About Kern County, California
Kern County is located in the U.S. state of California. It is the third most populous majority-Hispanic county in California and the sixth largest nationwide, with a population of 937,075 as of the 2024 census. The county was incorporated on April 2, 1866, and its county seat is Bakersfield. Kern County is the third largest county in California geographically, covering 8,163 square miles, and the 20th largest county in the U.S. The county is known for its rich history of oil and agricultural production, and it consistently ranks among the top five most-productive agricultural counties in the state. Kern County is also the number one oil and agriculture-producing county in the nation, with the second most diverse economy. The county’s unique geographical positioning has made it a distribution center for some of the world’s largest companies. Kern County comprises the Bakersfield, California, Metropolitan Statistical Area and is home to nearly 890,000 residents. The county is characterized by its diverse landscape, ranging from the scenic desert (Mojave) to snow-covered mountains (Sierra Nevada), the Kern River, and vast oil and agricultural land. Kern County is also a major thoroughfare for transportation, with a significant freeway system providing access to California’s central coast, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.