Livingston, California

From Academic Kids

Livingston is a city in Merced County, California. According to the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 10,473. (As discussed below, this may be an underestimate.)



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Location of Livingston, California

Livingston is located at 37°23'4" North, 120°43'18" West (37.384530, -120.721582)Template:GR. It lies slightly uphill from where the Southern Pacific railroad crosses the Merced River. State highway 99 follows the Southern Pacific.


Livingston lies in the fertile San Joaquin Valley. Like the rest of the valley, it has long, dry summers with abundant irrigation water. The winters are mild, alternating between fog, rain, and sun, with occasional frost. This makes for long growing seasons, with a low risk of mold, storms, drought or other bad weather interfering with crops. Most of the valley has clay-based soils. Livingston is unusual in that the Merced River has deposited large amounts of sand. The sand is presumably the ground-up remnants of Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite Valley.

The main crops of the Livingston area are:

  • Chickens and turkeys -- The Foster Farms poultry company's main processing plant is in Livingston. The chicken ranches import most of their feed from other parts of the United States. The tallest building in the area is Foster Farms' grain elevator.
  • Dairy -- The Joseph Gallo dairy has the single largest herd in the United States. Neighboring towns (especially Hilmar) have many more cattle.
  • Grapes -- Joseph Gallo, Ernest and Julio Gallo, the Arakelian family, and many family farmers grow grapes for wine, the table, and raisin-making. Ernest and Julio Gallo have a major grape pressing operation near Livingston.
  • Almonds
  • Sweet Potatoes -- 90% of the sweet potatoes grown west of the Rockies are grown and packed in Livingston, Delhi, and Atwater. The sweet potatoes benefit from the sandy soil.
  • Alfalfa, corn, and soybeans are grown to support the dairies.
  • Melons -- watermelons, honeydew melons, et cetera.
  • Peaches -- most of the peach orchards have been replaced by almonds.

A few small farms grow:

  • Grain -- barley, wheat, et cetera.
  • Onions
  • Berries -- strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, et cetera.
  • Popcorn

City Area

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.0 km² (3.5 mi²). 9.0 km² (3.5 mi²) of it is land and none of it is covered by water. Much of this area is farmland that has been annexed either preemptively, or in anticipation of future growth. The actual city is much smaller.


Many students at Livingston High School attended grade school in Delhi, Ballico, and Cressey.


  • Most children are within walking distance of school.
  • The elementary schools' bus drivers are also their janitors.
  • Half of the kindergarten classes are bilingual (typically Spanish/English or Portuguese/Spanish/English)
  • About one-fifth of fourth-grade classes are bilingual (typically Spanish/English).


  • The Livingston Chronicle is published weekly, by the company that publishes the Merced Sun-Star. The Chronicle publishes local happenings, especially Livingston High School academic and athletic events.
  • The Merced Sun-Star
  • The Modesto Bee
  • The San Francisco Chronicle

The Bee purchased the Sun-Star and Livingston Chronicle in December, 2003.


Livingston has many churches, including:

Livingston is one of the few places in the United States where a mounted sheriff's deputy rides at the head of religious parades because of the religious symbolism.

After a lengthy court battle (which went to the United States Supreme Court), Sikh children as young as eight years old won the right to bring knives (kirpans) to school, if certain safety precautions are followed.

Labor and Industry



The residents of Livingston are descended from people of many nations:

There are very few blacks and American Indians.

The immigration continues. Most of the recent immigrants are from Mexico, Central America, and the Punjab.

Census Problems

Because so many residents are immigrants, it is likely that Census figures underestimate the actual population. (The number of automobiles in the town is consistent with a higher population than the official figure.)

According to the census figures, Livingston has one of the highest percentages of married couples with children in California. (This may be an artifact of the population underestimate.)

Because the city is much smaller than its city limits, the population density is much higher than the value calculated by the Census Bureau.

Census Figures

According to the census of 2000, there are 10,473 people, 2,390 households, and 2,143 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,165.3/km² (3,019.8/mi²). There are 2,449 housing units at an average density of 272.5/km² (706.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 36.52% White, 0.74% African American, 0.93% Native American, 14.45% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 41.54% from other races, and 5.76% from two or more races. 71.81% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 2,390 households out of which 60.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.2% are married couples living together, 14.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 10.3% are non-families. 8.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 3.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 4.37 and the average family size is 4.57.

In the city the population is spread out with 37.7% under the age of 18, 12.5% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 15.2% from 45 to 64, and 6.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 25 years. For every 100 females there are 101.0 males. For every 100 women age 18 and over, there are 99.3 men.

The median income for a household in the city is $32,500, and the median income for a family is $33,939. Males have a median income of $22,249 versus $19,693 for females. The per capita income for the city is $9,231. 25.2% of the population and 20.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 30.7% of those under the age of 18 and 20.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Sister City

Wakami, Akita Prefecture, Japan

Related Articles

External links

  • Merced Sun-Star article about Livingston's sister-city relationship ( with Wakami.

Template:Mapit-US-cityscalede:Livingston (Kalifornien)


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