Why Everyone is Moving to Lathrop, CA

Lathrop is a small city with a big impact. As one of the fastest-growing cities in California, Lathrop offers residents a small town feel with a strong sense of community while maintaining close proximity to many other major cities in California. Read on to find out all the reasons why living in Lathrop is appealing to so many.

Fast Facts About Lathrop

  • Located in San Joaquin County, California
  • Mapped: 1868
  • Incorporated: 1989
  • Zip code: 95330
  • 35,080 population (up 11.1%)
  • 3 elementary schools
  • 1 high school
  • 3 charter schools
  • 25 local parks
  • Median household income: $99,632*
  • Median individual income: $40,694*
  • Median home sales price: $$739K (up 3.3%)
  • Median apartment rent: $1,887
  • Median house rent: $2,895
  • Average resident commute: 41 minutes
  • Median Age: 33 (11% younger than state median)*
  • City size: 21.01 mi²
  • Distances: 63 miles east of San Fran; 55 miles south of Sacramento

*As of 2021

Home sales data as of Sept 2023 via Redfin. Rental data as of Oct 2023 via Zillow. Additional sources: California DOF; City of Lathrop; U.S. Census Bureau.

Where is Lathrop CA?

The City of Lathrop is located in Central California within San Joaquin County. It is nestled in the heart of the Central Valley, making it a part of the larger Stockton metropolitan area. Along with Stockton, neighboring cities and towns include Manteca, Ripon, French Camp and Tracy.

Lathrop is a convenient place for residents and businesses alike, with a diverse and vibrant community that benefits from its proximity to various cultural and economic hubs. The city’s growth and development continue to make it an attractive destination for those seeking a blend of suburban living outside the Bay Area with easy access to urban amenities.

A Brief History of Lathrop

The early history of Lathrop revolves around railroading innovation. Lathrop was originally founded around the site of a train depot named Wilson’s Station in 1868, when Leland Stanford, a key figure in the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad, chose this as an important division point for the railroad. Soon after the town’s name was changed to Lathrop, in honor of the family name of Stanford’s wife, Jane, and brother-in-law, Charles Lathrop.

Initially, Lathrop’s economy revolved around agriculture and its role as a key transportation hub for the railroad industry. Throughout the 20th century, Lathrop developed into a thriving residential and industrial community, bolstered by the construction of major highways nearby. In 1989, it was officially incorporated as a city.

Today, Lathrop maintains its historical significance, boasting a diverse population and a growing economy, while retaining its ties to California’s railroad heritage.

Lathrop’s Neighborhoods

Lathrop is just the right size. Not so big of a city that no one knows their neighbor, but not so small that you can’t get away from them. After all, everyone needs some space! And Lathrop has just enough with 21.01 mi². (To put that in perspective, nearby Stockton is a massive 65.25 mi² while San Francisco is 46.87 mi².)

Lathrop consists of more than a dozen informal family-friendly neighborhoods, many of which are identifiable by the master planned communities within them.

It’s also common to identify the areas of Lathrop by its geographic orientation, such as:

  • North Lathrop
  • East Lathrop
  • West Lathrop
  • South Lathrop
  • Central Lathrop

For instance, both Old Town and our master planned community, Stanford Crossing, are found within Central Lathrop.

Lathrop’s Schools

If you’re thinking of moving to Lathrop and you have kids, then you’re probably wondering about the schools there. Lathrop has three public elementary schools and one public high school, overseen as part of its main school district, the Manteca Unified School District (MUSD).

Lathrop High School is rated the best high school in the Manteca Unified School District by US News and World Report. The graduation rate for Lathrop High is 95% (up from the state average of 84%).

In addition, Lathrop contains several charter schools as part of the Banta Unified School District.

For those interested in furthering their education, Lathrop is located near several top colleges and universities, including the University of the Pacific (Stockton), California State University Stanislaus (Turlock), and San Jose State University.

Working in Lathrop

While Lathrop is a popular place to live for those who work in the areas around Sacramento, Stockton and Bay Area, it also has its own thriving industry for anyone looking to avoid a lengthy commute or wanting to start a new career.

According to Payscale, the average salary in Lathrop is $98K/year and the average hourly rate is $20.66. The largest industries in Lathrop are retail trade and manufacturing. Some top employers include:

Not to mention local Lathrop government jobs, as well as jobs in neighboring cities like Amazon in Stockton. The city website has a full list of major employers of in Lathrop for those interested.

6 Reasons Why Living in Lathrop is Amazing

To wrap up our look into why moving to Lathrop has so much to offer, let’s dive deeper into some of the top reasons residents love living there.

1. Lathrop is Great For Families

Because it is such a small, tight-knit community, Lathrop is the perfect place to raise a family. Parents can relax knowing the neighborhoods are peaceful and quiet, with plenty of public parks for kids to play in.

For example, our living community at Stanford Crossing has several newly built public parks full of beautiful greenery and places to picnic, take a stroll or hang out by the playground. For the older kids, there’s even a skate park. In addition, the San Joaquin River runs along the west side of the community providing a lovely spot for families to boat, fish, tube and birdwatch together.

Lathrop also has you covered when it comes to education. With a variety of different schools — some private, some public — you have plenty of options to suit your children’s needs nearby. Lathrop High School is within walking distance from any Stanford Crossing home, and Lathrop Elementary is only two miles away.

2. Big City Proximity

Lathrop offers the best of both worlds. Its small-town, peaceful nature is a welcome refuge from the hustle and bustle that comes from living in a more congested city. But on the flip side it’s close enough to a bunch of those larger cities to take advantage of the restaurants, activities and events they all have on offer.

Whether it’s hitting up some of the larger cities in the San Joaquin Valley, like Stockton, Moedsto and Tracy, are day-tripping to the Bay Area and Sacramento, Lathrop’s proximity makes for an attractive option for those wanting to be close these big cities without paying their high costs of living. Over the past few years this has been a huge reason why remote workers have made the migration to Lathrop.

3. The Easiest Commute

Centrally located between Tracy, Manteca, Stockton, Lodi, Modesto, Livermore and Pleasanton — and with San Francisco and Sacramento both only an hour away — Lathrop is a prime choice for those looking to live somewhere a little less hectic while working in one of the larger surrounding cities. With easy access to major transportation routes, including I-5 and State Route 120, getting from home to work and back again is a breeze. Conveniently, Stanford Crossing sits minutes from I-5, allowing for an easy commute in any direction.

Here’s some nearby cities and their distances from Lathrop:

  • Stockton (10 miles)
  • Fremont (43 miles)
  • San Jose (47 miles)
  • Sacramento (55 miles)
  • Oakland (55 miles)
  • San Francisco (63 miles)

For public transportation, the commuter rail via the Altamont Corridor Express or local bus system with San Joaquin Regional Transit District each have easily accessible routes connecting Lathrop with the neighborhoods of Stockton and as far out as San Jose.

4. Hey, Neighbor!

Lathrop possesses a neighborly charm unlike anywhere else. Most residents here own their homes outright, which means once you settle here, you’re sure to get to know your neighbors. And the well thought out design of the master planned communities in the area ensures that everything you could need is right around the corner from your home, from playgrounds, to parks, gyms, eateries and schools.

Lathrop’s diverse and friendly community is very welcoming to newcomers. For their part, the city does a great job of bringing everyone together with special community events held throughout the year, from its Summer-long movies and concerts in the park, to farmers markets, Christmas parades and other festivals and activities held at the Lathrop Generations Center and its state-of-the-art public library.

5. Lathrop is Affordable

You don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to live here. Purchasing a home in Lathrop can be far more affordable compared to nearby cities. As of Sept 2023, the median sales price for homes in San Jose ($1.37M) and San Francisco ($1.33M) are over 80% higher than those in Lathrop ($739K).

On top of that, the cost of living in Lathrop is lower. “San Joaquin County compared to San Francisco is 46% lower cost of living and that alone is a big force for people that have good jobs, but can’t afford a house or an apartment to move to areas next door,” said Thomas Pogue, director of the University of the Pacific.

6. Lathrop is Growing. Fast!

Lathrop is one of the fastest growing cities in California. Impressively, its population increased by over 11% between 2022 to 2023. To meet the demand, communities such as Stanford Crossing are constantly growing, providing new, modern homes for any family looking to move somewhere suburban and charming. With median home sales prices up 3.3% year-over-year and poised to keep growing, there’s never been a better time to move to Lathrop because these numbers are only going to keep going up.

Imagine A Future Living in Lathrop

Lathrop is quickly becoming the premier spot for families, those who work in the surrounding cities or anyone looking to live somewhere with that cheerful small-town feeling. If you’re interested in learning more about moving to Lathrop and what the community has to offer your family don’t hesitate to reach out. We’d love to help the life you imagined become your reality in Lathrop.



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