5.2 out of 10


37.8102400759471 -121.338227432864
Great for
  • Cost of Living
  • Childcare
  • Clean & Green
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Internet Access
Not great for
  • Eating Out
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Nightlife
  • Public Transport
  • Resale or Rental Value
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Professionals
  • Retirees


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5

"New and Growing"

Lathrop is close to being part of Red California. For those that don’t know California, you might say that there are 2 Californias, the ultra-liberal Coastal California where you will find San Francisco and LA and Silicon Valley; and the inland and central sections of California that are lot like Latrhop: agriculturally based with manufacturing and industries that we more typically associate with the Midwest and South. The politics is also quite more conservative in these less populated sections of California.

Lathrop, however, is more Purple than anything and becoming bluer all the time, narrowly electing Bush in 04, Obama in 08.

On the south, Lathrop is mostly an industrial area--pretty ugly, but it is the economic engine of the area. And if you love McDonald’s French fries, you may be interested to know that the fourth largest employer here in Lathrop is SimpLot. Idaho based Simplot, who invented the frozen French fry for the Golden Arches, has one of its 16 facilities here. These are the kind of employers you will find on this southern end of Lathrop.

This is also a bit of a one-horse town. It was big news, for example, when Target opened up a store here in 2009. But once the economy starts picking up again, I think that Lathrop will also start growing again--I don’t think it has the problems that led next door Stockton to declare bankruptcy.

Lathrop is also a very new community in terms of growth. The vast majority of homes here were built this Millenium and because of the housing crisis, prices here are really low. You can get a house built after 2000 here for around $200K.

There are some real drawbacks to living here, however. One might be the schools, which are mediocre at best, with middling API scores at the high school level and worse at the lower levels.

Crime is another issue. South Stockton is known for its gang problem and residents of Lathrop complain that there is a lot of spillover. I have not seen too many signs of it myself, but I will take the locals word for it.

Summer temperatures this far inland and the allergens that blow in during the harvest from the surrounding areas are also nothing to sneeze at. It you don’t like warm summers, you will hate it here.

If you are looking for an alternative to the high property prices in the East Bay, Lathrop is probably too far away. It will easily take you an hour just to get to Pleasanton from Lathrop during rush hour. Heading the other way is a little better: Turlock and Stockton are within an hours reach--but not Sac.

Overall, Lathrop is a little bit of gamble, but with such low property prices it might be one worth taking if you situation is right for it.
  • Lots of Newer Homes
  • Affordable
  • Growing
  • Mediocre Schools
  • Possible Gang Problems
  • Too Far for Bay Area Commute
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids

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