Fresno is a city located in Fresno County, California. With a 2020 population of 538,195, it is the 5th largest city in California (after Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, and San Francisco) and the 34th largest city in the United States. Fresno is currently growing at a rate of 0.76% annually and its population has increased by 8.80% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 494,665 in 2010. Spanning over 116 miles, Fresno has a population density of 4,691 people per square mile.
The average household income in Fresno is $66,519 with a poverty rate of 26.88%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $969 per month, and the median house value is $224,600. The median age in Fresno is 30.8 years, 29.8 years for males, and 31.7 years for females. For every 100 females there are 96.9 males.
Fresno is about 200 miles north of Los Angeles and 170 miles south of Sacramento. The greater Metropolitan Fresno area has a population estimated at 1.1 million. There are several well-known neighborhoods in Fresno, including Tower District, which is the city's hub for community events and the center of the city's LGBT and Hipster communities, and the West Side, which is culturally diverse and the center of Fresno's African American community with large Asian-American and Mexican-American populations.
Fresno has one of the largest urban populations in the United States. Fresno has a long history of Armenian immigrants as well. The first Armenians to move to the region were brothers Garabed and Hagop Seropian in 1881, with the Armenian population reaching 360 in Fresno by 1894. This number continued to grow with early immigrants heavily involved in agriculture and farming. By 1930, Armenians owned about 40% of the raisin acreage in the county. Many Anglicized their names due to widespread bigotry, and fear of immigrant land ownership caused the passage of laws to restrict their right to buy land. Today, there are about 40,000 Armenians in Fresno.
Fresno Population Growth
Between July 2012 and July 2013, Fresno County's population grew just over 1%, which is the county's highest growth rate in three years. Fresno is growing faster than the state of California as a whole, and quicker than other counties. The growth in the area is attributed to a growing Hispanic population, which makes up the first-time majority in Fresno. Between 2000 and 2010, the city of Fresno grew a whopping 41% as more Californians move inland to get away from the high cost of living on the coast.
The San Joaquin Valley area was first inhabited by the Yokuts people who traded with other tribes of Native Americans in the state. The County of Fresno was created after the California Gold Rush in 1856, and it was named for the ash trees along the river (Fresno is Spanish for ash tree). Within a few years, several settlements were established for settlers and traders.
The Central Pacific Railroad established a station close to Easterby's (a large wheat farm) in 1872 for the new Southern Pacific line. A store followed, and the town of Fresno Station -- later Fresno -- was formed. Many residents from nearby settlements moved to the new community, and Fresno was incorporated in 1885.
Before World War II, there were many ethnic neighborhoods in the city, such as Little Italy, Little Armenia, and German Town. The population in 1940 was 94% white, 2.7% Asian and 3.3% black.
During the second half of the 20th century, Fresno's population boomed, becoming one of the 100 largest cities in the country in 1960 with a population of 134,000. It hit 47th in 1990 and 37th place in 2000 with a population of 428,000.