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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