Merced County, California
Merced County is a county located in California's Central Valley, north of Fresno and southeast of San Jose. As of 2000 the population was 210,554. The county seat is Merced. The county is named after the Merced River.
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The county derives its name from the Merced River, or El Río de Nuestra Señora de la Merced (River of Our Lady of Mercy); named in 1806 by an expedition, headed by Gabriel Moraga, which came upon it at the end of a hot dusty ride.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 210,554 people, 63,815 households, and 49,775 families residing in the county. The population density is 42/km² (109/mi²). There are 68,373 housing units at an average density of 14/km² (36/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 56.21% White, 3.83% Black or African American, 1.19% Native American, 6.80% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 26.13% from other races, and 5.65% from two or more races. 45.34% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 63,815 households out of which 45.40% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.80% are married couples living together, 14.10% have a female householder with no husband present, and 22.00% are non-families. 17.70% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.40% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.25 and the average family size is 3.69.
In the county the population is spread out with 34.50% under the age of 18, 10.30% from 18 to 24, 27.90% from 25 to 44, 17.80% from 45 to 64, and 9.50% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 29 years. For every 100 females there are 99.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 96.60 males.
The median income for a household in the county is $35,532, and the median income for a family is $38,009. Males have a median income of $31,721 versus $23,911 for females. The per capita income for the county is $14,257. 21.70% of the population and 16.90% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 28.40% of those under the age of 18 and 10.70% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.