Stockton is a city in California and the seat of San Joaquin County (the 5th largest agricultural county in the United States). According to 2005 estimates by the California Department of Finance, Stockton has a population of 279,513 and is the 12th largest city in California. Stockton is also the fourth largest inland city in California , behind Fresno, Sacramento and Bakersfield.
Stockton got its start when Captain Charles Maria Weber, a German immigrant, decided to try his hand at gold mining in late 1848, but soon discovered that serving the needs of gold-seekers was a more profitable opportunity . It was for this reason that he founded Stockton in 1849 when he purchased over 49,000 acres (200 km²) of land through a Spanish land grant. The area now known as Weber Point is the same spot where Captain Weber built the first permanent residence in the San Joaquin Valley.
Stockton has boasted several names over the years, including Tuleburg, Gas City and Mudville, but Captain Weber decided on Stockton in honor of Commodore Robert F. Stockton. Stockton was the first community in California to have an English name; every other community up until that point was Spanish or Native American in origin.
The city was officially incorporated on July 23, 1850, by the County Court, and the first city election was held on July 31, 1850. In 1851, the City of Stockton received its charter from the State of California.
Early settlers included gold seekers from Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, the Pacific Islands, Mexico and Canada. The historical population diversity is reflected in Stockton street names, architecture, numerous ethnic festivals, and in the faces and heritage of a majority of its citizens.
In the past decade, Stockton and the nearby communities of Tracy, Manteca and Lodi have experienced a population boom. This is largely due to thousands of people settling in the area to escape the relatively high cost of living of the San Francisco Bay Area. This influx of new residents, however, resulted in a sharp increase in the cost of living of Stockton, although it is still significantly lower than any Bay Area city of comparable size.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 243,771 people, 78,556 households, and 56,167 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,720.4/km² (4,455.7/mi²). There were 82,042 housing units at an average density of 579.0/km² (1,499.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 43.26% White, 11.25% African American, 1.12% Native American, 19.90% Asian, 0.40% Pacific Islander, 17.31% from other races, and 6.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 32.50% of the population.
There were 78,556 households out of which 40.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.1% were married couples living together, 17.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.5% were non-families. 22.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.04 and the average family size was 3.59.
In the city the population was spread out with 32.4% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,453, and the median income for a family was $40,434. Males had a median income of $35,181 versus $26,602 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,405. About 18.9% of families and 23.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.8% of those under age 18 and 11.9% of those age 65 or over.
Stockton was disproportionately affected by the collapse of the sub-prime lending market in 2007, and lead the United States in foreclosures as of August of that year .
Stockton is served by television stations mostly based in Sacramento. Only it is part of the Sacramento television market (#19 according to Nielsen) along with Modesto since most stations transmit between Stockton and Sacramento, giving Stockton decent coverage as well. Three of the stations listed below are licensed to Stockton.
Stockton is home to several institutions of higher education. The largest is the University of the Pacific (UOP), which moved to Stockton in 1924 from San Jose. The UOP campus has been used in the filming of several Hollywood films (see below), partly due to its aesthetic likeness to East Coast Ivy League universities. UOP's most notable appearance wasin Steven Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Also located in Stockton are Maric College - Stockton, San Joaquin Delta College, Humphreys College and School of Law, Heald College, MTI Business College, National University, Weber Institute of Science and Technology, and University of Phoenix.
Stockton used to be the site of a California State Hospital, the oldest in the state system, founded only a few years after statehood. Stockton State Hospital was closed in 1996 and has since been converted into the Stockton branch campus of California State University, Stanislaus.
Private schools in Stockton include:
The Haggin Museum features collections and exhibits related to local history and California history, and owns important works by late 19th and early 20th century artists. Notable among them is Albert Bierstadt, who was most well-known for interpreting the towering grandeur of Yosemite and much of California's magnificent Sierra Nevada mountains.
The Children's Museum of Stockton Children's Museum of Stockton is housed in a former warehouse on the Downtown Waterfront, and boasts many interactive displays.
There are a few proposed museums, including the effort to bring the USS Iowa to the Port of Stockton as a naval museum. The Filipino American National Historical Society has proposed the construction of the National Pinoy Museum in the Little Manila district. The museum would be dedicated to the history of Filipino-Americans. Stockton once had one of the largest population of Filipinos in the United States. There have also been efforts to convert the San Joaquin Street home of Moses Rogers, a former slave, into a non-profit museum dedicated to Stockton's African-American community.
Annual festivals celebrating the rich cultural heritage and values of Stockton's diverse population and the city's agricultural importance include:
The music video Bebot by the Black Eyed Peas was shot in Little Manila in Stockton (YouTube MTV). Spanish pop artist Ignacio Dela Cruz also choose the asparagus fields located in the Stockton delta for scenes in his latest music video entitled "Los Trabajadores".