Winton (formerly, Merced Colony No. 1, Merced Colony No. 2, and Windfield) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Merced County, California, United States. Winton is located 2.5 miles (4 km) north of Atwater, at an elevation of 177 feet (54 m). The population was 8,832 at the 2000 census.
Winton was established along the original Santa Fe Rail Road and has grown only a very small amount since it was established. At one time, Passenger trains would stop at this location.
Winton was mentioned by Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in the early 1970s while reading information from a magazine. It was noted that, at the time, Winton had the highest crime rate for a city its size in the nation.
Another note to some fame was the old Wagon Wheel Bar, which for years was a Hell's Angels bar.
The Winton post office, transferred from Yam, opened in 1912. The name honors J.E. Winton, county surveyor.
As of the census of 2000, there were 8,832 people, 2,343 households, and 1,949 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 3,073.8 people per square mile (1,188.2/km²). There were 2,514 housing units at an average density of 875.0/sq mi (338.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 44.28% White, 2.33% African American, 1.08% Native American, 5.36% Asian, 0.34% Pacific Islander, 41.00% from other races, and 5.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 62.19% of the population.
There were 2,343 households out of which 54.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.4% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.8% were non-families. 12.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.77 and the average family size was 4.11.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 39.1% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 15.3% from 45 to 64, and 6.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 100.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.1 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $19,787, and the median income for a family was $19,834. Males had a median income of $16,832 versus $11,676 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $10,451. About 23.5% of families and 28.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.8% of those under age 18 and 13.5% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature Winton is located in the 12th Senate District, represented by Republican Jeff Denham, and in the 17th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Cathleen Galgiani. Federally, Winton is located in California's 18th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +3 and is represented by Democrat Dennis Cardoza.