Demographics About Vacaville, California

Vacaville is a city located in Solano County, California, situated halfway between Sacramento and San Francisco. With a population of over 100,000 residents, Vacaville is the third largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area’s East Bay region. The city has seen rapid growth in recent decades thanks to its affordable housing, proximity to major job centers, and high quality of life.

Vacaville has a diverse population in terms of age, race, income, and other demographic factors. This blog post will provide an in-depth look at Vacaville’s demographics including population trends, age distribution, racial makeup, household information, education levels, employment statistics, and income data. Understanding the demographics of Vacaville provides insights into the community and how it has changed over time.

Population and Growth Trends

Current Population

According to the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Vacaville was 101,833 as of July 2021. This makes Vacaville the 133rd largest city in California by population.

The city has grown rapidly in recent decades. As recently as 1990, Vacaville had a population of only 62,392 residents.

Population Growth

Between 2010 and 2020, Vacaville’s population grew by 7.9%. This rate of growth was faster than both Solano County (6.8%) and the state of California (6.1%) over the same time period.

Vacaville saw even more rapid population growth in prior decades:

  • 1980 to 1990: +95%
  • 1990 to 2000: +38%
  • 2000 to 2010: +22%

This substantial population increase since 1980 is tied to Vacaville’s development into a bedroom community providing affordable single-family homes to middle-class families priced out of the Bay Area housing market. The city’s access to Interstates 80 and 505 also made it attractive for growth.

Projected Population

Looking ahead, Vacaville’s population is expected to continue growing over the next few decades, though at a slower pace than in previous periods.

  • 2025 (projected): 113,000
  • 2030 (projected): 120,000
  • 2040 (projected): 129,000

Vacaville will likely cross the threshold of 150,000 residents sometime in the late 2040s if current growth trends continue.

Age Distribution

Vacaville has a slightly younger population compared to California overall. Here is the breakdown of Vacaville’s population by age group, according to 2019 Census Bureau estimates:

  • Under 18 years: 22.5%
  • 18 to 34 years: 23.1%
  • 35 to 54 years: 27.3%
  • 55 to 74 years: 19.6%
  • 75 years and over: 7.5%

The median age in Vacaville is 36.5, compared to 36.0 for all of California.

The largest segment of Vacaville’s population is the 35 to 54 range. This reflects Vacaville’s appeal to young families looking for affordable single-family homes within commuting distance to Bay Area jobs.

The over 55 population in Vacaville (27.1% combined) is also sizable, pointing to the need for senior services and healthcare as this segment grows in coming decades.

Racial and Ethnic Makeup

Vacaville has become more racially and ethnically diverse over time as its population has grown. Here is the racial/ethnic breakdown according to 2019 Census Bureau estimates:

  • White: 59.2%
  • Hispanic/Latino: 24.4%
  • Asian: 9.6%
  • Black/African American: 5.4%
  • Two or more races: 5.0%
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 0.8%
  • American Indian/Alaska Native: 0.5%

Whites still make up the majority of Vacaville’s population. However, the share of Hispanic/Latino residents has increased significantly from only 15.8% in 2000 to now over 24% of the city’s population. The Asian and multi-racial segments have also seen sizable growth.

This increasing diversity is likely to continue in the future as Vacaville attracts residents from across California and beyond.

Households and Families

As of 2019, there were 34,032 households in Vacaville.

68.5% were family households, while 31.5% were non-family households.

The average household size was 2.89 people.

Of the family households in Vacaville, 36.2% had children under 18 years old living in them. This reflects Vacaville’s popularity among families looking for kid-friendly communities.

According to Census data, 12.3% of Vacaville households had someone over the age of 65 living alone in them. This points to a sizable senior population, many of whom likely live independently in Vacaville.


Most housing units in Vacaville are single-family detached homes (67.4%), reflecting the suburban nature of the community. Here is the breakdown of housing units by type according to 2019 Census Bureau data:

  • Single-family detached homes: 67.4%
  • Single-family attached homes: 11.0%
  • Apartments in multi-unit buildings: 16.1%
  • Mobile homes: 5.5%

The median value of owner-occupied housing units in Vacaville is $407,500 as of 2019. This makes homeownership in Vacaville relatively affordable compared to other parts of the Bay Area.

The median gross rent for apartments in Vacaville was $1,532 per month in 2019. Rental prices have likely increased further in the past few years amid high housing demand.

Vacaville’s housing stock grew by 7.7% between 2010 and 2019, adding over 2,500 new units. More construction is planned to support future population growth.


Vacaville residents are generally well-educated relative to California overall:

  • 92.4% of residents 25 and over have a high school degree or higher, compared to 83.6% statewide
  • 33.4% have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 34.7% of Californians overall

The Vacaville Unified School District oversees public K-12 education in the city across 15 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, and 3 high schools. Total K-12 enrollment is around 13,000 students.

Opportunities for higher education in Vacaville include Solano Community College, a public two-year institution with around 11,000 students.

Employment and Income

As of 2019, 67.5% of Vacaville’s population 16 and over was employed in the civilian labor force. The largest employment sectors were:

  • Education, healthcare, and social services: 22%
  • Retail trade: 11.7%
  • Manufacturing: 10.2%
  • Professional services: 9.5%
  • Construction: 7.3%

Many Vacaville residents commute to jobs in other parts of the Bay Area. The average one-way commute time is 33.3 minutes.

In 2019, Vacaville’s median household income was $86,743. While above the U.S. median of $65,712, Vacaville’s median income level is more affordable than other Bay Area suburbs.

Here is the household income distribution in Vacaville:

  • $100,000 or more: 30.1%
  • $50,000 to $99,999: 29.8%
  • $25,000 to $49,999: 25.7%
  • Under $25,000: 14.4%

Around 14% of Vacaville residents live below the poverty line, on par with California’s poverty rate.


In summary, Vacaville has experienced rapid population growth over the past four decades, transforming from a small town into a sizeable Bay Area suburb. While still majority white, the city has diversified and now has sizable Hispanic/Latino and Asian populations.

Most residents live in single-family homes and Vacaville remains relatively affordable compared to much of coastal California. The city’s popularity with families is seen in its demographic makeup. Vacaville will likely continue growing in diverse ways in the decades ahead.


History of Vacaville

Vacaville was founded in 1850 and originally developed as an agricultural community, focused on fruit orchards and produce farms. In the late 19th century, Vacaville became a railroad town connected to Sacramento and San Francisco.

After World War II, Vacaville grew as a Bedroom Community for families seeking affordable single-family homes within driving distance to Bay Area jobs. Rapid suburban development occurred through the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Today, while Vacaville retains a small town character in places, it has become a large suburban city closely linked to the broader Bay Area.

Climate and Geography

Vacaville has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

The average high in July is 92°F. January lows average around 38°F.

Rainfall averages about 25 inches per year. Snow is rare in Vacaville.

The city is situated in a valley between the Vaca Mountains to the west and the Sierra Nevada foothills to the east. Vacaville’s elevation ranges from 55 to 325 feet above sea level.

Downtown Vacaville lies along the confluence of three creeks: Ulatis Creek, Alamo Creek, and Lagoon Valley Creek. This provides scenic riparian areas with walking trails.

Economy and Business

While many residents commute to Bay Area job centers, Vacaville has a diverse local economy of its own.

Major employers in Vacaville include the California Medical Facility prison, Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Genentech biotechnology, ALZA pharmaceuticals, and Jelly Belly candy factory.

The city’s business parks are home to numerous biotech, advanced manufacturing, and research companies. Retail is also big, with the Vacaville Premium Outlets and many shopping centers.

Between 2010 and 2019, jobs in Vacaville grew by 19% – nearly double the statewide job growth rate. Median household income also rose rapidly.

Vacaville serves as a retail and services hub for neighboring communities like Dixon, Rio Vista, and Winters.

Public Services and Infrastructure

Police, fire, and emergency medical services in Vacaville are provided by the city government.

Water and sewer utilities are municipally-owned and operated by the Public Works department. Garbage, recycling, and yard waste collection is handled by private contractors.

Pacific Gas & Electric provides natural gas and electricity service in the city.

Interstate 80 and Highway 505 run through Vacaville, as well as major rail lines. This transportation infrastructure supports commuting and goods movement.

The city operates two public libraries, two swimming pools, three community centers, and over 30 public parks. Vacaville’s extensive recreation offerings are part of its appeal to families.

Culture and Events

While a suburban community, Vacaville has a distinct culture and many community events.

Monthly events include the Farmers Market in Old Town, Concerts in the Park, and Movies Under the Stars.

Major annual events are the Fiesta Days parade, Miss Vacaville Pageant, Blues Festival, and Summer Concert Series.

Popular attractions include the Vacaville Museum, Lagoon Valley Park, Fairfield-Suisun Auto Mall, and McBride Senior Center.

Vacaville is known for its public art, with over 50 murals and sculptures around town. This helps create a unique sense of place.

Demographic Challenges

While Vacaville remains relatively affordable, housing costs have risen sharply in recent years. This may price out some working-class residents in the future.

Managing growth sustainably will require long-term infrastructure investments by the city, especially for water supply.

With an aging population, Vacaville will need to expand senior services, transportation, healthcare access, and accessibility renovations.

Income inequality is a challenge – over 14% of Vacaville families live below the poverty line. The city should foster upward mobility and equity.

As diversity increases, promoting inclusivity and cross-cultural community building will become more important for social cohesion.


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  • Take I-80 E from SF. After 55 mi, take exit 43A to I-505 N. Drive 15 mi, take exit 29 to Vaca Valley Pkwy. Turn right, go 3.5 mi. Turn left on Leisure Town Rd, destination on right after 0.9 mi.
  • From SF, take I-80 E. After 1 hr, take exit 43A to I-505 N. Go 15 mi, take exit 29 to Vaca Valley Pkwy. Turn right, go 3.5 mi. Turn left on Leisure Town Rd, destination 0.9 mi on right.
  • From SF on I-80 E, drive 55 mi. Take exit 43A to I-505 N. After 15 mi take exit 29 to Vaca Valley Pkwy. Turn right, go 3.5 mi. Turn left on Leisure Town Rd, drive 0.9 mi, destination on right.