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Murrieta, California
Murrieta skyline, toward Palomar Mountain
Murrieta skyline, toward Palomar Mountain
Official seal of Murrieta, California
"The Future of Southern California"
Location in Riverside County and the State of California
Murrieta, California is located in the United States
Murrieta, California
Murrieta, California
Location in the United States
Country United States
State California
County Riverside
Incorporated July 1, 1991
Named for Juan Murrieta
 • Type Council–manager
 • Total 33.65 sq mi (87.15 km2)
 • Land 33.61 sq mi (87.06 km2)
 • Water 0.04 sq mi (0.09 km2)  0.11%
1,175 ft (334 m)
 • Total 110,949
 • Rank 4th in Riverside County
59th in California
 • Density 3,301.07/sq mi (1,274.55/km2)
Time zone UTC−8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
Area code 951
FIPS code 06-50076
GNIS feature IDs 1667919, 2411199

Murrieta is a city in southwestern Riverside County, California, United States. The population of Murrieta was 110,949 as of the 2020 census. Murrieta experienced a 133.7% population increase between 2000 and 2010, making Murrieta one of the fastest-growing cities in the state during that period. Largely residential in character, Murrieta is typically characterized as a bedroom community. Murrieta is bordered by the city of Temecula to the south, the cities of Menifee and Wildomar to the north, and the unincorporated community of French Valley to the east. Murrieta is located in the center of the Los Angeles-San Diego mega-region. Murrieta is named for Juan Murrieta, a Californio ranchero who founded the town.


For most of its history Murrieta was not heavily populated. A Basque, Ezequiel Murrieta, purchased the Rancho Pauba and Rancho Temecula Mexican land grants, comprising 52,000 acres (210 km2) in the area, intending to bring his sheep-raising business to California. He returned to Spain, however, and turned the land over to his younger brother, Juan (1844–1936), who brought 100,000 sheep to the valley in 1873, using the meadows to feed his sheep. Others discovered the valley after the construction of a depot in 1882 that connected Murrieta to the Southern California Railroad's transcontinental route. By 1890 some 800 people lived in Murrieta. Today much of the site (about 50 acres) is home to a Bible college and conference center, owned by Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, which has invested millions of dollars into restoring and rebuilding the old resort rooms. When the trains stopped in 1935, tourists – the lifeblood of the town – were much harder to come by. The boom that Murrieta had experienced due to the train and the hot springs gradually died, leaving Murrieta as a small country town.

Although US Route 395 did pass through Murrieta, it wasn't until Interstate 15 was built in the early 1980s that another boom began to take hold. By the late 1980s suburban neighborhoods were being constructed, and people began moving to the Murrieta area from cities and towns in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties as the population grew rapidly.

In 1990, residents began a campaign for city status which resulted in the establishment of the City of Murrieta on July 1, 1991. By then the population had increased from 2,200 in 1980 to 24,000. Between 1991 and 2007 the city's population further increased to an estimated 97,257 residents, and at the 2010 United States Census was 103,466, making it the largest city in Southwest Riverside County.


Murrieta is located at 33°34′10″N 117°12′9″W / 33.56944°N 117.20250°W / 33.56944; -117.20250 (33.569566, -117.202453). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 33.6 sq mi (87.1 km2), of which, 99.89% of it is land and 0.11% is water. Murrieta Creek runs southeasterly through the Murrieta Valley.


Climate data for Murrieta, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 67
Average low °F (°C) 41
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.22

Murrieta has a Mediterranean climate or Dry-Summer Subtropical (Köppen climate classification Csa). Murrieta has an average of 263 sunshine days and 35 days with measurable precipitation annually. April through November is warm to hot and dry with average high temperatures of 77–91 °F and lows of 44–60 °F. The period of November through March is somewhat rainy, as shown in the table to left. The city is also subject to the phenomenon typical of a microclimate: temperatures can vary as much as 18 °F (10 °C) between inland areas and the coast, with a temperature gradient of over one degree per mile (1.6 km) from the coast inland. Murrieta averages 15 inches (385 mm) of precipitation annually, which mainly occurs during the winter and spring (November through April) with generally light rain showers, but sometimes heavy rainfall and thunderstorms. Snowfall is rare in the city basin, but nearby mountains slopes typically receive snowfall each winter.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1990 1,628
2000 44,282 2,620.0%
2010 103,466 133.7%
2020 110,949 7.2%
U.S. Decennial Census


The 2010 United States Census reported that Murrieta had a population of 103,466. The population density was 3,078.1 people per square mile (1,188.5/km2). The racial makeup of Murrieta was 72,137 (69.7%) White (55.7% non-Hispanic White), 5,601 (5.4%) African American, 741 (0.7%) Native American, 9,556 (9.2%) Asian, 391 (0.4%) Pacific Islander, 8,695 (8.4%) from other races, and 6,345 (6.1%) from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 26,792 persons (25.9%). The census reported 103,037 people (99.6% of the population) lived in households, 291 people (0.3%) lived in noninstitutionalized group quarters, and 138 people (0.1%) were institutionalized.

Of the 32,749 households, 48.4% had children under the age of 18 living in them, 62.8% were opposite-sex married couples living together, 3,814 (11.6%) had a female householder with no husband present, and 1,642 (5.0%) had a male householder with no wife present, with 1,626 (5.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships and 192 (0.6%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. About 5,208 households (15.9%) were made up of individuals, and 2,248 (6.9%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.15. There were 26,033 families (79.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.51.

The population was distributed as 31,471 people (30.4%) under the age of 18, 9,891 people (9.6%) aged 18 to 24, 28,144 people (27.2%) aged 25 to 44, 23,555 people (22.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 10,405 people (10.1%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.4 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.2 males.

The 35,294 housing units averaged 1,050.0 per square mile (405.4/km2), of which 23,110 (70.6%) were owner-occupied and 9,639 (29.4%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.1%; the rental vacancy rate was 7.8%; 73,518 people (71.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 29,519 people (28.5%) lived in rental housing units.


As of the census of 2000, 44,282 people, 14,320 households, and 11,699 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,560.0 people per square mile (602.2/km2). The 14,921 housing units averaged 525.6 per square mile (202.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 81.6% White, 3.4% African American, 0.7% Native American, 4.0% Asian, 6.0% from other races, and 4.3% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 17.5% of the population.

Of the 14,320 households, 47.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 70.2% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 18.3% were not families. About 14.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.1 and the average family size was 3.4; 33.7% of the population of the city was under the age of 18, 6.4% were from 18 to 24, 30.8% were from 25 to 44, 17.6% were from 45 to 64, and 11.4% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.7 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $78,883, and the median income for a family was $90,930. Men had a median income of $49,107 versus $32,468 for women. The per capita income for the city was $23,290. About 3.0% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.3% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.

Immigration protest

In July 2014, Murrieta garnered national attention following days of immigration protests. Some Murrieta residents blocked busloads of immigrant detainees. They were en route to a temporary relocation and detention facility, which the federal government had planned to establish in the town. Protestors had learned about the presence of the buses and their destination from union officials for U.S. Customs and Border Control employees, as part of an apparent effort by some Department of Homeland Security employees to collude with anti-immigration activists.

Veterans Memorial

The Town Square is home to the Murrieta Police Department, Murrieta Public Library, City Hall, and a senior center. The Town Square is also home to a new memorial for military veterans. At a cost of $2 million, with the city providing $500,000 in start up fees, the memorial features an honor garden, memorial obelisk, and a World War II memorial wall.


Top employers

According to the city's 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top non-military employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Murrieta Valley Unified School District 2,315
2 Southwest Healthcare System 1,481
3 Loma Linda University Medical Center 1,037
4 County of Riverside 895
5 Target 341
6 Oak Grove Center 335
7 City of Murrieta 333
8 Walmart 320
9 Murrieta Health & Rehab Center 248
10 Sam's Club 212

Notable people

  • Barry Bonds, formerly of the San Francisco Giants, is a former resident of Bear Creek.
  • Ambyr Childers, actress, was raised in Murrieta.
  • Charlotte Rose Craig, Taekwondo Olympic Medalist in 2008.
  • Lindsay Davenport, professional tennis player and Olympic gold medalist, graduated from Murrieta Valley High School in 1994.
  • Olivia Rodrigo, singer-songwriter and actress
  • Rickie Fowler, professional golfer
  • Ben Jackson, professional Major League Gaming player, originally from Murrieta
  • Floyd Landis, disgraced cyclist, disqualified participant of the 2006 Tour de France, lives in Murrieta with his family when not racing or training.
  • Ryan Navarro, American football player, raised in Murrieta and played football at Vista Murrieta High School
  • Inbee Park, professional golfer. Winner of five LPGA major championships.
  • Tom Pernice, Jr., professional golfer and two-time winner on the PGA Tour, lives in Murrieta.
  • Kelly Seyarto, Firefighter and politician. Former mayor of Murrieta. Member of the California State Assembly from the District 67.
  • Tyree Washington, track athlete, world record holder in the 4 × 400 m relay and five-event IAAF World Championship gold medalist (1997, 2003 world; 2006 – world indoor)
  • Tyler Wade, Major League Baseball player
  • Tyler Glenn and Christopher Allen of Neon Trees

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