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City of Bakersfield

  •   State: 
    Kern County
      County FIPS: 
    35°22′N 119°1′W
      Area total: 
    151.28 sq mi
      Area land: 
    149.81 sq mi (388.01 km²)
      Area water: 
    1.46 sq mi (3.79 km²)
    404 ft (123 m)
    1873; Incorporated 1873–1876 Re-; Incorporated January 11, 1898
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Bakersfield, CA
    Pacific Standard Time (PST) UTC-8:00; Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) UTC-7:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Bakersfield, Kern County, California, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    2,700 residents per square mile of area (1,000/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Bakersfield is a city in Kern County, California, United States. It is the county seat and largest city of Kern County. Bakersfield's population as of the 2020 census was 403,455, making it the 48th-most populous city in the United States of America. The city is a significant hub for both agriculture and energy production. It was the birthplace of the country music genre known as the Baker'sfield sound. In 1890, it had a population of 801 with 250 of Chinese descent, from Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma. For the next 22 years, a citizen's council managed the community. In 1876, the city voted to disincorporate, effectively leaving the community without a city council. The next year, it was officially incorporated as a city, and by 1874, it officially replaced the town of Havilah as the county Seat. In 2020, 53% of the city's population was Hispanic, making the city the fifth-largest majority-Hispanic city in U.S. history. The area was once a tule reed-covered marshland, and was first known as Kern Island to the handful of pioneers, who built log cabins there in 1860. In 1860, disastrous floods swept away the original settlement founded in 1860 by the German-born Christian Bohna. In 1861, the area was subject to periodic flooding from the Kern River, which occupied what is now the downtown area, and experienced outbreaks of malaria. After the discovery of gold in California in 1848, settlers flooded into the San Joaquin Valley.


Bakersfield is the primary city name, but also Pumpkin Center, Pumpkin Ctr are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is City of Bakersfield. Bakersfield is the fifth-largest majority-Hispanic city in the United States, with 53% of its population being Hispanic in 2020. The Bakersfield area, once a tule reed-covered marshland, was first known as Kern Island to the handful of pioneers, who built log cabins there in 1860. The 1952 earthquake, which measured 7.5 on the moment magnitude scale and was felt from San Francisco to the Mexican border, destroyed the nearby communities of Tehachapi and Arvin. Four people died in the southern San Joaquin Valley after the 1970 earthquake, and many of the town's historic structures sustained heavy damage. The city was spared, experiencing minor architectural damage, but raised fears that the flow of the Friant-Kern Canal could be altered, potentially flooding the city and surrounding areas for the next month and a half. In 2010, another earthquake measured at 5.8 measured at 3:42 pm, and on August 22, another quake measured at 4:52 pm. The earthquake's destructive force bent cotton fields into U shapes, slid a shoulder of the mountain chain across all four lanes of the Ridge Route, collapsed a water tower creating a flash flood, and destroyed a railroad tunnel in the mountains. The town is located on the banks of the Kern River delta and was once home to the Yowlumne, a Yokuts people. The Yokuts of the region lived in lodges and hunted antelope, tule elk, deer, bear, fish, and game birds.


Bakersfield lies near the southern "horseshoe" end of the San Joaquin Valley, with the southern tip of the Sierra Nevada just to the east. The city limits extend to the Sequoia National Forest, at the foot of the Greenhorn Mountain Range and at the entrance to the Kern Canyon. Bakersfield summers are very hot with extended stretches of hot weather and 112 days per year with high temperatures of 90 °F (32.2 °C) winters consist of mild days with chilly/cold nights. Rainfall is low in the city, averaging only 6.36 inches (161.5 mm) annually, with most of it falling in the winter. The record maximum temperature was 118F (47.8 cm) at the airport on July 28, 1908, and the record minimum temperature was 12.11 °C (11.1 °F) on July 1, 1908. The last snow on the valley floor may occur on January 25, 1999, when the city received up to 6 inches (15 cm) with 3.7 cm (7 cm) of snow. The official time frame for tule fog to form is about 5 months long various days from November 1 to March 31. Most noticeable in summer and winter, the urban heat island phenomenon can be observed throughout various neighborhoods in Bakerfield. Areas closer to downtown and along the freeway corridor can experience temperatures between 7 °C and 14 °C. At the 2000 census, the city had a total area of 114.4 sq mi (296 km²), of which 113.1sq mi (293 km²) were land (98.86%) and 1.3sq mi were water-covered (3.4km²).


The 2010 United States Census reported that Bakersfield had a population of 347,483. The population density was 2,419.6 inhabitants per square mile (934.2/km²). The ethnic makeup of the city was 197,389 (56.8%) White, 28,238 (8.1%) African American, 5,102 (1.5%) Native American, 21,432 (6.2%) Asian (2.1% Indian), 77,686 (22.4%) from other races, and 17,068 (4.9%) from two or more races. Non-Hispanic Whites were 37.8% of the population in 2010, compared to 71% in 1980. The average household size was 3.10, and the average family size was3.56. The median age was 30.0 years, and for every 100 females, there were 96.0 males. About 206,492 people lived in owner-occupied housing units, and 137,596 people (39.6%) lived in rental housing units. The housing shortage has become a large issue with one percent of potential apartments being open to new renters as of April 2021. The city saw its population grow from about 105,000 in 1980 to 347,000 by 2010. However the city is still growing, although its recent growth rate has slowed in recent years due to the economic recession and high home foreclosure rates. BakersFIELD has consistently ranked as one of the least educated metropolitan areas in the United States.


Bakersfield is the largest city to have the lowest sales tax in California at the state minimum of 7.25%. Products manufactured in the city include: ice cream (world's largest ice cream plant), central vacuums, highway paint, and stock racing cars. Kern County is a part of the highly productive San Joaquin Valley, and ranks in the top five most productive agricultural counties in the nation. The city serves as the home for both corporate and regional headquarters of companies engaged in these industries. Several companies have moved to Bakersfield because of its inexpensive land, as well as proximity to international ports in both Los Angeles and Oakland. Other companies have opened regional offices and non-oil/agricultural businesses because of the city's and Kern County's business friendly policies, such as having no local utility or inventory taxes. The top employers in the county based in Bakerfield are: California State University, San Francisco, Kern County, and the University of California, San Diego. The county is home to the California Institute of Technology, which has a campus in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, which is the nation's second-largest university. The University of Southern California is the state's largest employer, with more than 1,000 employees. The university has one of the largest student populations in the state, with over 100,000 students in the fall of 2013. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is based in Kern County and has a training facility in the town of Lompoc.

Arts and culture

Bakersfield is known for the Bakersfield Sound, an electric guitar-driven subgenre of country music that dominated the industry for more than a decade. Buck Owens, Dwight Yoakam, and Merle Haggard were its best-known stars. The Kern County Museum holds a collection of regional artifacts. The city also hosts horse shows all year round, including local, 4-H and breed shows. The town has five movie multi-screen theaters: Edwards Bakersfeld Stadium 14, Reading Cinemas Valley Plaza 16, Maya Cinemas Bakerfield 16, AMC BakersFIELD 6, and a Studio Movie Grill. In 1996, Buck Owens opened the Crystal Palace, a music hall, nightclub, bar, restaurant, and museum, in Bakers Field. The Bakersfields Symphony Orchestra has been performing since 1932. The historic downtown Fox Theater has been renovated and is now a venue for concerts, musicians, comedians, and movies. In March, Famoso Raceway holds the annual March Meet nostalgia drag racing event. The event dates back to the U.S. Fuel and Gas Finals held in March 1959. In the late summer, St. George's Greek Orthodox Church hosts an annual Greek Festival. In mid to late September, the annual Kern County Fair showcases the area's agricultural produce and animal husbandry, along with a rodeo, concerts and a traditional carnival. The CSUB Indigenous Native American Club hosts a Native Gathering on the California State University Bakers field campus at Runner Park twice a year.


Bakersfield is not represented in any of the five major sports leagues: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, or MLS. The closest major sports teams are in Los Angeles and they have many fans in Bakersfield. The city is home to two minor league professional sports teams and two colleges with strong athletics programs. It is also the home town of four time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears, as well as the 2007 Daytona 500 winner, and 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick. The town is also located near a variety of motor racing venues. Current racing sports include: drag strip (at Famoso Raceway), dirt, road course (at Buttonwillow Raceway) and a paved 1/2 mile oval (at Kern County Raceway Park), which replaced Mesa Marin Raceway, a NASCAR associated oval track, that was demolished in 2004. The national jet boat association holds drag boat races at Lake Ming. The Kern County Soccer Field has 24 full-size light soccer fields. When completed, it will have 16 baseball fields, 6 football fields, and 16 soccer fields and will have a sports village. The BakersFIELD Magic are an expansion team in The Basketball League that will begin play in 2022. The Mechanics Bank Arena (formerly the Centennial Garden) hosts concerts, shows, and sporting events. In addition, Bakersfeld has facilities that can host tournament games. The California State University, Bakerfield has 15 varsity sports. It competes in NCAA Division I as a member of the Big West Conference.

Government and politics

Bakersfield uses the Council-Manager form of government. The City Council consists of seven members, elected from seven wards (or districts) The Mayor is elected at large, and is the presiding member of the City Council, although she does not cast a vote except in a few instances. The Bakersfield Police Department has over 363 officers and 100 professional staff, covering an area of 145 square miles (380 km²) serving an urban population of more than 800,000. In the 2008 Presidential election, Republican John McCain received 55.6% of the city's votes to Democrat Barack Obama's 42.9%. In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump received 50.4% of. the vote compared to Hillary Clinton's 44.0%. In a 2015 study, the U.S. Sheriff's Department's Mapping Police Violence study calculated that BakersFIELD police killed at the highest. rate in the United States., 13.6 people per. day compared to 13.9 people per day in E.S., E.C., and San Francisco. The city is traditionally acknowledged as the frontier delineating Sureño and Norteño gang territories. The current version was adopted on January 23, 1915. The framework for the city government is defined in the City Charter. As of 2011, it contained 11 articles and 4 addendums. The position of City Manager was created after 1957, when the role of mayor (which was the previous head) was split into two new positions.


Bakersfield is home to California State University, Bakersfield. The first high school opened in 1893. The Kern High School District (KHSD) is California's largest high school district, with 28 schools and educating about 35,000 students. The site at California Avenue and F Street is the location of the first campus of Bakersfeld College, which was established in 1913 and relocated in 1956 to its current location overlooking the Panorama Bluffs in northeast Bakers Field. BakersFIELD City School District is the state's largest elementary school district. Bakerfield College is a public community college with an enrollment of 16,000. Other colleges and universities include National University, University of Phoenix, Fresno Pacific University, and Point Loma Nazarene University. San Joaquin Valley College and Santa Barbara Business College also have campuses in Bakersfied. The city is also home to the Kern County Fair, which is one of the largest county fairs in the United States, with more than 2,000 attendees each year. The fair is held every year in the summer. It is the largest fair in the state, with about 1,000 people attending each day. The Fair is held on the last weekend of August each year, and the fair runs until the end of the school year. It also has an annual rodeo, which draws about 2,500 people to the fair. It has also hosted the California World Series, which takes place every year from July to September.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Bakersfield, Kern County, California = 1. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 42. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 10. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Bakersfield = 5.6 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 403,455 individuals with a median age of 30.5 age the population grows by 33.62% in Bakersfield, Kern County, California population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 2,700 residents per square mile of area (1,000/km²). There are average 3 people per household in the 108,202 households with an average household income of $54,029 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 10.10% of the available work force and has dropped -4.26% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 21.38%. The number of physicians in Bakersfield per 100,000 population = 121.9.


The annual rainfall in Bakersfield = 6.2 inches and the annual snowfall = 0.1 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 36. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 272. 99 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 38.4 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 50, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Bakersfield, Kern County, California which are owned by the occupant = 61.81%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 22 years with median home cost = $135,140 and home appreciation of -18.50%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $11.82 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $4,653 per student. There are 20.6 students for each teacher in the school, 4545 students for each Librarian and 897 students for each Counselor. 7.61% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 13.75% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 6.78% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Bakersfield's population in Kern County, California of 4,836 residents in 1900 has increased 83,43-fold to 403,455 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 50.74% female residents and 49.26% male residents live in Bakersfield, Kern County, California.

    As of 2020 in Bakersfield, Kern County, California are married and the remaining 40.31% are single population.

  • 23.8 minutes is the average time that residents in Bakersfield require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    79.05% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 14.89% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 1.45% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 2.50% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Bakersfield, Kern County, California, 61.81% are owner-occupied homes, another 32.83% are rented apartments, and the remaining 5.36% are vacant.

  • The 42.63% of the population in Bakersfield, Kern County, California who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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