Turlock, California

From Academic Kids

Turlock is a city located in Stanislaus County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 55,810, the second-largest city in Stanislaus County. The city's recent rapid growth is evident in its current official population of 67,009, as reported by the city website (http://www.ci.turlock.ca.us/) and official city signs.



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Location of Turlock, California

Turlock is located at 37°30'21" North, 120°50'56" West (37.505725, -120.849019)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 34.4 km² (13.3 mi²)Template:GR. 34.4 km² (13.3 mi²) of it is land and none of it is covered by water.


Turlock was founded in 1871 by John William Mitchell, a prominent grain farmer in the area, and while it grew to be a relatively prosperous and busy hub of activity throughout the end of the 19th century, it was not incorporated as a city until 1908. By that time intensive agricultural development surrounded most of the city, and agriculture is still a major economic force in the region in current times. In earlier years Turlock was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the most churches per-capita in the United States, partly attributable to a wide variety of ethnic churches having been established for a relatively small settler population. Although various religious centers reflecting a diverse population such as Sikh temples, various Christian Assyrian churches, and many mainline Protestant and Catholic churches have been built as the city has grown, it is unlikely Turlock would hold that record today.

In 1960, California State University, Stanislaus, opened to students, helping to spur growth in the city as the university expanded in its early years. In the 1970s, California State Route 99 was completed through the area, largely bypassing the incorporated areas of Turlock at that time in a route to the west of the city through mostly undeveloped land. Since that time, the city has grown westward considerably to meet the freeway's north-south path, although urban development west of the freeway has only recently begun to take hold. In an attempt to allow for orderly growth of the city, comprehensive growth master-plans have established urban growth boundaries since the 1960s. Turlock experienced extensive growth of both residential and commercial areas in the 1980s, following a statewide boom in housing demand and construction. The housing boom of the 1980s, which fizzled out by the early 1990s, would pick up again drastically in the second half of the 1990s, especially as a result of San Francisco Bay Area growth, which placed a consistently higher demand for more affordable housing in outlying areas. However, even following the Bay Area's "dot-com bust," housing demand has only intensified, pointing to a strong local demand for housing. Ironically, though, in recent years Bay Area influence in housing demand has produced higher and higher house prices in an area formerly known for more affordable housing.

A recent boom in the retail sector has produced a considerable amount of growth along the highway 99 corridor. Relatively recent "big box" arrivals to the city, including Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, along with various accompanying smaller venues such as Borders, have played a part in the commercial service and retail expansion of the city in recent years. As in many other American communities, concern over the effects of such development has become an important theme in recent years, as evidenced by the 2004 decision by the city of Turlock to prohibit Wal-Mart to build a supercenter (which would include a supermarket) in the city.

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New Turlock: plaza in front of a Starbucks. Turlock has built four Starbucks since 2001

The city's long-established northern urban growth boundary limit, Taylor Road, has already been reached as a result of explosive residential development in the late 1990s up to present. Urban growth any further north than Taylor being restricted by the city's Master Plan, Turlock growth is projected to grow especially to the west of Highway 99 in the future.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 55,810 people, 18,408 households, and 13,437 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,620.2/km² (4,194.7/mi²). There are 19,095 housing units at an average density of 554.3/km² (1,435.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 72.33% White, 1.43% African American, 0.94% Native American, 4.51% Asian, 0.27% Pacific Islander, 15.16% from other races, and 5.35% from two or more races. 29.42% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 18,408 households out of which 40.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.8% are married couples living together, 13.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 27.0% are non-families. 21.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 9.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.92 and the average family size is 3.42.

In the city the population is spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 28.9% from 25 to 44, 18.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 31 years. For every 100 females there are 92.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $39,050, and the median income for a family is $44,501. Males have a median income of $35,801 versus $27,181 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,844. 16.2% of the population and 12.4% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 18.8% of those under the age of 18 and 9.8% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Culturally the area is home to large concentrations of Americans of Southern Asian descent, particularly Indian-Americans (usually Sikhs), Mexican-Americans, and people of varied European descent, especially Swedes and Portuguese, who were early settlers to the area. Continued immigration from the Azores Islands (Portugal) in recent decades has established a prominent Portuguese-speaking community within the city. Turlock is unique as compared even to the immediate surrounding areas in that it is a major center for the Assyrian community in the United States[1] (http://www.nineveh.com/The%20Assyrians%20of%20the%20San%20Joaquin%20Valley,%20California.html). many of whom arrived in Turlock in the 1970s following political strife of the decade in countries such as Iraq and Iran.


Turlock is the home of California State University, Stanislaus, a liberal arts university part of the 23-campus California State University system. as of March 2005 CSU Stanislaus reported a student population of 6,192 undergraduate students. The number rises to 7,858 when considering all students, including graduate students.

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A building at CSU Stanislaus

Turlock is home to two public high schools: Turlock High School (http://www.turlock.k12.ca.us/ths/) and Pitman High School (http://phs.turlock.k12.ca.us/). THS opened in 1907, and Pitman opened in a major growth zone of northern Turlock in 2002. A virtual tour of Pitman High school may be found [[2] (http://phs.turlock.k12.ca.us/vr/PHS.mov|here)].

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Original building at Turlock High School


The local newspaper, the Turlock Journal, has formed a deal with Keenspot to form a comic page of various web comics.

Doug TenNapel, creator of Earthworm Jim and Creature Tech, is a Turlock native. Turlock is also the setting of Creature Tech.

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