Moraga (incorprating the former communities of Moraga Town, Rheem, and Rheem Valley) is an affluent suburban incorporated town located in Contra Costa County, California, The United States of America (USA), in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is named in honor of Joaquin Moraga, whose grandfather was José Joaquin Moraga, second in command to Juan Bautista de Anza. As of the 2000 census, Moraga was the 79th wealthiest place in the US with a population above 10,000.
It is also the home of Saint Mary's College of California, a Catholic university with 3,962 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the 2007-2008 schoolyear. The college was originally located in San Francisco and then Oakland, but moved to Moraga in 1928.
As of 2000, Moraga had a total population of 16,290, not including the college.
Moraga is located at 37°50'06" North, 122°07'47" West, at an elevation of 499 feet (152 m). It is located adjacent to the cities of Lafayette and Orinda, as well as the unincorporated community of Canyon. Other nearby cities include Walnut Creek, San Francisco, Concord and Berkeley.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 9.3 square miles (24.0 km²), of which, 9.3 square miles (24.0 km²) of it is land and 0.11% is water. Originally Moraga was abundant with pears, however, over the years more houses are being built and it is losing its pear trees. Large sections of the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail pass through the town.
Moraga is a valley, surrounded by rolling hills (green in the winter, golden in the summer) and grazing cows. Residents enjoy walking or biking the many trails in the Lamorinda area.
Moraga is located on the 1835 Mexican Land Grant Rancho Laguna de los Palos Colorados given to Joaquin Moraga and his cousin, Juan Bernal. Joaquin Moraga was the grandson of José Joaquín Moraga, who is credited as the founder of San Francisco, the Presidio and the Mission district.
In the first half of the 20th century (January 1, 1900-December 31, 1950), the line of the Sacramento Northern Railroad ran through Moraga. Much of the old right-of-way is now part of the popular Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail.
Saint Mary's College of California is located just northeast of downtown Moraga.
In November 1974, Moraga was granted township, becoming the Town of Moraga.
In 1979 Rancho Laguna Park 8.4 acres of land located at 2101 Camino Pablo allowed dog owners a place to let their dogs play off leash.
"Rancho Laguna 2" has become known as the name of a controversial proposed housing development in Moraga—one of several projects encompassing nearly 1,000 homes that are being considered by town officials.
Standing next to the Moraga fire department is the hazard house. The hazard house serves as a display for elementary school tours to demonstrate all the things not to do and how to prevent a fire. The Moraga fire department began as a volunteer service.
The Moraga School District includes:
Saklan Valley School (formerly, Moraga Country Day School and Carden School of Moraga), a private elementary school founded in 1954, is also located in Moraga. It is a co-educational school with around 155 students from preschool to 8th grade. The school is accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. It has a maximum class size of 16.
Moraga's theme song is "The Hills of Moraga" written by Mrs. Carol St Claire.
The hills of Moraga, are calling to me
Home in Moraga, that's where I long to be,
I traveled so far over land and the sea,
But the hills of Moraga, are calling to me.
I've traveled by car, and I've journeyed by train
I've sailed on the ocean and I've flown in a plane
I've been the east and I've been to the west
But the hills of Moraga's the place I love the best.
Oh, I've been to Paris, and I've been to Rome,
And still I remember, the fair hills of my home,
The world's full of places that I'd like to see,
But the hills of Moraga, are calling to me.
The hills of Moraga, are calling to me.
As of the census of 2000, there are 16,290 people, 5,662 households, and 4,325 families permanently residing in the town. The population density is 1,756.9 people per square mile (678.5/km²). There are 5,760 housing units at an average density of 621.2/sq mi (239.9/km²). The racial makeup is 81.10% White, 1.01% Black or African American, 0.15% Native American, 12.44% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 1.45% from other races, and 3.75% from two or more races. 4.76% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 5,662 households out of which 35.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 67.7% are married couples living together, 6.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 23.6% are non-families. 19.2% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.59 and the average family size is 2.99. In 2009 there were 3570 licensed dogs in 67% of the households.
In the town the population is spread out with 22.7% under the age of 18, 13.9% from 18 to 24, 18.6% from 25 to 44, 29.1% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 42 years. For every 100 females there are 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 84.5 males.
The median income for a household in the town is $98,080, and the median income for a family is $116,113. Males have a median income of $92,815 versus $51,296 for females. The per capita income for the town is $45,437. 2.9% of the population and 1.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 3.5% of those under the age of 18 and 1.0% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.