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Kern County, California

Kern County is a county located in the southern Central Valley of California, north of Los Angeles County. As of 2000 its population is 661,645. The county seat is Bakersfield.

The county has a large agricultural base and is a significant producer of energy. As well as oil and natural gas it is also noted for its mineral wealth including gold and Kernite, which was discovered in 1926.

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Geography According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 21,138 km² (8,161 mi²). 21,085 km² (8,141 mi²) of it is land and 53 km² (20 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.25% water.

Demographics As of the census of 2000, there are 661,645 people, 208,652 households, and 156,489 families residing in the county. The population density is 31/km² (81/mi²). There are 231,564 housing units at an average density of 11/km² (28/mi²). The racial makeup of the county is 61.60% White, 6.02% African American, 1.51% Native American, 3.37% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 23.22% from other races, and 4.14% from two or more races. 38.39% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 208,652 households out of which 42.20% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.60% are married couples living together, 14.50% have a female householder with no husband present, and 25.00% are non-families. 20.30% of all households are made up of individuals and 7.80% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 3.03 and the average family size is 3.50.

In the county the population is spread out with 31.90% under the age of 18, 10.20% from 18 to 24, 29.80% from 25 to 44, 18.70% from 45 to 64, and 9.40% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 31 years. For every 100 females there are 105.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 105.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county is $35,446, and the median income for a family is $39,403. Males have a median income of $38,097 versus $25,876 for females. The per capita income for the county is $15,760. 20.80% of the population and 16.80% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 27.80% are under the age of 18 and 10.50% are 65 or older.

Cities and Towns

Edwards Air Force Base[?] and China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station[?] are also located in Kern County.

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