced has historically been the “Gateway to Yosemite”, and residents also enjoy short drives to skiing, beaches, fishing, and other outdoor attractions.

Merced County Population and Housing Estimates (PDF)

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