Oakdale is a city in Stanislaus County, California, United States. The population was 15,503 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city was founded in 1871 when the Stockton & Visalia Railroad met the Copperopolis Railroad. Oakdale goes by the slogan "Cowboy Capital of the World". As of January 2009 the population had reached 20,084 residents.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.1 square miles (13.1 km²), of which 5.0 square miles (13.0 km²) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) (0.79%) is water.
The National Weather Service has maintained a cooperative weather station at Woodward Dam for many years. In January, average temperatures are a maximum of 52.4°F and a minimum of 35.1°F. In July, average temperatures are a maximum of 95.8°F and a minimum of 58.4F°. The record high temperature was 114°F on July 18, 1925. The record low temperature was 12°F on December 11, 1932. Annually, there are an average of 84.6 days with highs of 90F° (32°C) or higher and an average of 30.8 days with lows of 32°F (0°C) or lower.
Average annual rainfall is 13.33 inches. There are an average of 44 days annually with measurable precipitation. The wettest year was 1958 with 22.15 inches and the dryest year was 1947 with 7.99 inches. The most rainfall in one month was 8.63 inches in January 1911. The most rainfall in 24 hours was 5.72 inches on April 3, 1958. The record snowfall was 1.5 inch in January 1930.
As of the census of 2000, there were 15,503 people, 5,610 households, and 4,050 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,084.6 people per square mile (1,190.0/km²). There were 5,805 housing units at an average density of 1,155.0/sq mi (445.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.82% White, 5.48% African American, 1.09% Native American, 1.18% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 9.27% from other races, and 4.04% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 20.05% of the population.
There were 5,610 households out of which 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 14.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.8% were non-families. 22.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $39,338, and the median income for a family was $44,024. Males had a median income of $40,494 versus $24,747 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,019. About 8.6% of families and 11.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.0% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.
Historically the area has been used for orchards and other agricultural uses. Some of the common soil types found in Oakdale are Delhi sand, Oakdale sandy loam, Hanford sandy loam, and Tujunga loamy sand. Oakdale is generally on level ground at an elevation of approximately 190 feet (58 m) above mean sea level. Drainage is generally to the northwest towards the Stanislaus River.
The current city manager is Steve Hallam. The current mayor is Farrell Jackson.
The Oakdale economy centers on agriculture, food manufacturing, and tourism. Due to its location at the eastern edge of the California's Central Valley the city is known as "The Gateway to Yosemite", a reference to nearby Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Oakdale was the home to a satellite plant of Hershey Chocolate, but the plant closed in January 2008. It opened on May 22, 1965 and employed about 575 locals. The plant was purchased by Sconza Candy Company, which began production in October 2008. Many other large food manufacturing operations are nearby including a ConAgra Foods Hunt's plant which is one of the largest tomato processing plants in the world.
Oakdale has a high school, a junior high school and four elementary schools. Together they comprise the Oakdale Joint Unified School District.