Bakersfield, a city in California, is home to approximately 390,000 residents. It is renowned for its oil and agriculture industries, as well as its rich musical heritage. However, Bakersfield has gained a reputation for being one of the United States’ most perilous cities due to its elevated levels of crime and violence.
According to NeighborhoodScout, Bakersfield has a crime rate of 46.6 per 1,000 residents, placing it higher than 93% of cities nationwide. The likelihood of falling victim to either a violent or property-related offense in Bakersfield stands at 1 in 21.
Additionally, CrimeGrade.org rates the city poorly, awarding it a D- grade for overall crime, violent crime, and property crime.
Nonetheless, it’s important to note that not all neighborhoods within Bakersfield possess the same level of risk. Certain areas exhibit lower crime rates and higher safety grades compared to others.
Considering information from various sources, here are seven neighborhoods in Bakersfield known for their elevated danger levels, which individuals should exercise caution in or avoid altogether.
1. Homaker Park
Homaker Park, located in the northwestern part of Bakersfield, is a neighborhood bordered by Norris Road, Airport Drive, and Chester Avenue. It has a predominantly Hispanic and African American population of approximately 5,000 residents.
According to RoadSnacks, Homaker Park is considered the most challenging neighborhood in Bakersfield, taking into account factors such as income, education, unemployment, and crime. The median income in the neighborhood stands at $24,000, which is less than half of the citywide average. Additionally, the poverty rate is high, reaching 40%, and the graduation rate is low, at 54%.
The crime rate in Homaker Park is alarmingly high, particularly concerning violent offenses like murder, rape, robbery, and assault. Based on information from NeighborhoodScout3, the neighborhood’s violent crime rate is 18.8 per 1,000 residents, surpassing the national average by over four times. The likelihood of falling victim to a violent crime in Homaker Park is 1 in 53.
2. East Bakersfield
East Bakersfield encompasses multiple neighborhoods located east of Highway 99, including Kern City, College Heights-Baker Street, Eastridge Estates, and Lakeview. It is a sizable area with a population of approximately 70,000 individuals, predominantly comprising Hispanic and white residents.
Regrettably, East Bakersfield is regarded as one of the more hazardous regions within Bakersfield, as indicated by VanLife Wanderer4’s observations, primarily due to the significant number of reported crimes. According to CrimeGrade.org1, East Bakersfield receives an F grade for overall crime and property crime, and a D- grade for violent crime. The area exhibits a crime rate of 85.9 per 1,000 residents, placing it higher than 99% of metropolitan areas across the country.
The prevalent offenses in East Bakersfield involve theft, burglary, and motor vehicle theft. Moreover, incidents of shootings, stabbings, and homicides occur with notable frequency. The likelihood of falling victim to either a violent or property crime in East Bakersfield stands at 1 in 12.
Oildale, located north of Bakersfield along the Kern River, is a neighborhood with approximately 35,000 residents, primarily consisting of white and Hispanic individuals.
However, Oildale is often cautioned against or advised to be approached with caution by VanLife Wanderer4 for those visiting Bakersfield. The neighborhood has gained a reputation for being dilapidated, unclean, and plagued by drug-related issues. Additionally, it experiences a high rate of criminal activity, particularly about violent offenses such as murder, rape, robbery, and assault.
According to NeighborhoodScout3, Oildale’s violent crime rate stands at 10 incidents per 1,000 residents, more than twice the national average. The likelihood of falling victim to a violent crime in Oildale is estimated to be 1 in 100.
4. Union Avenue
Union Avenue, a significant thoroughfare in the southern part of Bakersfield, serves as a connection between multiple neighborhoods, including Southgate, Benton Park, and Rexland Acres. With a population of approximately 50,000 individuals, Union Avenue is primarily inhabited by Hispanic and African American communities.
Unfortunately, Union Avenue has gained notoriety as a focal point for criminal activities and violence, as stated by VanLife Wanderer. The road and its surrounding areas have been plagued by issues such as gang-related incidents, drug-related problems, and instances of prostitution. Property crimes, including theft, burglary, and motor vehicle theft, are particularly prevalent along Union Avenue.
According to CrimeGrade.org1, Union Avenue has received a low grade of F for overall crime and property crime, while its grade for violent crime stands at D-. The area exhibits a high crime rate of 79.9 per 1,000 residents, surpassing the rates of 98% of other metropolitan regions in the country. The likelihood of falling victim to either a violent or property crime along Union Avenue is estimated to be 1 in 13.
Cottonwood, located in the southwestern part of Bakersfield, is a neighborhood bounded by White Lane, Wible Road, and South H Street. It has a population of approximately 6,000 residents, predominantly consisting of Hispanic and white individuals.
Regrettably, Cottonwood is classified as one of the poorest neighborhoods in Bakersfield by RoadSnacks2. This determination is based on several factors including income, education, unemployment, and crime.
The neighborhood’s median income stands at $29,000, which is less than half of the city’s average. Additionally, Cottonwood struggles with a high poverty rate of 35% and a low graduation rate of 58%.
Cottonwood also faces significant challenges in terms of crime, particularly violent offenses like murder, rape, robbery, and assault.
According to data from NeighborhoodScout, Cottonwood has a violent crime rate of 14.8 per 1,000 residents, which is more than three times higher than the national average. The likelihood of experiencing a violent crime in Cottonwood is approximately 1 in 68.
6. Flower Street
Flower Street, located in the central part of Bakersfield, serves as a thoroughfare connecting various neighborhoods including Oleander-Sunset, Downtown, and Riviera-Westchester. The street is inhabited by approximately 10,000 people, predominantly from Hispanic and white backgrounds.
However, it is important to note that Flower Street is an area cautioned against or advised to approach with caution by VanLife Wanderer for travelers visiting Bakersfield.
The locality, along with its surroundings, is unfortunately known for issues related to gangs, drugs, and homelessness. The crime rate in this vicinity is notably high, particularly concerning property crimes such as thefts, burglaries, and motor vehicle thefts.
Based on information from CrimeGrade.org, Flower Street receives an F grade for overall crime and property crime, and a D- grade for violent crime.
The area exhibits a crime rate of 75.8 incidents per 1,000 residents, placing it higher than 97% of metropolitan areas across the country. The likelihood of falling victim to either a violent or property crime along Flower Street stands at 1 in 13.
7. Edison Highway
Edison Highway, located in the eastern part of Bakersfield, serves as a thoroughfare connecting various neighborhoods, including East Bakersfield, Hillcrest, and Morning Drive. With a population of approximately 15,000 residents, the majority of the community consists of Hispanic and African American individuals.
However, it is important to note that Edison Highway has garnered a reputation, cautioned by VanLife Wanderer, as a road to avoid or exercise caution when visiting Bakersfield.
The area encompassing the road is notorious for its prevalence of gangs, drug-related activities, and instances of violence. Among the reported crimes, the incidence of violent offenses such as homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and physical assault remains alarmingly high.
As per statistics provided by NeighborhoodScout, the violent crime rate along Edison Highway stands at 12.4 incidents per 1,000 residents, which surpasses the national average by more than double. Consequently, the likelihood of falling victim to a violent crime along Edison Highway is estimated at 1 in 81 individuals.
Bakersfield is a city with many attractions and opportunities, but it also has many dangers and risks. Some neighborhoods in Bakersfield are safer than others, but some are very unsafe and should be avoided or approached with caution.
These are the seven most dangerous neighborhoods in Bakersfield that you should know about before visiting or moving to the city:
- Homaker Park
- East Bakersfield
- Union Avenue
- Flower Street
- Edison Highway
If you have to visit or live in these areas, be aware of your surroundings, lock your doors and windows, avoid walking alone at night, and report any suspicious activity to the police.
Stay safe and enjoy your time in Bakersfield!