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Kern County is a county in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 839,631. Its county seat is Bakersfield.

Kern County comprises the Bakersfield, California, Metropolitan statistical area. The county spans the southern end of the Central Valley. Covering 8,161.42 square miles (21,138.0 km2), it ranges west to the southern slope of the Coast Ranges, and east beyond the southern slope of the eastern Sierra Nevada into the Mojave Desert, at the city of Ridgecrest. Its northernmost city is Delano, and its southern reach extends just beyond Lebec to Grapevine, and the northern extremity of the parallel Antelope Valley.

The county's economy is heavily linked to agriculture and to petroleum extraction. There is also a strong aviation, space, and military presence, such as Edwards Air Force Base, the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, and the Mojave Air and Space Port.

The county is one of the fastest-growing areas in the United States in terms of population, but suffers from significant water supply issues and poor air quality.

Spanish era
Spain claimed the area in 1769. Entering from Grapevine Canyon to the south in 1772, Commander Don Pedro Fages became the first European to set foot in the area.

The Battle of San Emigdio took place in Kern County in March 1824. The Chumash Indians of Mission Santa Barbara rebelled against the Mexican government and its taking over mission property and ejecting the natives. The battle occurred in the canyon where San Emigdio Creek flows down San Emigdio Mountain and the Blue Ridge, south of Bakersfield near today's Highway 166. Mexican forces from Monterey were commanded by Carlos Carrillo and the conflict was a low-casualty encounter, with only four Indians being killed and no Mexicans. The surviving Indians were pacified and brought back to Santa Barbara in June 1824 after a pursuit and negotiation in which many were allowed to keep their arms for the return march over the mountains.

American era

The Havilah Court building was restored in the 1970s and now serves as a museum. Photo circa 2007.
In the beginning, what was to become Kern County was dominated by mining in the mountains and in the desert. In 1855 the California legislature attempted to form a county in the area by giving the southeastern territory of Tulare County on the west of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Buena Vista County. However, it was never officially organized prior to 1859, when the enabling legislation expired. The south of Tulare County was later organized as Kern County in 1866, with additions from Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties. Its first county seat was the mining town of Havilah, in the mountains east of Bakersfield and north of Tehachapi.

Settlers considered the flat land of the valley inhospitable and impassable at the time due to swamps, lakes, tule reeds and diseases such as malaria. This changed when residents started draining land for farming and constructing canals, most dug by hired Chinese laborers. Within 10 years the valley surpassed the mining areas as the economic power of the county, and as a result the county seat was moved from Havilah to Bakersfield in 1874.

In 1899, the discovery well of the Kern River Oil Field was dug by hand and soon the towns of Oil City, Oil Center and Oildale came into existence.

The county derives its name from the Kern River, which was named for Edward Kern, cartographer for General John C. Fr?mont's 1845 expedition, which crossed Walker Pass. The Kern River was originally named Rio Bravo de San Felipe by Father Francisco Garc?s when he explored the area in 1776.

Main articles: 1952 Kern County earthquake and 2019 Ridgecrest earthquakes

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Throughout recorded history, severe earthquakes have struck Kern County, including the 1857 Fort Tejon earthquake.

On July 21, 1952, an earthquake occurred with the epicenter about 23 miles (37 km) south of Bakersfield. It measured 7.3 on the moment magnitude scale and killed 12 people. In addition to the deaths, it was responsible for hundreds of injuries and more than $60 million in property damage. The main shock was felt over much of California and as far away as Phoenix, Arizona and Reno, Nevada. The earthquake occurred on the White Wolf Fault and was the strongest to occur in California since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Tehachapi suffered the greatest damage and loss of life from the earthquake, though its effects were widely felt throughout central and southern California. The event had a significant aftershock sequence that persisted into July and August with the strongest coming on August 22, an M5.8 event with a maximum perceived intensity of VIII (Severe) and resulted in two additional deaths and an additional $10 million in property damage. Repercussions of the sequence of earthquakes were still being felt in the heavily damaged downtown area of Bakersfield well into the 1990s as city leaders attempted to improve safety of the surviving non-reinforced masonry buildings.

Following the event, a field survey was conducted along the fault zone with the goal of estimating the peak ground acceleration of the shock based on visually evaluating rock formations and other indicators. Ground disturbances that were created by the earthquakes were also surveyed, both in the valley and in the foothills, with both vertical and horizontal displacements present in the epicenter area. The motion records that were acquired from the event were significant, and a reconnaissance report was recognized for its coverage of the event, and its setting a standard for similar engineering or scientific papers.

Abuse trials
Between 1983 and 1986, several ritual sex ring child abuse cases occurred in Kern County, resulting in numerous long prison sentences, all of which were overturned—some of them decades later, because the prosecutors had coerced false testimonies from the purported child victims. The details of these false accusations are covered extensively in the 2008 documentary Witch Hunt, narrated by Sean Penn.


Map of Kern County
According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 8,163 square miles (21,140 km2), of which 8,132 square miles (21,060 km2) is land and 31 square miles (80 km2) (0.4%) is water. It is the third-largest county by area in California. Its area is nearly the size of the state of New Hampshire; it extends:

East beyond the southern slope of the Sierra Nevada range into the Mojave Desert, and includes parts of the Indian Wells Valley and Antelope Valley.
West from the Sierra across the floor of the San Joaquin Valley to the eastern edge of the Temblor Range, part of the Coast Ranges.
South over the ridge of the Tehachapi Mountains.
Air quality

Particulate pollution in Kern County varies with the seasons.
Kern County suffers from severe air pollution. Particulates cause poor visibility, especially in the winter. Western Kern County lies in the San Joaquin Valley and the topography traps pollutants. Although the topography is not as unfavorable in eastern Kern County, eastern Kern County is a non-attainment area for particulates. Air pollution caused by particulates is "in the unhealthy range an average of 40 days a year, according to the American Lung Association's (ALA) 2018 State of the Air Report.

Chaparral comprises a considerable portion of the natural area within Kern County; the species diversity within these chaparral habitats, however, is considerably less than in many other regions of California. Whitethorn is a prominent example of chaparral species on the rocky slopes of the Sierra Nevada as well as the Inner Coastal Ranges. California Buckeye is a notable tree found in both chaparral and forests and whose southern range terminates in Kern County.

National protected areas
Bitter Creek National Wildlife Refuge
Carrizo Plain National Monument (part)
C?sar E. Ch?vez National Monument
Giant Sequoia National Monument (part)
Kern National Wildlife Refuge
Los Padres National Forest (part)
Sequoia National Forest (part)
See also: List of populated places in Kern County, California
According to the 2010 United States Census, Kern County's population was 839,631. It was the eleventh-largest county by population in California. The center of population of California is located in Kern County, in the town of Buttonwillow .

Population, race, and income
Places by population, race, and income
Places by population and race
Places by population and income
Historical population
Census Pop. %±
1870 2,925 —
1880 5,601 91.5%
1890 9,808 75.1%
1900 16,480 68.0%
1910 37,715 128.9%
1920 54,843 45.4%
1930 82,570 50.6%
1940 135,124 63.6%
1950 228,309 69.0%
1960 291,984 27.9%
1970 329,162 12.7%
1980 403,089 22.5%
1990 543,477 34.8%
2000 661,645 21.7%
2010 839,631 26.9%
Est. 2019 900,202 7.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2015
The 2010 United States Census reported that Kern County had a population of 839,631. The racial makeup of Kern County was 499,766 (59.5%) White, 48,921 (5.8%) African American, 12,676 (1.5%) Native American, 34,846 (4.2%) Asian, 1,252 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 204,314 (24.3%) from other races, and 37,856 (4.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 413,033 persons (49.2%); 43.4% of Kern County residents are of Mexican heritage, 1.0% Salvadoran, 0.5% Colombian, and 0.4% Guatemalan.

According to the 2000 United States Census of 2000, there were 661,645 people, 208,652 households, and 156,489 families residing in the county. The population density was 81 people per square mile (31/km?). There were 231,564 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km?). The racial makeup of the county was 61.6% White, 6.0% Black or African American, 3.4% Asian, 1.5% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 23.2% from other races, and 4.1% from two or more races. 38.4% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 8.4% were of German, 7.2% American and 5.7% Irish ancestry, according to the census. 66.8% spoke English, 29.1% Spanish and 1.0% Tagalog as their first language.

There were 208,652 households out of which 42.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.6% were married couples living together, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.0% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.03 and the average family size was 3.50.

In the county, the age distribution of the population shows 31.9% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 29.8% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 9.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 105.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 105.3 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,446, and the median income for a family was $39,403. Males had a median income of $38,097 versus $25,876 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,760. About 16.8% of families and 20.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.8% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.

Racial and ethnic identity

White Non-Hispanic (49.5%)
Hispanic (38.4%)
Other race (23.2%)
Black (6.0%)
Two or more races (4.1%)
American Indian (2.6%) - one of the highest in California.
(Total can be greater than 100% because Hispanics may be counted in any race.)

Arts and culture

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Kern County is associated with the Bakersfield sound. The Buck Owens Crystal Palace is located in Bakersfield.

Metropolitan statistical area
The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Kern County as the Bakersfield, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. The United States Census Bureau ranked the Bakersfield, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area as the 63rd most populous metropolitan statistical area and the 68th most populous primary statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.

Government, policing, and politics
Kern County is a California Constitution defined general law county and is governed by an elected Board of Supervisors. The Board consists of five members, elected by districts, who serve four-year staggered terms. The county government provides countywide services such as elections and voter registration, some law enforcement, jails, vital records, property records, tax collection, public health, and social services. In addition, the County serves as the local government for all unincorporated areas.

The Kern County Sheriff provides court protection, jail administration, and coroner services for the entire county of 800,000 in population. It provides patrol and detective services for the unincorporated areas of the county and by contract to certain municipalities. The main Sheriff's office and station is at Bakersfield. There are 15 sheriff substations for the widespread county.

Municipal police
Municipal police departments in the county are: Bakersfield, population 370,000; Ridgecrest, 30,000; Delano, 54,000; Wasco (sheriff contract city), 27,000; Shafter, 20,000; McFarland, 15,000; Arvin, 19,000; Tehachapi, 15,000; Maricopa (sheriff contract city), 1,500.

Politics and voter registration
Population and registered voters
Cities by population and voter registration
Cities by population and voter registration
Kern is a strongly Republican county in Presidential and congressional elections. The last Democratic candidate for President to win a majority in the county was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Presidential elections results
In the United States House of Representatives, Kern County is split between California's 21st congressional district, represented by Democrat TJ Cox, and California's 23rd congressional district, represented by Republican Kevin McCarthy.

In the State Assembly, Kern County is split between the following four Assembly districts:

the 26th Assembly District, represented by Republican Devon Mathis
the 32nd Assembly District, represented by Democrat Rudy Salas
the 34th Assembly District, represented by Republican Vince Fong, and
the 36th Assembly District, represented by Republican Tom Lackey.
In the State Senate, Kern County is split between the 14th Senate District, represented by Democrat Melissa Hurtado, and the 16th Senate District, represented by Republican Shannon Grove.

On November 4, 2008 Kern County voted 75.29% in favor of Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to ban same-sex marriages.

Kern County is governed by a five-member board of supervisors. As of 2020, they are:

1st District, Mick Gleason.
2nd District, Zack Scrivner.
3rd District, Mike Maggard.
4th District, David Couch.
5th District, Leticia Perez.
Crime and public safety

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Fire protection within the county is provided by the Kern County Fire Department. Law enforcement within the county is provided by the Kern County Sheriff's Department.

Main article: Kern County Fire Department
The Kern County Fire Department (KCFD) is an agency that provides fire protection and emergency medical services for the county of Kern, California, USA. Over 625 permanent employees and 100 extra help employees protect an area which spans over 8,000 square miles (21,000 km2). KCFD provides fire protection services for over 500,000 citizens living in the unincorporated areas of Kern County and the cities of Arvin, Delano, Maricopa, McFarland, Ridgecrest, Shafter, Taft, Tehachapi and Wasco. This agency is contracted to provide dispatch services for the California City Fire Department, Kern Ambulance based in Wasco, and Liberty Ambulance of Bakersfield. Over 546 uniformed firefighters are stationed in 46 fire stations throughout the county.

Sheriff's Office
Main article: Kern County Sheriff's Department
The Kern County Sheriff's Department is the agency responsible for law enforcement within the county of Kern. The department provides law enforcement within the county, maintains the jails used by both the county and municipal cities, and provides search and rescue. The department contains over 1,200 sworn deputies and civilian employees. Its jurisdiction contains all of the unincorporated areas of Kern County, approximately 8,000 square miles (21,000 km2). The department headquarters is located at 1350 Norris Road in Bakersfield. There are 15 additional substations located throughout the county. The metro patrol area is divided into four regions: north, south, east, and west.

In 2009, the district attorney claimed "the highest per capita prison commitment rate of any major California county." Among those convicted were many charged with crimes against children during a moral panic. Many of these have since been released. Kern County contains multiple state and federal prisons, including two private prisons. As a result, the courts have been known to sentence a higher than average number of defendants to long prison sentences to help the local economy. The county is among the most prolific with the death penalty. assigning death penalty sentences in 26 cases since 1976. In 2015 Kern County policemen from all departments killed more people per capita than any other American county. Because of the very harsh local criminal justice system, Kern County has been dubbed "the most punitive authoritarian jurisdiction on the west coast" and "Oklahoma of the west" by biased news websites such as Vice News. In 2015, it was revealed that the Kern County Sheriff's office engaged in a longstanding program of attempted cash payoffs to women who had accused deputies of sexual assault. Also in 2015, a civil lawsuit filed by a survivor of a sexual assault committed by Kern County Sheriff's deputy Gabriel Lopez, was settled for $1 million.

Kern County also holds the distinction of having the most deaths per capita in the US by police shooting per an article published in The Guardian on December 1, 2015. In 2015 to the date of publication of the article, there have been 13 deaths by police shootings in a county of less than 875,000 population, or 0.016 per thousand persons. By comparison, during the same period of time in New York City, a population 10 times the size with a police force more than 20 times the size, there were 9 such deaths.

The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense.

Population and crime rates
Cities by population and crime rates
Cities by population and crime rates
The county has a large agricultural base and is a significant producer of oil, natural gas, hydro-electric power, solar power, and wind power. Kern is noted for minerals, including gold, borate, and kernite. The largest open pit mine in California, which mines borax, is at Boron. As of October 1, 2016, Kern County contains nearly 25% of California's in-state renewable energy production, including 1,785 MW of solar power and 3,310 MW of wind power. Kern County is home to the Tehachapi Energy Storage Project, which was commissioned in 2014.

Aerospace and military
Department of Defense facilities include Edwards Air Force Base and China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station. As home to Edwards Air Force Base the Air Force's main flight test facility, Kern has been the site of many milestones, including the first supersonic flight and the first landing of the Space Shuttle. The base has brought prosperity to the railroad towns of Mojave and Rosamond. Kern County is also the home of the first inland spaceport in the United States, the Mojave Spaceport.

Major producer of almonds with production greater than 100 million pounds annually.

As of 2015, Kern is California's top oil-producing county, with 78% of the state's 56,653 active oil wells and 71% of oil production. The county produced 144.5 million barrels of oil in 2015, accounting for about 4% of overall U.S. oil production.

Discovery and development
Oil development began with the 1894 discovery of the Midway-Sunset Oil Field, now the third-largest in the United States, in the southwestern portion of Kern County near Maricopa. The 1899 discovery along the Kern River was a breakthrough in oil production. Oil was refined here even before the establishment of the county. The Buena Vista Petroleum Company was organized and incorporated in 1864. Soon thereafter a refinery was built that operated until April 1867 when work ceased because of high freight charges.

The 1910 Lakeview Gusher was the largest recorded oil strike in U.S. history. The well spewed approximately nine million barrels for 18 months before workers finally were able to cap it.

Other big oil fields in southwestern Kern County discovered early in the 20th century include the Buena Vista, the South Belridge and the Cymric fields. The latter is the fastest-growing field in California in terms of barrels produced per year. Later large fields include the Kern River Oil Field, the fifth-largest in the U.S., the adjacent Kern Front Oil Field, the Mount Poso Oil Field in the lower foothills of the Sierra north-northeast of Bakersfield and the Fruitvale Oil Field, which underlies much of the city of Bakersfield, along and north of the Kern River.

On July 22, 2009, Occidental Petroleum announced it had discovered the equivalent of 150 million to 250 million barrels of oil in Kern County, which the company called the largest oil discovery in California in 35 years. The find added about 10 percent to California's known reserves. Occidental's Ray Irani said it is likely that more oil would be found in the areas outside the initial six wells that tapped the discovery. Occidental has not revealed the exact location of the find, two-thirds of which is natural gas. BNET, an industry web publication, said the find would add to the company's 708 million barrels of proven reserves in California.

Petroleum today
The county today contributes more than three-quarters of all the oil produced onshore in California. Some of the large oil fields in Kern County which are still active include:

Buena Vista Oil Field
Cymric Oil Field
Edison Oil Field
Elk Hills Oil Field
Fruitvale Oil Field
Kern Front Oil Field
Kern River Oil Field
Lost Hills Oil Field
McKittrick Oil Field
Midway-Sunset Oil Field
Mountain View Oil Field
Mount Poso Oil Field
North Belridge Oil Field
Round Mountain Oil Field
South Belridge Oil Field
Main article: Transportation in Kern County
Major highways
I-5 (CA).svg Interstate 5
US 395 (1961 cutout).svg U.S. Route 395
California 14.svg State Route 14
California 33.svg State Route 33
California 41.svg State Route 41
California 43.svg State Route 43
California 46.svg State Route 46
California 58.svg State Route 58
California 65.svg State Route 65
California 99.svg State Route 99
California 119.svg State Route 119
California 155.svg State Route 155
California 166.svg State Route 166
California 178.svg State Route 178
California 184.svg State Route 184
California 202.svg State Route 202
California 204.svg State Route 204
California 223.svg State Route 223
Public transportation
Arvin Transit is the local municipal bus operator in and around Arvin.
Delano Area Rapid Transit is the local municipal bus operator in Delano.
Golden Empire Transit is the local bus operator in and near Bakersfield.
Kern Regional Transit provides countywide intercity bus service.
Taft Area Transit is the local municipal bus operator in and around Taft.
Kern County is also served by Greyhound and Orange Belt Stages buses and Amtrak trains.
Main article: List of airports in Kern County, California
California City Municipal Airport, California City. (FAA: L71)
Delano Municipal Airport, Delano. (IATA: DLO)
Inyokern Airport, Inyokern. (IATA: IYK)
Kern Valley Airport, Kernville. (FAA: L05)
Lost Hills Airport, Lost Hills. (FAA: L84)
Meadows Field, Bakersfield, an international and general aviation airport. (IATA: BFL)
Mojave Airport, Mojave. (IATA: MHV)
Shafter Airport (Minter Field), Shafter. (IATA: MIT)
Taft Airport, Taft. (FAA: L17)
Tehachapi Municipal Airport, Tehachapi. (IATA: TSP)
Wasco Airport, Wasco. (FAA: L19)
Outdoor recreational activities include horseback riding, water skiing (Lake Isabella, Lake Buena Vista, Lake Ming, and private ski ranches). Off-roading and other motorsports take place at Jawbone Canyon, California City, Randsburg, Willow Springs, Buttonwillow, Bakersfield Speedway, Famoso Raceway, and the half-mile Kern Raceway. Hunting, paintball, white-water rafting, kayaking (Kern River), snow skiing (Shirley Meadows and Mount Pinos), shooting ranges (5 Dogs Range), hiking, biking (trails, paths, and roads), camping and fishing are also part of the recreational culture.

Bakersfield Life Magazine, Kern County
Bakersfield Magazine, Kern County
Kern County Family Magazine, Kern County
The Bakersfield Californian, Kern County
Mountain Enterprise, southwest Kern mountains area
Mojave Desert News, California City and east Kern desert area
The Daily Independent, Ridgecrest, China Lake, and The Indian Wells Valley
The Kern Valley Sun, Kern Valley area
Kern River Courier, Kern Valley area
Tehachapi News, Tehachapi
Taft Midway Driller, Taft
Taft Independent, Taft
The Delano Record, Delano
TV stations
KBAK-TV (CBS), Kern County
KBFX-TV (FOX), Kern County
KERO-TV (ABC), Kern County
KGET-TV (NBC/CW), Kern County
Population reported at 2010 United States Census
The County
two or
more races
or Latino
(of any race)
Kern County 839,631 499,766 48,921 12,676 34,846 1,252 204,314 37,856 413,033
two or
more races
or Latino
(of any race)
Arvin 19,304 10,247 192 240 155 6 7,655 809 17,892
Bakersfield 347,483 197,349 28,368 5,102 21,432 478 77,686 17,068 158,205
California City 14,120 9,188 2,150 132 367 59 1,431 793 5,385
Delano 53,041 19,304 4,191 501 6,757 30 20,307 1,951 37,913
Maricopa 1,154 958 1 27 16 2 112 38 232
McFarland 12,707 5,433 236 171 84 6 6,330 447 11,625
Ridgecrest 27,616 21,387 1,113 341 1,209 143 1,836 1,587 4,941
Shafter 16,988 8,150 219 198 111 19 7,645 646 13,634
Taft 9,327 7,388 396 118 93 65 1,023 244 3,353
Tehachapi 14,414 9,426 1,297 206 238 21 2,725 501 5,466
Wasco 25,545 12,579 1,951 283 180 12 9,714 826 19,585
two or
more races
or Latino
(of any race)
Bear Valley Springs 5,172 4,776 74 46 57 3 89 127 399
Bodfish 1,956 1,758 4 50 13 3 49 79 189
Boron 2,253 1,746 162 49 47 4 141 104 406
Buttonwillow 1,508 534 36 11 10 0 890 27 1,183
Cherokee Strip 227 84 0 4 0 0 117 22 187
China Lake Acres 1,876 1,601 35 29 16 7 84 104 265
Derby Acres 322 289 0 1 0 0 23 9 36
Dustin Acres 652 539 4 9 1 0 71 28 129
Edmundson Acres 279 108 5 3 1 0 143 19 225
Edwards Air Force Base 2,063 1,518 165 16 99 10 96 159 355
Fellows 106 94 1 5 0 0 2 4 11
Ford City 4,278 2,735 28 153 36 32 1,113 181 1,971
Frazier Park 2,691 2,297 16 31 22 3 212 110 528
Fuller Acres 991 607 13 12 1 0 329 29 768
Golden Hills 8,656 7,235 129 124 120 15 670 363 1,674
Greenacres 5,566 4,612 49 116 70 8 511 200 1,119
Greenfield 3,991 2,512 71 63 45 1 1,112 187 2,263
Inyokern 1,099 930 14 24 25 2 49 55 116
Johannesburg 172 152 2 2 8 0 0 8 8
Keene 431 385 2 10 8 0 16 10 47
Kernville 1,395 1,257 1 19 7 0 33 78 82
Lake Isabella 3,466 3,069 6 96 18 7 73 197 339
Lake of the Woods 917 820 3 18 11 0 34 31 123
Lamont 15,120 6,677 130 230 72 9 7,351 651 14,293
Lebec 1,468 1,152 14 46 17 0 148 91 395
Lost Hills 2,412 132 5 1 17 1 2,232 24 2,354
McKittrick 115 101 1 1 0 0 7 5 9
Mettler 136 74 0 0 0 0 43 19 109
Mexican Colony 281 162 0 15 0 0 93 11 227
Mojave 4,238 2,381 638 54 53 19 867 226 1,592
Mountain Mesa 777 687 7 16 6 2 27 32 77
North Edwards 1,058 847 43 26 20 1 60 61 179
Oildale 32,684 27,463 255 590 316 30 2,635 1,395 6,301
Onyx 475 406 4 9 0 0 16 40 30
Pine Mountain Club 2,315 2,079 29 25 45 0 58 79 231
Randsburg 69 62 0 4 2 0 0 1 2
Rosamond 18,150 11,294 1,476 221 658 66 3,258 1,177 6,230
Rosedale 14,058 11,695 208 159 389 24 997 586 2,495
Smith Corner 524 227 10 3 2 3 263 16 440
South Taft 2,169 1,404 21 55 5 11 596 77 931
Squirrel Mountain Valley 547 509 2 9 1 0 13 13 22
Stallion Springs 2,488 2,239 30 26 32 7 79 75 285
Taft Heights 1,949 1,602 15 35 11 0 220 66 441
Tupman 161 149 0 0 0 0 2 10 12
Valley Acres 527 428 1 10 1 0 42 45 121
Weedpatch 2,658 1,212 8 78 14 0 1,237 109 2,484
Weldon 2,642 2,375 5 82 11 1 53 115 217
Wofford Heights 2,200 2,037 6 41 10 1 26 79 156
unincorporated areas
two or
more races
or Latino
(of any race)
All others not CDPs (combined) 138,644 81,305 5,079 2,730 1,907 141 41,670 5,812 82,746
Bakersfield (county seat)
California City
Census-designated places
Bear Valley Springs
Cherokee Strip
China Lake Acres
Derby Acres
Dustin Acres
Edmundson Acres
Edwards AFB
Ford City
Frazier Park
Fuller Acres
Golden Hills
Lake Isabella
Lake of the Woods
Lost Hills
Mexican Colony
Mountain Mesa
North Edwards
Pine Mountain Club
Smith Corner
South Taft
Squirrel Mountain Valley
Stallion Springs
Taft Heights
Valley Acres
Wofford Heights
Unincorporated communities
Aerial Acres
Alta Sierra
Burton Mill
Calders Corner
Di Giorgio
Fig Orchard
Five Points
Goler Heights
Harts Place
Indian Wells
Kecks Corner
Kern Lake
Lackey Place
Miracle Hot Springs
Missouri Triangle
North Belridge, California
Oil Junction
Old Garlock
Old River
Old West Ranch
Pettit Place
Pinon Pines Estates
Pumpkin Center
Rancho Seco
Rio Bravo
San Emidio
Sand Canyon
Shirley Meadows
South Lake
Spicer City
Twin Lakes
Twin Oaks
Wheeler Ridge
Wible Orchard
Willow Springs
Wonder Acres
Former places
Adobe Station
Population ranking
The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Kern County.

† county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 † Bakersfield City 347,483
2 Delano City 53,041
3 Oildale CDP 32,684
4 Ridgecrest City 27,616
5 Wasco City 25,545
6 Arvin City 19,304
7 Rosamond CDP 18,150
8 Shafter City 16,988
9 Lamont CDP 15,120
10 Tehachapi City 14,414
11 California City City 14,120
12 Rosedale CDP 14,058
13 McFarland City 12,707
14 Taft City 9,327
15 Golden Hills CDP 8,656
16 Greenacres CDP 5,566
17 Bear Valley Springs CDP 5,172
18 Ford City CDP 4,278
19 Mojave CDP 4,238
20 Greenfield CDP 3,991
21 Lake Isabella CDP 3,466
22 Frazier Park CDP 2,691
23 Weedpatch CDP 2,658
24 Weldon CDP 2,642
25 Stallion Springs CDP 2,488
26 Lost Hills CDP 2,412
27 Pine Mountain Club CDP 2,315
28 Boron CDP 2,253
29 Wofford Heights CDP 2,200
30 South Taft CDP 2,169
31 Edwards AFB CDP 2,063
32 Bodfish CDP 1,956
33 Taft Heights CDP 1,949
34 China Lake Acres CDP 1,876
35 Buttonwillow CDP 1,508
36 Lebec CDP 1,468
37 Kernville CDP 1,395
38 Maricopa City 1,154
39 Inyokern CDP 1,099
40 North Edwards CDP 1,058
41 Fuller Acres CDP 991
42 Lake of the Woods CDP 917
43 Mountain Mesa CDP 777
44 Dustin Acres CDP 652
45 Squirrel Mountain Valley CDP 547
46 Valley Acres CDP 527
47 Smith Corner CDP 524
48 Onyx CDP 475
49 Keene CDP 431
50 Derby Acres CDP 322
51 Mexican Colony CDP 281
52 Edmundson Acres CDP 279
53 Cherokee Strip CDP 227
54 Johannesburg CDP 172
55 Tupman CDP 161
56 Mettler CDP 136
57 McKittrick CDP 115
58 Fellows CDP 106
59 Randsburg CDP 69
In popular culture
The 2015 Disney film McFarland, USA, starring Kevin Costner, is based on the cross-country team in the town of McFarland, California, which is located in northern Kern County.
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