Quality of Life

While the future holds great promise, that future will be built on the solid foundation established by those who have gone before us.  Merced is a wonderful place to live, and the community is committed to preserving our special quality of life.

Merced boasts dozens of tree-shaded parks, miles upon miles of bike paths and plenty of choices for sailing, water skiing and fishing.  Lake Yosemite is a favorite with sailors and windsurfers alike, and its grassy, tree-lined shore makes a perfect setting for a Sunday afternoon picnic.  Or you may prefer to take in a play at Playhouse Merced or stroll through an art exhibit at the Multicultural Art Center in the lovely Downtown. 

Recreation and cultural opportunities certainly contribute to that special quality of life in Merced, but what may be more important is the sense of community that is shared by the people who live here.  Businesses and individuals take pride in their volunteer accomplishments.  Local government is responsive to community needs.

Perhaps it is our agricultural roots, but Merced has maintained a small town environment in an urban setting.  Neighborhoods are still the building blocks of the community.  Wide, tree-lined streets and spacious homes offer a pleasant contrast to the congested residential areas of larger cities.  Neighbors spend time together and watch out for each other.

We invite you to consider investing in Merced.  Affordable land and labor costs, good transportation access, and a location central to major markets should motivate your strategic planners.  Affordable homes, quality education, abundant recreational opportunities and friendly neighbors will motivate your employees.


Cost of Living
This index compares the relative cost of living in different locations. Using the United States as the base location (i.e. a value of 100), an index value of 120 means that the cost of living in that particular community is 20 percent higher than in the base location; a value of 94 indicates a more affordable location.
Location Cost of Living Index
City of Merced 103
City of Fresno 109
City of Madera 105
City of Modesto 112
City of Turlock 111
City of Visalia 108
Source: Sperling's BestPlaces (www.bestplaces.net), September 2011 data. The total of all cost of living categories is weighted as follows: 30% housing, 15% groceries, 10% transportation, 6% utilities, 7% health care, and 32% miscellaneous (clothing, services, entertainment); state and local taxes are not included. (October 2011)


January Low/High 36°F / 55°F
July Low/High 26°F / 95°F
Prevailing Windspeed 6 mph/NW
Annual Precipitation 12.4 inches
Elevation (1) 170 feet
Comfort Index (1) 52
Source: (1) Sperling's BestPlaces (www.bestplaces.net); Weather Underground (www.weatherunderground.com)
Note: The Comfort Index measures recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. The Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people. Higher values indicate a more comfortable climate. (October 2011)


Crime Rate
Jurisdiction Property Crime Rate per 1,000 Violent Crime Rate per 1,000
City of Merced 14.8 6.3
City of Fresno 22.4 6.1
City of Madera 12.8 7.1
City of Modesto 7.2 6.9
City of Turlock 2.1 6.7
City of Visalia 10.4 4.6
Source: FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (www.fbi.gov), 2010 data (October 2011)


Police Protection
Provider # Stations Officers per 1,000 Special Units
City of  Merced Police Department
611 W. 22nd Street
Merced, CA 95340
Norm Andrade, Chief
1 HQ
2 Substations
1.2 Bomb Unit
K-9 Unit
Bike Patrol
County of Merced Sheriff
700 W. 22nd Street
Merced, CA 95340
Mark Pazin, Sheriff
HQ 4.4 Dive Team
K-9 Unit
Source: Merced Police Department (www.cityofmerced.org/depts/police/default.asp); Merced County Sheriff's Office (www.co.merced.ca.us/index.aspx?nid=87); Officers per 1,000 population data is from the FBI Uniform Crime Statistics Police Employees 2010 data (www.fbi.gov), (October 2011)


Fire Protection
Provider # Stations Special Units
City of Merced Fire Department
99 E. 16th Street
Merced, CA 95340
Mike McLaughlin, Chief
5 HazMat / 
Fire Investigation
Fireworks Permitting
Business Inspections
Hazardous Operations
Public Education
County of Merced Fire Department
735 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Merced, CA 95341
1 Emergency Medical /
  Rescue Response
Emergency Services
Fire Prevention
Fire Protection
Hazardous Material
  Emergency Response
Public Education
  First Aide & CPR
  Flood Control
  Blood Pressure
*Insurance Rating: n/a  
Source: Merced Fire Department (www.cityofmerced.org/depts/fire/default.asp); Merced County Fire Department (www.co.merced.ca.us/index.aspx?nid=70) (October 2011)
*Insurance Rating - ISO (Insurance Services Office) determines the ISO ratings and that information is purchased (by subscription) by insurance offices. Your insurance agent should have current information and provide you with your ISO rating for your particular address.


Housing Costs
Starter Mid-Level Executive
$64,000 to $85,000 $84,000 to $99,000 $137,000 to $575,000
1 or 2 BR; 1000+ sf; 20+ yrs old 3 or 4 BR; 1200+ sf; 10+ yrs old 4+ BR; 2000+ sf; 5+ yrs old
Source: Merced County Association of Realtors (www.mercedcounty.com) (October 2011) 


Rental Housing Costs
Single Family Homes Apartments/Townhouses
$750 to $875 (2-bedroom) $425 to $670 (1-bedroom)
$850 to $1,400 (3-bedroom) $450 to $820 (2-bedroom)
$1,150 to $2,500 (4-bedroom) $825 to $1,100 (3-bedroom)
Source: Gonella Property Management (www.mercedrentalproperties.com) (October 2011) 


Median Value of Owner-Occupied Homes
City of Merced State of California United States (2010)
$126,670 $297,060 $179,000
Source: US Census Bureau, American Fact Finder (www.census.gov/) US 2010 data; California Association of Realtors (www.car.org), August 2011 data (September 2011)


K-12 Education
Elementary Schools Enrollment Avg. Class Size Test Scores*
Ada Givens Elementary (K-5) 493 21.4 775
Alicia Reyes Elementary
580 23.2 740
Allan Peterson Elementary
752 24.2 854
Charles Wright Elementary
459 22.8 782
Don Stowell Elementary
519 22.5 745
Donn B. Chenowith
Elementary (K-5)
716 31.0 853
Farmdale Elementary (K-5) 850 20.4 790
Franklin Elementary (K-5) 489 21.1 786
Joe Stefani (3-5) 510 23.1 786
John C. Fremont Charter
508 21.1 n/a
John Muir Elementary
491 18.8 788
Leontine Gracey Elementary
 561 22.4 692
Luther Burbank Elementary (K-5) 598 23.0 731
Margaret Sheehy Elementary
508 22.0 771
McSwain Elementary (K-8) 836 23.3 860
Pioneer Elementary (K-5) 903 20.0 823
Plainsburg Union
Elementary (K-8)
114 19.0 842
Middle Schools Enrollment Avg Class Size Test Scores*
Herbert H. Bruickshank (6-8) 867 25.1 810
Herbert Hoover Middle (6-8) 857 24.1 731
Merced Scholars Charter (6-12) 108 25.4 n/a
Rudolph Rivera Middle (6-8) 898 26.0 759
Tenaya Middle (6-8) 890 25.0 713
Weaver Middle (6-8) 759 21.0 776
High Schools  Enrollment / Grad Rate Avg Class Size Test Scores* 
Golden Valley High (9-12) 2,316 (89.5) 22.4 775
Merced High (9-12) 2,656 (88.6) 24.1 800
Alternative/Special/Adult Education Enrollment / Grad Rate Avg Class Size Test Scores*
Floyd A. Schelby (K-12)
(Special Ed)
63 (n/a) 9 728
Independence High (9-12) (Alt) 215 (39.1) 11.3 520
Merced City School District Communic Day (K-8) (Alt) 19 (n/a) 6.3 n/a
Merced County Juvenile Hall/Community (K-12) (Alt) 114 (28.6) 19.0 n/a
Merced County Special Education (K-12) 526 (n/a) 9.2 717
Sequoia High (9-12) (Alt) 146 (84.5) 8.4 516
Valley Community (K-12) (Alt) 841 22.8 535
Yosemite High (9-12)
307 (78.6) 11.2 527
Private Schools Enrollment Avg Class Size Test Scores*
Harvest Christian (PK-12) 40 6.8 n/a
Merced Adventist (4-8) 9 9.0 n/a
Merced Christian (PK-8) 181 12.4 n/a
Merced Montessori (PK-K) 68 1.1 n/a
Our Lady of Mercy (PK-8) 324 26.7 n/a
St. Luke's Episcopal (PK-5) 83 9.0 n/a
St. Paul Lutheran (PK-5) 124 15.8 n/a
Stone Ridge Christian High (9-12) 52 9.6 n/a
Source: National Center for Education Statistics (www.nces.ed.gov); Great Schools (www.greatschools.org); 2009-2010 data (September 2011)
*API: The API (Academic Performance Index) ranges between 200 and 1,000, with 800 as the statewide goal for all schools.


Healthcare Facilities (sampling)
Name Location/ Distance # Beds Services / Specialties
Mercy Medical Center Merced 333 Mercy Avenue
3.3 miles
186 Cardiac, critical care, emergency services, family clinic, home care, laboratory, maternity, outpatient services, radiology, rehabilitation, respiratory, sleep lab, surgical, wound healing and hyperbaric medicine center
Hy-Lond Healthcare Center
3170 M Street
1.3 miles
120 Short-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing services
Country Villa Merced Behavorial Healthcare Center
1255 B Street
1.5 miles
96 Behavorial nursing care facility
Country Villa Merced Heathcare Center
510 W. 26th Street
0.7 mile
78 Residential nursing care / rehabilitation facility
Franciscan Convalescent Hospital
3168 M Street
1.4 miles
71 Skilled nursing care facility
Country Villa La Sierra Care Center
2424 M Street
0.6 mile
68 Residential nursing care / rehabilitation facility
Children's Hospital Central California Merced Center
1190 Olivewood Dr, Ste A
1.5 miles
6 Neonatal instensive care unit (satellite office)
Marie Green Center
300 E. 15th Street
1.0 miles
n/a Provides inpatient services for Merced County Mental Health. Treatment for individuals needing brief hospitalization as a result of crisis or emergency. Hospital treatment will address acute symptoms in order to assist individual to return to previous level of functioning.
Veteran's Merced Outpatient Clinic
340 E. Yosemite Ave
2.3 miles
n/a Hospital, outpatient medical, dental, pharmacy and prosthetic services, domicillary, nursing home and community-based residential care; specialized healthcare for women Veterans, health and rehabilitation programs for homeless Veterans
Blood Source – Merced County
382 Yosemite Avenue
2.9 miles
n/a Blood bank services and programs; blood collection, marrow and blood stem cell collection; National Marrow Donor program; specialized testing; volunteer programs; medical consultation; educational resources and Speaker's Bureau
California Home Care & Hospice, Inc.
3381 G Street
2.4 miles
n/a Nursing care, physical therapy, medical, social and home health aide services
Cardiovascular Clinic of California
900 W. Olive Ave #D
1.1 miles
n/a Sleep associated conditions,  lipids, diabetes, cardiology heart and blood vessels, sleep disorders
Comfort Keepers
478 E. Yosemite Ave, Ste C
3.1 miles
n/a In-home care provider
Golden Valley Health Center
847 W. Childs Avenue
Women's Health
1.2 miles
n/a Comprehensive primary medical services; behavorial health; family practice; ngeriatrics, health education, internal medicine, laboratory, optometry, pediatrics, pharmacy, podiatry, women's health and dental
Merced County Mental Health, Alcohol & Drug Services
480 East 13th Street
1.5 miles
n/a Mental health services to children, youths, adults and families. Also drug and alcohol services
Merced County Public Health Department
260 E. 15th Street
1.2 miles
n/a Services include pregnancy, home visiting, multi-purpose Senior services, transporation, healthcare coverage, family planning, immunizations, nutrition, dental health, vision and hearing screening, teen pregnancy, special healthcare needs and more
Mercy Home Care
2740 M Street
0.8 mile
n/a In-home healthcare services & home health aides
Mercy Urgent Care & Occupational Medicine
378 W. Olive Avenue
1.2 miles
n/a Occupational physical therapy, certified wound care nurse, critical care, emergency medicine
Park Avenue Physical Therapy
2808 Park Ave #8
0.9 mile
n/a Pre and post surgical programs, post mastectomy, orthopedic and sports rehabilitation, manual therapy, industrial injuries
Patients First Medical Center
394 Yosemite Ave #200
2.3 miles
n/a Family practice medical clinic
Source: Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce, Business Directory (www.merced-chamber.com); YellowPages.com, Local Guides (www.yellowpages.com), (September 2011)
Note: Distance is measured from Merced City Hall  


Culture / Sports / Recreation
Theater and Fine Arts
Merced Agricultural Museum
4498 E. State Hwy 140
Merced Theater
301 W. Main Street
(Closed for restoration, reopens 2012)
Merced Arts Council
645 W. Main Street
Merced College Performing Arts
Community College Dr. S.
Castle Air Museum
5050 San Fe Drive #7
Atwater, CA (8.7 miles)
Castle Science & Technology Center
3460 Challenger Way
Atwater, CA (8.7 miles)
Merced College Art Gallery
3600 M Street
Playhouse Merced
452 W. Main Street
Merced Courthouse Museum
21st and N Street
UC Merced Performing Arts
5200 North Lake Road
Merced Symphony
645 Main Street
Golf Courses
Merced Golf and Country Club
6333 North Golf Road
(6 miles) (Private)
Rancho Del Rey Golf Course
5250 Green Sands Avenue
Atwater, CA
(7.7 miles) (Public)
Pheasant Run Golf Course
19 Clubhouse Drive
Chowchilla, CA
(18 miles) (Private)
Sports Venues and Organizations
Merced Parks & Community Services Department
Youth Sports – 209-385-6978
  *NBA/WNA Youth Basketball League
  *Youth NFL Flag Football League
Merced Youth Baseball Inc. – 209-726-6262 (ages 5-16)
Merced Girls Softball League – 209-722-4866 (ges 4-18)
Cougars Youth Football – 209-725-8409 (ages 8-14)
Merced Youth Soccer Association – 209-384-2417 (ages 6-18)
Merced Atlas Soccer Academy – 209-947-0050 (ages 5-16)
GV Mat Cats – 209-564-7871 (ages 5-16)
*Directly operated by Parks & Community Services Dept.

Adult Sports – 209-385-6978
  Basketball (35 or older)
  Softball (men's, women's. co-ed, industrial)

Leisure Classes – 209-385-6855
  Beginning Ballroom Dancing
  Martial Arts Instruction
  Danzan Ryu Jujutsu (ages 18 & up)
  Hunters Safety Course
  Indoor Youth Soccer – 209-385-6978 (ages 3-4), (Co-ed ages 5-6)

Brenda Athletic Clubs
3360 North State Hwy 59
Merced Academy of Dance
645 West Main Street
CrossFit Merced
28 West Main Street
Merced Gymnastics
443 West 18th Street
Curves Merced
28 West Olive Avenue
Merced Mixed Martial Arts Academy
810 West Main Street
Eastwind Martial Arts Academy
1635 G Street
Moe's Side Kick Tae Kwon Do
334 West Main Street
In-Shape City
2951 North G Street
Roller Land
1445 West 18th Street
Kiwanis Kiddieland
25th Street
Tumble Time Gymnastics
140 Macready Drive, Ste A
Recreational Facilities and Opportunities
Merced Parks & Community Services Department
Mini Parks
Benjamin Tannager Memorial Park
1301 W. 2nd Street
Black Rascal Creek Bike Way Park
Between Parsons Ave & McKee Rd.
Charles Richard Drew Park
8th & N Street
Dennis Chavez Park
11th & W. Street
Diego Rivera Park
10th & P Street
Fahrens Park Old & Bike Path
Denver Way
Fredrick Douglas Park
8th & V Street
Hansen Park
1357 Hansen Avenue
Neighborhood Park
11th & H Street
Neighborhood Park
East 12th & G Street
Santa Fe Strip Park
Buena Vista
The Love Veasley Family Park
6th & Canal Street
William Lloyd Garrison
South S Street & Home Ave
Neighborhood Parks
Ada Givens Park
300 Block of 27th Street
Bernasconi Park
3770 DeSoto Way
Bob Carpenter Park
Selverado & Parsons Ave
Carolo Gabriault Park
1601 Willowbrook Drive
Davenport Park
SW Corner of Dunn & Whitedove
Flanagan Park
Cone Ave & Las Brisas
Gilbert Macias Park
Childs Ave & G Street
Elmer Murchie Park
Bellvue Ranch
Rudolph Joseph Merino Park
Pacific & El Redondo Ave
Stephen Leonard Park
7th & T Street
Stephan Gray Park
NW Bear Creek near Hwy 59
Dwight Amey Park
Brooks Park
South G Street & Gerard Ave
Burbank Park
E. Olive Avenue
Community Parks
Fahrens Park
Between Hwy 59 & R St
Joe Herb Park
2200 Yosemite Parkway
McNamara Park
1040 Canal Street
Rahilliy Park
3400 North Parsons
Bob Hart Square Park
Canal & W. Main Street
Merced Courthouse Park
21st & N Street
Regional Parks
Applegate Park
R & 25th Street
Youth Sports Complex
1800 Bl of Wardrobe Ave
Merced Dog Park
Yosemite & R Street
National Parks
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite, CA
209-372-0200 (81 miles)
Movie Theaters
Mainplace Stadium Cinemas
403 W. Main Street
United Artists Regency 7
635 Fairfield Drive
Senior Activities
Merced Senior Community Center
755 W. 15th Street
Senior activities
Other Activities / Attractions / Events
Merced Fruit Barn
4526 E. Highway 140
Merced Visitor Services
710 W. 16h Street
Downtown Walking Tour
Cyberstation (Arcade)
717 Merced Mall
Clogging Instruction by Althea
463 Weaver Avenue
Breaktime Billards
1822 Canal Street
Oh Wow Nickel Arcade
100 W. Olive Avenue
Merced Poker Room
1445 Marting Luther King Jr. Way
Poker Flats Casino
1714 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Source: Merced Parks and Community Services Dept. (http://www.cityofmerced.org/depts/parks
); Greater Merced Chamber of Commerce, Business Directory (http://www.merced-chamber.com); YellowPages.com, Local Directory (www.yellowpages.com) (September 2011)