Bakersfield, California, stands out as a prime destination for those considering a new place to call home. Known for its unique blend of urban amenities and rural charm, Bakersfield offers a compelling mix of affordability, diversity, and quality of life. The decision to move to Bakersfield brings with it numerous advantages, from lower living costs to a burgeoning cultural scene.


Bakersfield, California, stands out for its affordability, especially when compared to many other cities within the state. In recent analyses, Bakersfield has been highlighted as one of the top five most affordable major U.S. cities for housing. 

As of early 2024, the median home value in Bakersfield was estimated at $380,862, showing a 5.0% increase from the previous year, signaling a steady appreciation in home values and a vibrant real estate market that balances the interests of both buyers and sellers.

Despite California’s generally high cost of living and housing market challenges, Bakersfield offers a more accessible entry point into homeownership. The median sale price for homes in the area was around $358,333 at the beginning of 2024, with the average family needing to allocate only about 22.27% of their income to cover housing costs, which is considerably lower than many other areas in California. 

This relative affordability is bolstered by the city’s ongoing population growth and the robust demand in its housing market, making it an attractive place for both living and investment.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Bakersfield, California, reflects a blend of affordability and above-average expenses in certain areas when compared to both national and state averages. Housing in Bakersfield presents a mixed scenario: the median home price as of 2024 stands at approximately $385,000, which is significantly less than the average California home but aligns closely with the national average. 

Rental prices are also relatively affordable; a two-bedroom home typically rents for about $1,356, which is 7% below the national average. This relatively lower housing cost contributes to Bakersfield’s reputation as an accessible place for homebuyers and renters alike.

Despite the affordable housing market, other living expenses in Bakersfield can add up. Utilities, for instance, are 58% higher than the national average, significantly impacting monthly budgets. The cost of groceries and transportation also exceeds the national average by 10% each. 

For instance, average monthly expenses for utilities like electricity and phone can reach up to around $280 and $300, respectively. Gasoline prices hover around $3.95 per gallon, aligning closely with broader state trends but still representing a higher outlay when compared to many other U.S. cities. This makes Bakersfield a city where housing affordability is balanced by higher costs in other essential areas, affecting overall living expenses.

Job Opportunities

The job market in Bakersfield, California, has been experiencing fluctuations with a general upward trend in employment opportunities. As of late 2023, there has been a noticeable increase in jobs, with total employment reaching new heights. 

Specifically, the Current Employment Statistics (CES) recorded around 293,900 employed individuals in November 2023. This represents a steady climb from earlier months, highlighting ongoing job creation and economic activity in the region.

Additionally, Bakersfield’s job market is diversified with opportunities across various sectors. Notably, significant employers include Amazon which offers a range of positions from hourly roles to specialized careers, reflecting the city’s growing appeal to major businesses and industries. 

Local government and public service jobs are also prominent, with positions available in law enforcement and city administration which aim to enhance community services and safety. This diversity in job opportunities makes Bakersfield an attractive destination for those seeking stable employment in a variety of fields.

Educational Opportunities

Bakersfield offers a range of educational opportunities, particularly noted for its comprehensive programs at California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB). The university provides a diverse array of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, with notable emphasis on educational leadership. 

CSUB’s Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership is designed to prepare educational leaders for diverse environments, focusing on P-12 and higher education administration. This program not only highlights the university’s commitment to academic excellence but also addresses local and regional educational challenges, fostering community engagement and transformative leadership.

In addition to university-level education, Bakersfield is also home to innovative educational tools like the Program Pathways Mapper (PPM). This tool aids students in navigating their educational journeys effectively by providing clear, visual maps of college programs and transfer requirements. 

It’s particularly useful in enhancing student understanding of their academic pathways, helping boost completion rates, and streamlining their educational experiences. The use of such advanced resources reflects Bakersfield’s dedication to improving educational access and outcomes, ensuring students are well-prepared to meet their academic and career goals.

Health and Safety

In Bakersfield, health and safety initiatives are managed diligently to cater to a growing and diverse population. The Kern County Public Health Department actively monitors public health concerns, including communicable diseases like COVID-19, valley fever, and sexually transmitted diseases. 

Their comprehensive approach includes various programs such as immunizations for children and teens, women’s health services, and preventative programs aimed at reducing chronic and environmental diseases.

Moreover, the Bakersfield Police Department contributes to public safety by addressing crime, managing traffic safety, and engaging in community policing efforts to ensure a secure environment for all residents. 

Their focus extends to educational programs on safety, emergency preparedness, and specific initiatives designed to improve interactions between the police force and the community. 

Together, these departments play a crucial role in maintaining the well-being and security of Bakersfield’s residents, emphasizing prevention, community outreach, and strategic planning to address public health and safety challenges.

Safety in Various Neighborhoods

Safety varies significantly across different neighborhoods in Bakersfield, influenced by various socio-economic factors and crime rates. Some parts of the city, like Hillcrest, Casa Loma, and The Oaks, are regarded as safer areas, showing significantly lower crime rates compared to Bakersfield’s average. 

For example, neighborhoods such as Hillcrest and Casa Loma report crime rates that are 74% and 72% lower than the city average, respectively. These areas are highlighted for their lower incidences of both violent and property crimes, which contributes to their reputation as safer places within the city.

Conversely, certain neighborhoods face higher crime rates and are considered more dangerous. Areas like Lakeview and East Bakersfield experience violent crime rates substantially higher than the city’s average—up to 357% and 232% higher, respectively. 

These neighborhoods struggle with elevated levels of violent crimes, including assaults and robberies, which are significantly higher than other parts of Bakersfield. The crime rates in these areas underscore the challenges faced by residents and the need for targeted interventions to enhance safety and community well-being.


Relocating to Bakersfield, California, presents an outstanding opportunity to enjoy an enhanced quality of life in a place where the cost of living remains more manageable than in many other parts of the state. 

Bakersfield is not only a hub of rich cultural diversity and vibrant community activities but also offers the tranquility of a smaller city combined with the conveniences of urban life. Whether you are pursuing new professional opportunities, seeking a nurturing environment for your family, or desiring a new backdrop for your life’s next chapter, Bakersfield stands out as a top choice.

Moreover, the transition to this inviting city can be seamless with the assistance of a professional Bakersfield moving company. These local experts provide tailored services to ensure your relocation process is smooth and stress-free, handling everything from packing to transportation. This support allows you to focus on settling into your new home and exploring what Bakersfield has to offer—from its scenic parks and trails to its lively festivals and events. 

Published by HOLR Magazine.

Comments are closed.