Kern Ranks 8th for Fastest Growing Metro in U.S.




It’s All About the Jobs

Some cities have it all: the jobs, the schools, the museums, the nightlife, you name it. They know the recipe for attractiveness. People come, and they stay — sometimes for good.

WalletHub identified the cities that have expanded most rapidly in socio-economic and “jobs and economic environment” terms between 2008 and 2013. After analyzing 516 U.S. cities of varying sizes across 10 key metrics, ranging from population growth rate to unemployment rate decrease, Kern’s Bakersfield MSA ranked 8th for Fastest Growing Large City in the U.S. and 29th for Overall Rank.

When looking at Kern County’s market, unemployment has fallen to 9.5% and GDP is up 1.2% which is highest in the Valley, outpacing Fresno by $2.7 billion!

This all equates to a healthy economy that allows for job creation especially when the population is young. Kern ranks 4th for industrial diversification, making it a dynamic and attractive place for new companies that will bring in new dollars (economic growth) and keep the population younger and more productive.


Fastest Growing Rank Large City Name Medium-Size City Name Small City Name
1 Austin, TX Irving, TX Mission, TX
2 Fort Worth, TX North Charleston, SC Edinburg, TX
3 New Orleans, LA East Los Angeles, CA Springdale, AR
4 Denver, CO Murfreesboro, TN Pharr, TX
5 San Antonio, TX San Angelo, TX Concord, NC
6 Corpus Christi, TX Grand Prairie, TX Greenville, NC
7 Washington, DC Columbia, MO Asheville, NC
8 Bakersfield, CA Charleston, SC League City, TX
9 Oklahoma City, OK Frisco, TX New Rochelle, NY
10 Columbus, OH Killeen, TX Lynn, MA



In order to identify the American cities that have grown the most rapidly in socio-economic terms, WalletHub examined data spanning 2008 to 2013 (except for the metrics “Uninsured Rate Decrease” and “Ratio of Full-Time to Part-Time Jobs Increase,” which, because of data limitations, were analyzed from the period spanning 2009 to 2013). We analyzed 516 U.S. cities of varying sizes across two key dimensions, including “socio-demographic landscape” as well as “jobs and economic environment.” We then identified 10 metrics that are relevant to those dimensions. The data set is listed below.

For this particular study, we categorized the cities based on the following population sizes:

  • Large cities: More than 300,000 people
  • Midsize cities: 100,000 to 300,000 people
  • Small cities: Less than 100,000 people

Please also note that “city” refers to city proper and excludes surrounding metro areas.

Socio-Demographic Landscape – Total Weight: 5

  • Population Growth: Full weight
  • Working-Aged Population Growth (measures growth of population between ages 16 and 64): Full weight
  • Educational Attainment Growth (measures growth of the percentage of people with at least a bachelor’s degree or higher): Full weight
  • Uninsured Rate Decrease: Half weight

Jobs and Economic Environment- Total Weight: 5

  • Median Household Income Growth: Full weight
  • Unemployment Rate Decrease: Full weight
  • Job Growth: Full weight
  • Poverty Rate Decrease: Full weight
  • Ratio of Full-Time to Part-Time Jobs Increase: Quarter weight
  • Growth of Regional GDP per Capita: Full weight


Click here for the results of this study, as well as additional insight from experts.

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