El Nido, Merced County, California

El Nido is a census-designated place[3] in Merced County, California.[2] It is located 15 miles (24 km) west-southwest of Le Grand,[4] at an elevation of 141 feet (43 m), and a population of 160[2] The population was 330 at the 2010 census.

El Nido
El Nido
Location in California
Coordinates: 37°08′06″N 120°29′32″W
Country United States
State California
  Total3.292 sq mi (8.526 km2)
  Land3.292 sq mi (8.526 km2)
  Water0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation141 ft (43 m)
  Density100/sq mi (39/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific)
  Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code209
GNIS feature ID233836, 2583007
U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: El Nido, Merced County, California; U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: El Nido, Merced County, California


El Nido is a small rural town in located 11 miles south of Merced, on California State Route 59.

El Nido was founded early in the 20th century when the development of irrigation enabled intensified farming of the area. El Nido is Spanish for "the nest" and the name is associated with the early Spanish land grant, Rancho Chowchilla. The El Nido School District was created in 1914 and a school building designed by William Bedesen was built in 1915. The El Nido Irrigation District was organized in 1928 and began supplying water for irrigation in 1932. Cotton was the principal crop in the area and a large gin was built there in 1937.

The US Army built the Potter Auxiliary Field (1942-1945) to train World War 2 pilots in El Nido.[5]

The town has a post office, a tavern, a general store, a volunteer fire department, and an elementary school. After grade 8, students from El Nido must attend high school in Merced, California.

The first post office opened in 1920.[4]

The ZIP Code is 95317. The town is inside area code 209.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 3.3 square miles (8.5 km²), all of it land.  


The 2010 United States Census[6] reported that El Nido had a population of 330. The population density was 100.2 people per square mile (38.7/km²). The racial makeup of El Nido was 162 (49.1%) White, 0 (0.0%) African American, 7 (2.1%) Native American, 9 (2.7%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 147 (44.5%) from other races, and 5 (1.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 245 persons (74.2%).

The Census reported that 330 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 94 households, out of which 51 (54.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 56 (59.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 4 (4.3%) had a female householder with no husband present, 13 (13.8%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 7 (7.4%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 0 (0%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 13 households (13.8%) were made up of individuals and 4 (4.3%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.51. There were 73 families (77.7% of all households); the average family size was 3.89.

The population was spread out with 114 people (34.5%) under the age of 18, 35 people (10.6%) aged 18 to 24, 95 people (28.8%) aged 25 to 44, 60 people (18.2%) aged 45 to 64, and 26 people (7.9%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27.7 years. For every 100 females, there were 121.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 151.2 males.

There were 105 housing units at an average density of 31.9 per square mile (12.3/km²), of which 48 (51.1%) were owner-occupied, and 46 (48.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 4.0%; the rental vacancy rate was 2.0%. 153 people (46.4% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 177 people (53.6%) lived in rental housing units.


In the California State Legislature, El Nido is in the 12th Senate District, represented by Democrat Anna Caballero, and in the 21st Assembly District, represented by Democrat Adam Gray.[7]

In the United States House of Representatives, El Nido is in California's 16th congressional district, represented by Democrat Jim Costa.[8]


  • Lim, Sarah. "Museum Notes: History of Planada and El Nido". Merced Sun-Star. August 6, 2005.
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