Images, clockwise from top: A panoramic view of Bakersfield in 2008, taken from Stockdale Tower, the tallest building in the city, facing east/northeast: The office buildings in the foreground make up a mini financial district and regional offices for many oil companies that operate in the region; the major street to their right is California Avenue.
Towards the upper right is downtown Bakersfield, marked by the black-with-white-roof Truxtun Tower (the second tallest building in the city). city in the San Joaquin Valley of California, where it sits on the southern end of the Central Valley within the Kern County boundaries.
Downtown Bakersfield in June 2003, with City Hall and Police Headquarters on the left and Hall of Records on the right. Bakersfield's population is around 375,000, and is the third largest county in California by area.
The total Bakersfield inner urban area, which includes East Bakersfield and Rosedale, has a population of about 464,000.
Bakersfield is in Kern County which is generally considered part of Southern California and shares its southern border with Los Angeles County.
However, many residents consider Bakersfield to be more a part of Central California as it is near Kings and Tulare counties and is a hub for agriculture and oil production.
Bakersfield is the focal point of the larger Bakersfield-Delano, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is coextensive with Kern County.
In 2010, it had a population of 839,631, making it the 62nd largest metropolitan area in United States.
along the branches of the Kern River Delta and hunted antelope, tule elk, deer, bear, fish, and game birds.
In 1776, Spanish missionary Father Francisco Garcés became the first European to explore the area.
Owing to the remoteness and inaccessibility of the region, however, the Yokuts remained largely isolated until after the Mexican War of Independence, when Mexican settlers began to migrate to the area.