Is Bakersfield, CA a Good Place to Live? 10 Pros and Cons of Living in Bakersfield


Bakersfield, California is a city located in the southern part of the state within Kern County. Known for its oil production and agriculture, this city offers a unique lifestyle that appeals to many. But like any place, it has its upsides and downsides. Here are 10 pros and cons of living in Bakersfield:


1. Affordable Cost of Living: Compared to other cities in California like Los Angeles or San Francisco, Bakersfield offers significantly lower housing costs and overall living expenses.

2. Job Opportunities: The city is rich in job opportunities, especially in the oil and agriculture sectors. It’s a hub for blue-collar jobs.

3. Weather: With over 270 sunny days a year, Bakersfield’s climate is great for those who enjoy warm, sunny weather.

4. Outdoor Activities: Proximity to various natural attractions such as the Sequoia National Forest makes it easy for residents to engage in outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and fishing.

5. Family-Friendly: The city has many parks, recreational facilities, and family-oriented events making it a good place to raise children.

6. Cultural Diversity: Bakersfield has a diverse community with various cultural events celebrating different traditions and backgrounds.

7. Educational Institutions: The city boasts several quality schools and is home to California State University, Bakersfield.

8. Music Scene: Known as the birthplace of the Bakersfield Sound, a genre of country music, the city has a vibrant music scene with many live performances.

9. Healthcare Facilities: Bakersfield has numerous healthcare facilities that provide quality care services across different medical specialties.

10. Community Feel: Despite its size, Bakersfield retains a small-town feel where neighbors often know each other and community events are well-attended.


1. Air Quality: One significant downside is the poor air quality due to pollution from agriculture and oil production activities.

2. Weather Extremes: While the sunny weather is generally positive, summers can be extremely hot with temperatures often exceeding 100°F (38°C).

3. High Crime Rates: Certain areas of Bakersfield have higher crime rates compared to other parts of California.

4. Public Transportation: The public transportation system is not as developed as in bigger cities; hence owning a car is almost a necessity.

5. Limited Nightlife: For those who enjoy nightlife, options in Bakersfield are somewhat limited compared to larger metropolitan areas.

6. Educational Challenges: While there are good schools, some public schools in lower-income areas struggle with funding and resources.

7. Lack of High-End Shopping & Dining Options: The city lacks the variety of upscale shopping and dining experiences found in larger cities.

8. Traffic Congestion: Despite being smaller than major Californian cities, traffic congestion can still be an issue during peak hours.

9. Isolation from Major Cities: Although not far from Los Angeles or Fresno by car, it lacks the immediate access to big-city amenities without some travel involved.

10. Economic Dependence on Specific Sectors: The local economy heavily relies on oil and agriculture; downturns in these industries can significantly impact employment.

In conclusion, whether Bakersfield is a good place to live largely depends on individual priorities and lifestyle preferences.


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