Top 10 Reasons to Do Business (and Live) in Kern County


Location, location, location!

Kern County is geographically the center of California’s population, making it accessible to nearly 40 million consumers.


#1 in Nation for Agriculture Production (Kern County Crop Report)

The area leads the nation in pistachio and almond production, with grapes, citrus and milk being a few of its largest commodities.


#2 Metro in Nation for Most Diversified Economy (WalletHub)

The Bakersfield MSA was ranked as the No. 2 large metro in the nation by WallHub for the most diversified economies. “More diversified economies are less volatile in terms of outputs, and lower output volatility is associated with higher economic growth,” according to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization. Diversification helps an economy protect investors’ portfolios, and make it less susceptible to the damaging effects of market volatility. Kern County’s diversification in its top five industries of transportation and logistics; energy and natural resources; value-added agriculture; healthcare services; and aerospace and defense help strengthen our local economy and create a healthy business environment.


#4 Metro for Architecture & Engineering Jobs (Adobo)

Abodo completed a cost and opportunity study of the best cities for architecture and engineering professionals, taking into account job density, median wages, and median rent. The Bakersfield MSA came in as #4 in the nation for the best income-to-rent ratio and #2 in California behind San Jose.


#5 Metro in U.S. for Upward Mobility (National Bureau of Economic Research)

Kern County is definitely the land of opportunity as it ranks #1 in U.S. for “Odds of Reaching Top Fifth Starting from the Bottom Fifth.” Greater mobility is associated with the following community characteristics: less segregation, less income inequality, better schools, greater social capital, and more stable families.


#8 Metro in Nation Where Salary Goes the Furthest ( listed the Bakersfield MSA as the No. 8 city in the nation where salaries go the furthest for job seekers. Bakersfield was also found to be No. 2 in the state for “biggest bang for your buck” behind Fresno (the only California cities in the top 10). Ventura, Los Angeles, and San Diego were ranked as some of the hardest metros for making ends meet.


Bakersfield #3 in Nation for Human Capital Availability (WalletHub)

WalletHub’s “2017’s Best Large Cities to Start a Business” study found that Bakersfield MSA is number three in the U.S. for human capital availability. “Human Capital” is defined as the economic value of an employee’s skill set. The concept of human capital finds that not all labor is equal and that the quality of employees can be improved by investing in them. Education, experience and abilities of employees have economic value for employers and for the economy as a whole, and Bakersfield possesses this in abundance.


#2 Oil-Producing County in the Nation

Kern is the No. 2 oil-producing county in the nation, yielding 134 million barrels of oil annually (according to 2016 DOGGR data). This amount represents 72% of California’s total oil production and a daily production of 367,000 barrels of oil!


#3 in Nation for Millennial Home Ownership (

While other cities saw a decrease in homeownership rates among Millennials decrease from 40% to about 32% over the past decade, the rate in Bakersfield increased 5% from its 2006 homeownership rate of approximately 35%.


Bakersfield College & CSU Bakersfield Named in Top 10 Rankings for Value of a Degree (Future Earnings) (Bookings Institution & The Washington Monthly)

Bakersfield College was ranked as as #1 in California and #6 in the nation for highest value added with respect to mid-career earnings for alumni by the Brookings Institution. Based on the information derived from sources, Brookings determined the average Bakersfield College graduate to earn $10,000 more than the predicted $56,957 as revealed by PayScale. California State University, Bakersfield was ranked in the top 10 for best master’s degree programs by The Washington Monthly, rising from the 87th position last year. CSU Bakersfield is ranked as No. 10 this year, with only two other California universities ranked in the top 10. The magazine also named CSU Bakersfield as No. 3 in the nation for social mobility as a part of its findings.



Read more about Kern County’s accolades HERE or in the 2018 Market Overview.