Planada (formerly, Geneva and Whitton) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Merced County, California, United States. Planada is located 9 miles (14 km) east of Merced, at an elevation of 226 feet (69 m). The population was 4,369 at the 2000 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.1 square miles (5.5 km²), all of it land.
The railroad bestowed the name Whitton to the place. Among the first white settlers at the place was a group of Swiss dairy farmers, who named the settlement Geneva. The Geneva post office opened in 1896, closed in 1897, re-opened in 1898, and changed its name to Planada in 1911.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,369 people, 1,007 households, and 900 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,051.1 people per square mile (792.0/km²). There were 1,043 housing units at an average density of 489.6/sq mi (189.1/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 24.28% White, 0.69% African American, 1.81% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 67.91% from other races, and 4.76% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 92.10% of the population.
There were 1,007 households out of which 58.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.4% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 10.8% were non-families. 7.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.11 and the average family size was 4.28.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 38.8% under the age of 18, 12.2% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 14.3% from 45 to 64, and 6.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 109.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 109.6 males.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $24,286, and the median income for a family was $24,513. Males had a median income of $20,341 versus $20,446 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $9,864. About 28.7% of families and 33.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.4% of those under age 18 and 18.8% of those age 65 or over.
In the state legislature Planada is located in the 12th Senate District, represented by Republican Jeff Denham, and in the 17th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Cathleen Galgiani. Federally, Planada is located in California's 18th congressional district, which has a Cook PVI of D +3 and is represented by Democrat Dennis Cardoza.