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Atwater, California

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Title: Atwater, California  
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Subject: Castle Air Museum, Castle Air Force Base, Merced, California, Rafael Resendes, Merced County, California
Collection: Cities in Merced County, California, Incorporated Cities and Towns in California
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Atwater, California

City of Atwater
Water tower in the city
Water tower in the city
Motto: Community Pride, City Wide
Location in California
Location in California
Country  United States
State  California
County Merced
Incorporated August 16, 1922[1]
 • Mayor Joan Faul
 • Senate Anthony Cannella (D)
 • Assembly Cathleen Galgiani (D)
 • U. S. Congress Jim Costa (D)
 • Total 6.096 sq mi (15.788 km2)
 • Land 6.087 sq mi (15.766 km2)
 • Water 0.009 sq mi (0.022 km2)  0.14%
Elevation[3] 151 ft (46 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 28,168
 • Density 4,600/sq mi (1,800/km2)
Time zone Pacific (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 95301, 95342
Area code(s) 209
FIPS code 06-03162
GNIS feature ID 277600
Website .org.atwaterwww

Atwater is a city on State Route 99 in Merced County, California, United States. Atwater is 8 miles (13 km) west-northwest of Merced,[4] at an elevation of 151 feet (46 m).[3] The population as of the 2010 census was 28,168.


  • Geography 1
  • History 2
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 3.1
    • 2000 3.2
  • Politics 4
  • Education 5
    • Primary and secondary schools 5.1
      • Public schools 5.1.1
      • Private schools 5.1.2
  • Newspapers 6
  • Notable residents 7
  • Sports 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.1 square miles (16 km2). 99.86% of it is land and 0.14% water.

The city includes Castle Air Museum, but does not include Castle Air Force Base proper.


The railroad reached Atwater in the 1870s, and a town grew up.[4] The first post office opened in 1880.[4] Atwater incorporated in 1922.[4] The name honors Marshall D. Atwater, a wheat farmer whose land was used by the railroad for its station.[4]



The 2010 United States Census[5] reported that Atwater had a population of 28,168. The population density was 4,620.8 people per square mile (1,784.1/km²). The racial makeup of Atwater was 18,410 (65.4%) White, 1,225 (4.3%) African American, 364 (1.3%) Native American, 1,416 (5.0%) Asian, 76 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 5,300 (18.8%) from other races, and 1,377 (4.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14,808 persons (52.6%).

The Census reported that 28,066 people (99.6% of the population) lived in households, 31 (0.1%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 71 (0.3%) were institutionalized.

There were 8,838 households, out of which 4,255 (48.1%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 4,593 (52.0%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,558 (17.6%) had a female householder with no husband present, 672 (7.6%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 615 (7.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 60 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,615 households (18.3%) were made up of individuals and 738 (8.4%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.18. There were 6,823 families (77.2% of all households); the average family size was 3.61.

The population was spread out with 9,016 people (32.0%) under the age of 18, 2,968 people (10.5%) aged 18 to 24, 7,492 people (26.6%) aged 25 to 44, 5,760 people (20.4%) aged 45 to 64, and 2,932 people (10.4%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30.0 years. For every 100 females there were 95.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.

There were 9,771 housing units at an average density of 1,602.9 per square mile (618.9/km²), of which 4,905 (55.5%) were owner-occupied, and 3,933 (44.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 10.9%. 14,920 people (53.0% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 13,146 people (46.7%) lived in rental housing units.


As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 23,113 people, 7,247 households, and 5,667 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,277.4 people per square mile (1,652.6/km²). There were 8,114 housing units at an average density of 1,501.6/sq mi (580.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 57.34% White, 4.99% Black or African American, 1.27% Native American, 5.43% Asian, 0.36% Pacific Islander, 24.48% from other races, and 6.14% from two or more races. 41.51% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 7,247 households out of which 45.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.8% were non-families. 17.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.15 and the average family size was 3.55.

In the city the population was spread out with 34.9% under the age of 18, 10.0% from 18 to 24, 28.6% from 25 to 44, 17.4% from 45 to 64, and 9.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.4 males.

The median income for a household in Atwater is $37,344, and the median income for a family was $39,789. Males had a median income of $32,983 versus $22,450 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,162. About 15.3% of families and 18.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.1% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.


In the state legislature Atwater is in the 12th Senate District, represented by Republican Anthony Cannella, and in the 21st Assembly District, represented by Democrat Adam Gray.

In the United States House of Representatives, Atwater is in California's 16th congressional district, represented by Democrat Jim Costa.[7]


Primary and secondary schools

Private School St.Anthony's (Preschool, K-8)

Public schools

Most of the city is zoned to the Atwater Elementary School District. Schools of AESD within Atwater and serving Atwater include:[8]

  • K-6
    • Aileen Colburn Elementary School
    • Shaffer Elementary School
    • Thomas Olaeta Elementary School
    • Elmer Wood Elementary School
    • Mitchell Elementary School
    • Peggy Heller
  • K-8
    • Bellevue School
  • 7-8
    • Mitchell Senior Elementary School
  • Other
    • Atwater Community Day School

A small section of eastern Atwater is located in the Merced City School District; that section is zoned to Rivera Middle School.[9] Franklin Elementary School is the closest elementary school to the section of Atwater.

Merced Union High School District operates Atwater High School and Buhach Colony High School, both of which serve and reside in Atwater.

Private schools

School Grades
Ariel Dear Academy 2-12
Fruitland Christian Preschool PK-K
Landmark Christian School PK-12
St. Anthony School PK-8


Atwater currently does not have a daily newspaper, although many of its residents use the daily paper, the Merced Sun-Star, which is published in nearby Merced. Atwater has two weekly newspapers called The Atwater Signal and The Atwater Times. The Atwater Signal was first published in 1911. The Atwater Times[10] is published by Mid Valley Publications, once a week.

Notable residents

Bloss House Museum



  1. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date" (Word). California Association of  
  2. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer File - Places - California".  
  3. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Atwater, California
  4. ^ a b c d e Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 741.  
  5. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Atwater city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  7. ^ "California's 16th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved October 1, 2014. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Proposed Middle School Boundaries 2008-2009." Merced City School District.
  10. ^
  11. ^
  • Compass Maps: Merced, Atwater, Merced County
  • City of Atwater -- Approved Annexations

External links

  • City website
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