Empire is a census-designated place (CDP) in Stanislaus County, California, United States. The population was 4,189 at the 2010 census, up from 3,903 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area. Influenced by the Mexican culture, Empire is agriculturaly active, and is home to the new Empire Community Park.
In 1854, the town of Empire City was founded on the south bank of the Tuolumne River, just 1 mile south of present-day Empire. The town served as the head of navigation for steamboats on the Tuolumne River. Empire City, became the county seat of Stanislaus County, and was flooded in in the Great Flood of 1862. Later in 1896 the town relocated 1 mile inland and was renamed Empire for the Santa Fe Railroad.
Downtown Empire is situated in the second town layout. It includes a small Post Office, a Church of the Brethren church, and the Empire Community Park with the Empire City Historic Landmark.