Snelling, California

Snelling (formerly, Snelling's Ranch) is a census-designated place[3] in Merced County, California.[2] It is located on the north bank of the Merced River 15 miles (24 km) north of Merced,[4] at an elevation of 256 feet (78 m).[2] The population was 231 at the 2010 census.

Location in California
Coordinates: 37°31′09″N 120°26′15″W
Country United States
State California
  Total0.540 sq mi (1.400 km2)
  Land0.540 sq mi (1.400 km2)
  Water0 sq mi (0 km2)  0%
Elevation256 ft (78 m)
  Density430/sq mi (170/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific (PST))
  Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP Code
Area code(s)209
GNIS feature IDs234756; 2583146
U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Snelling, California; U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Snelling, California


The Snelling Ranch post office opened in 1853, was closed for a time during 1861, and changed its name to Snelling in 1870.[4] The name is from the Snelling family that operated a way station at the place beginning in 1851.[4]

Snelling's zip code is 95369 and its area code is 209.

Snelling was the county seat of Merced County from 1857 to 1872. The courthouse constructed in 1857 continued to serve as a justice court until the 1990s. The two-story building remains standing today and is a rare surviving example of a simple early California courthouse.[5]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP covers an area of 0.5 square miles (1.4 km²), all of it land.


The 2010 United States Census[6] reported that Snelling had a population of 231. The population density was 427.5 people per square mile (165.1/km²). The racial makeup of Snelling was 206 (89.2%) White, 0 (0.0%) African American, 3 (1.3%) Native American, 6 (2.6%) Asian, 0 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 13 (5.6%) from other races, and 3 (1.3%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 33 persons (14.3%).

The Census reported that 231 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 31 (33.0%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 37 (39.4%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 18 (19.1%) had a female householder with no husband present, 3 (3.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 8 (8.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 1 (1.1%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 30 households (31.9%) were made up of individuals and 12 (12.8%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46. There were 58 families (61.7% of all households); the average family size was 3.02.

The population was spread out with 61 people (26.4%) under the age of 18, 13 people (5.6%) aged 18 to 24, 51 people (22.1%) aged 25 to 44, 71 people (30.7%) aged 45 to 64, and 35 people (15.2%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.3 years. For every 100 females, there were 110.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 112.5 males.

There were 112 housing units at an average density of 207.3 per square mile (80.0/km²), of which 49 (52.1%) were owner-occupied, and 45 (47.9%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 3.9%; the rental vacancy rate was 6.1%. 113 people (48.9% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 118 people (51.1%) lived in rental housing units.


In the California State Legislature, Snelling 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, Snelling is in California's 16th congressional district, represented by Democrat Jim Costa.[8]


  1. "2010 Census U.S. Gazetteer Files – Places – California". United States Census Bureau.
  2. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Snelling, California
  3. U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Snelling, California
  4. Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 829. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  5. McDevitt, Ray, Courthouses of California - An Illustrated History, pp. 17–18, 210, California Historical Society, San Francisco, CA, 2001.
  6. "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Snelling CDP". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  7. "Statewide Database". UC Regents. Retrieved December 30, 2014.
  8. "California's 16th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved October 1, 2014.
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