Modesto is a city located in Stanislaus County California. It is also the county seat of Stanislaus County. With a 2020 population of 216,810, it is the 19th largest city in California and the 104th largest city in the United States . Modesto is currently growing at a rate of 0.37% annually and its population has increased by 7.78% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 201,165 in 2010. Modesto reached it's highest population of 216,810 in 2021. Spanning over 45 miles, Modesto has a population density of 5,045 people per square mile.
The average household income in Modesto is $77,657 with a poverty rate of 15.15%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $1,176 per month, and the median house value is $283,800. The median age in Modesto is 35.6 years, 34 years for males, and 37.7 years for females.
It is one of the top farm production counties in California, with agricultural production including chickens, walnuts, almonds, and milk. The city has also been ranked as one of the most affordable cities in the nation.
Modesto Population Statistics
About 18.5% live below the federal poverty line. Another interesting fact is that about 32% of the population in Modesto is obese, which exceeds the state average of 22.7%.
Modesto Population Growth
Modesto has experienced growth in its population during almost every census. The exception was the period between 1890 and 1900 when a 15.7% loss was recorded. However, the city immediately bounced back, nearly doubling its population by the time of the 1910 census. While population growth was high through the 1990s, it has recently slowed. Estimates in 2016 show that the population at this time was 5.5% higher than the last recorded numbers in the 2010 census.
Modesto was originally founded as a railroad town in 1870. Its original name was to be Ralston after the man who financed the endeavor, but the man asked for it to be named something else. It was named “Modesto” after the man’s modesty. In Modesto’s earliest years, it had a population of over 1,000. Its agricultural land and the railroad made it a desirable place to live, so the population began to grow from the very beginning. By the time the 1900s rolled around, the population had more than quadrupled to over 4,500 residents.
The city has long had a history of agriculture and was a provider of many supplies during World War II, including canned goods and fresh eggs. Modesto’s county has been ranked sixth in terms of farm production. In 2011 alone, the county earned grossed over $3 billion in agricultural goods. The city is not just known for its agrarian goods but also for its architecture, which has been featured in the Museum of Modern Art publications multiple times. The city has also been ranked as one of the most affordable, although it is rated poorly in terms of job forecast growth.
Modesto is also a popular tourist destination, with people from all over the country coming to visit its museums, walk through its downtown streets, or to visit historical landmarks like the McHenry Mansion. Today, the city’s downtown area has been modernized to add new attractions and to create a tourist walk to showcase one of the original locations featured in the film, “American Graffiti.”