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City of Patterson
Location in Stanislaus County and the state of California
Location in Stanislaus County and the state of California
Country  United States
State  California
County Stanislaus
Incorporated December 22, 1919
 • Total 5.954 sq mi (15.421 km2)
 • Land 5.954 sq mi (15.421 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
102 ft (31 m)
 • Total 20,413
 • Density 3,428.5/sq mi (1,323.71/km2)
Time zone UTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code 209
FIPS code 06-56112
GNIS feature ID 277574
Fountain in roundabout Patterson
A fountain in one of many Patterson roundabouts

Patterson is a city in Stanislaus County, California, United States, located off Interstate 5. It is 27 miles southeast of Tracy and is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area. Patterson is known as the "Apricot Capital of the World"; the town holds an annual Apricot Fiesta to celebrate with many drinks, food, desserts and games. The population was estimated to be 21,212 at the 2014 United States Census.


Patterson is located at 37°28′23″N 121°7′58″W / 37.47306°N 121.13278°W / 37.47306; -121.13278 (37.472984, -121.132867).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.0 square miles (16 km2), all of it land.


The history of Patterson begins with the Rancho Del Puerto Mexican Land Grant to Mariano and Pedro Hernandez in 1844 by Governor Manuel Micheltorena. The grant extended east of the present day Highway 33 to the San Joaquin River. The northern boundary was Del Puerto Creek and the southern boundary was just south of present-day Marshall Road.

Samuel G. Reed and Ruben S. Wade made claim to the land on January 7, 1855. A patent encompassing the land grant was signed by President Abraham Lincoln. Reed and Wade received title to 13,340 acres (54 km2) on August 15, 1864. Reed and Wade then sold the grant to J. O. Eldredge on June 18, 1866 for $5,000. Mr. Eldredge held title for only two months before selling it to John D. Patterson on August 14, 1866 for $5,400. John D. Patterson purchased additional land, and upon his death on March 7, 1902, a total of 18,462 acres (75 km2) were willed to Thomas W. Patterson and William W. Patterson, his estate executors, and other heirs. The land was sold to the Patterson Ranch Company on May 16, 1908 for the sum of $540,000 cash gold coin. Thomas W. Patterson subdivided the land into ranches of various sizes and plotted the design of the town of Patterson. Determined to make Patterson different from most, he modeled his town after the cities of Washington D.C. and Paris, France, using a series of circles and radiating streets. Major streets were planted with Palms, Eucalyptus and Sycamore trees.

The Patterson Colony map was filed with the Stanislaus County Recorders office on December 13, 1909. Sales of the ranch properties and city lots commenced. Patterson was the third city in Stanislaus County to incorporate on December 22, 1919.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 694
1930 905 30.4%
1940 1,109 22.5%
1950 1,343 21.1%
1960 2,246 67.2%
1970 3,147 40.1%
1980 3,908 24.2%
1990 8,626 120.7%
2000 11,606 34.5%
2010 20,413 75.9%
Est. 2015 21,498 5.3%
U.S. Decennial Census


The 2010 United States Census reported that Patterson had a population of 20,413. The population density was 3,428.5 people per square mile (1,323.7/km²). The racial makeup of Patterson was 10,117 (49.6%) White, 1,291 (6.3%) African American, 221 (1.1%) Native American, 1,069 (5.2%) Asian, 280 (1.4%) Pacific Islander, 6,235 (30.5%) from other races, and 1,200 (5.9%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11,971 persons (58.6%).

The Census reported that 20,410 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 3 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 5,630 households, out of which 3,162 (56.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 3,398 (60.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 758 (13.5%) had a female householder with no husband present, 491 (8.7%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 453 (8.0%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 47 (0.8%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 716 households (12.7%) were made up of individuals and 273 (4.8%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.63. There were 4,647 families (82.5% of all households); the average family size was 3.95.

The population was spread out with 6,890 people (33.8%) under the age of 18, 2,140 people (10.5%) aged 18 to 24, 5,822 people (28.5%) aged 25 to 44, 4,280 people (21.0%) aged 45 to 64, and 1,281 people (6.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.1 years. For every 100 females there were 101.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.0 males.

There were 6,328 housing units at an average density of 1,062.8 per square mile (410.4/km²), of which 3,801 (67.5%) were owner-occupied, and 1,829 (32.5%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 4.5%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.7%. 13,304 people (65.2% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 7,106 people (34.8%) lived in rental housing units.


As of the census of 2000, there are 11,606 people, 3,146 households, and 2,608 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,561.4/km² (4,037.5/mi²). There are 3,262 housing units at an average density of 438.8/km² (1,134.8/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 55.65% White, 1.89% African American, 1.47% Native American, 2.10% Asian, 0.42% Pacific Islander, 31.54% from other races, and 6.92% from two or more races. 56.96% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 3,146 households out of which 53.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.9% are married couples living together, 12.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 17.1% are non-families. 13.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.62 and the average family size is 3.94.

In the city, the population is spread out with 36.4% under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 16.0% from 45 to 64, and 7.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 28 years. For every 100 females there are 100.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $47,780, and the median income for a family is $51,422. Males have a median income of $36,207 versus $27,679 for females. The per capita income for the city is $14,746. 12.0% of the population and 8.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 11.5% of those under the age of 18 and 15.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


During the first weekend in June, Downtown Patterson hosts the town's largest celebration of the year, the Apricot Fiesta. The event begins on Friday with several beauty pageants. The Patterson Library hosts an art show during the celebration, and displays on local history are held open to the public at the Patterson Museum, also known as the Center Building and located at the center of Patterson. The three-day celebration also features fireworks shows and, during early mornings, hot air balloons departing from the football stadium at Patterson High School. This celebration typically takes place the first weekend of June.

In recent years Patterson has also been the site of the Fiestas Patrias celebration, commemorating the independence of various Latin American countries. This celebration is held in mid-September.


Patterson is home to Patterson Repertory Theatre, which was founded in 2003 by Tori Lee Scoles and Colton Dennis.



Patterson is also the eastern terminus of State Route 130 as defined by state legislation, although the route is unbuilt in Stanislaus County. A freeway has been proposed for construction along this route, passing directly through the Diablo Range west of the city toward the San Francisco Bay Area.

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