Located north of Los Angeles in Kern County, Bakersfield is the 9th largest city in California with a population of approximately 350,000. While the city is commonly considered part of Southern California due to its proximity to L.A., many view it as part of the Central region because it is close to Kings and Tulare counties. In addition, Bakersfield is a central location for oil production and agriculture, ranking fourth in the nation for production. The city has experienced substantial growth over the past few decades, and housing and development have been a prominent focus in the region. Therefore, there are a number of new neighborhoods with single-family homes.
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While there is evidence that the region was inhabited by Native Americans thousands of years ago, Bakersfield was officially founded by Thomas Baker in 1863 and was originally a stopover for travelers. By 1870, the population had grown to 600 establishing the region. However, it wasn't until the last few decades that the city began to boom, and the region grew 400% between 1970 and 2010 going from a population of 70,000 to 347,483. This growth led to a major boom in the real estate market. While this has subsided some in recent years due to the recession, it is still highly ranked as one of the best places to invest in real estate. Bakersfield's economy has been historically based in agriculture and oil. However, there are a number of additional growing industries including manufacturing and distribution.
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