Gustine, California

Gustine is a city in Merced County, California, United States. Gustine is located 29 miles (47 km) west of Merced,[5] at an elevation of 98 feet (30 m).[3] As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was 5,520, up from 4,698 at the 2000 census.

City of Gustine
Location of Gustine in Merced County, California.
City of Gustine
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 37°15′28″N 120°59′56″W
Country United States
State California
IncorporatedNovember 11, 1915[1]
  Total1.55 sq mi (4.02 km2)
  Land1.55 sq mi (4.02 km2)
  Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
Elevation98 ft (30 m)
  Density3,770.32/sq mi (1,453.73/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific)
  Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP code
Area code209
FIPS code06-31568
GNIS feature ID1658690


Gustine is located in the San Joaquin Valley at 37°15′28″N 120°59′56″W,[3] the intersection of State Route 33 and State Route 140, near the intersection of Interstate 5 and State Route 140.

Gustine lies in the San Joaquin Valley, at an elevation of about 31 m (101 ft) above MSL.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), all of it land.


This region experiences hot and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Gustine has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.[6]


Historical population
Est. 20185,855[4]6.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]


The 2010 United States Census[8] reported that Gustine had a population of 5,520. The population density was 3,559.1 people per square mile (1,374.2/km²). The racial makeup of Gustine was 3,875 (70.2%) White, 73 (1.3%) African American, 54 (1.0%) Native American, 95 (1.7%) Asian, 8 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 1,191 (21.6%) from other races, and 224 (4.1%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2,769 persons (50.2%).

The Census reported that 5,520 people (100% of the population) lived in households, 0 (0%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 0 (0%) were institutionalized.

There were 1,879 households, out of which 757 (40.3%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,025 (54.6%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 227 (12.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 118 (6.3%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 98 (5.2%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 5 (0.3%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 437 households (23.3%) were made up of individuals and 234 (12.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.94. There were 1,370 families (72.9% of all households); the average family size was 3.50.

The population was spread out with 1,577 people (28.6%) under the age of 18, 481 people (8.7%) aged 18 to 24, 1,352 people (24.5%) aged 25 to 44, 1,319 people (23.9%) aged 45 to 64, and 791 people (14.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.4 males.

There were 2,087 housing units at an average density of 1,345.6 per square mile (519.5/km²), of which 1,197 (63.7%) were owner-occupied, and 682 (36.3%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.4%; the rental vacancy rate was 12.2%. 3,348 people (60.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 2,172 people (39.3%) lived in rental housing units.


As of the United States 2000 Census,[9] there were 4,698 people, 1,683 households, and 1,216 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,970.5 people per square mile (1,148.0/km²). There were 1,763 housing units at an average density of 1,114.7 per square mile (430.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 72.26% White, 0.72% Black or African American, 0.98% Native American, 1.51% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 18.97% from other races, and 5.49% from two or more races. 35.08% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Gustine is home to a relatively high concentration of ethnic Portuguese-Americans. Most can trace their ancestry back to the Azores, but the Portuguese-speaking community also welcomes many families from mainland Portugal and Brazil. This is shown by a large turnout in the yearly OLM (Our Lady of Miracles) Portuguese Festa when over 20,000 people from around Gustine and far away come to visit.

There were 1,683 households out of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.3% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.7% were non-families. 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.34.

In the city, the population was spread out with 30.2% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,824, and the median income for a family was $45,583. Males had a median income of $35,920 versus $22,149 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,821. About 11.5% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 22.5% of those under age 18 and 15.4% of those age 65 or over.

Much of the town's income has traditionally come from dairy production and processing; Gustine is the home of a Golden Valley Cheese factory and formerly a Carnation processing plant. In addition, Morningstar Distributing, Hillview Packing, Pusateri Nut Company, and Ingomar Tomato Plant, and Wolfsens' Meat and Sausage are significant businesses in the area. As agricultural land becomes covered by housing developments, Gustine is becoming a bedroom community to the San Francisco Bay Area, a 1½ hour commute away.


In the California State Legislature, Gustine is in the 12th Senate District, represented by Democrat Anna Caballero, and in the 21st Assembly District, represented by Democrat Adam Gray.[10]

In the United States House of Representatives, Gustine is in California's 16th congressional district, represented by Democrat Jim Costa.[11]


Gustine was established in the early 1900s as a station on the Southern Pacific Railroad and named after Sara Miller, nicknamed "Gussie", the daughter of Henry Miller, the "Cattle King", an early California land baron and Agricultural pioneer.[5] Little Sara, always getting "gussied up" with fancy clothes, was killed when she was thrown from her horse when she was eight years old. Miller is not to be confused with Henry Miller, the American novelist and painter or Henry Miller, founder of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union. The first post office opened in 1907.[5] The city was incorporated in 1915.[5]

Gustine was the site of the first 9-1-1 system in California, installed in March 1970.[12]

Gustine is home to the nation’s largest festa which is steeped in Portuguese tradition. Gustine, California is located in the heart of the Central Valley and is situated approximately 10 miles north of Santa Nella, and about six miles east of Interstate 5 on Highway 140.[13]

Gustine High School is home to the longest running basketball tournament in the state of California, which is put on by the city's Rotary Club. The tournament has been put on by the Rotary Club and celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2017.

Environmental issues

The nearby San Luis National Wildlife Refuge (formerly Kesterson Wildlife Refuge), experienced an accumulation of selenium due to its location at the terminus of the incomplete San Luis Drain. Wildlife in this region developed a number of deformities,[14] drawing the attention of news media and leading to the closure of the refuge.[15]


Gustine is served by the Gustine Unified School District (GUSD) a unified K–12 public school district, and by the Our Lady of Miracles Catholic School (K-8). There are five schools in the GUSD: Gustine Elementary School (GES), Romero Elementary School (RES), Gustine Middle School (GMS), Gustine High School (GHS), and Pioneer High School (PHS), a continuation school.


  1. "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on November 3, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  2. "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jul 19, 2017.
  3. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Gustine, California
  4. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  5. Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 779. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  6. Climate Summary for Gustine, California
  7. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  8. "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Gustine city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  9. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  10. "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
  11. "California's 16th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
  12. The History of 911
  13. "Gustine, California - Official Website".
  14. "Wayback Machine". 29 October 2004. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  15. Missing or empty |title= (help)
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