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Bakersfield lies around 100 miles (160 km) north of Los Angeles (about a 1½-hour drive on I-5 and State Route 99) and about 300 mi (480 km) southeast of the state capital, Sacramento (about a 4½-hour drive on State Route 99).

Bakersfield has historically referred to its regions by directional names.

They include: North Bakersfield, Northeast, Southeast, South Bakersfield, Southwest, and Northwest.

East Bakersfield generally refers to the former town of Sumner (later renamed East Bakersfield).

The more built-up urban area that includes Bakersfield and areas immediately around the city, such as East Bakersfield, Oildale and Rosedale, has a population of approximately 464,000.

Following the discovery of gold in California in 1848, settlers flooded into the San Joaquin Valley.Between 19, Bakersfield grew 400% (from 70,000 to 347,483), Bakersfield's close proximity to mountain passes, primarily the Tejon Pass on Interstate 5 between the Los Angeles metropolis and the central San Joaquin Valley, has made the city a regional transportation hub. In 2010, the Bakersfield MSA had a gross metropolitan product of .466 billion, making it the 73rd largest metropolitan economy in the United States.Bakersfield lies near the southern "horseshoe" end of the San Joaquin Valley, with the southern tip of the Sierra Nevada just to the east.Wanting to fire him but fearing reprisals, they came up with a scheme to disincorporate, effectively leaving him without an employer.According to local historian Gilbert Gia By 1880, the town had a population of 801, and by 1890, it had a population of 2,626.