This City Has Been Named the Worst City to live in California

California, renowned for its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture, isn’t immune to cities facing challenges that impact the quality of life. East Bakersfield, in particular, has gained the unenviable title of the worst city to live in California, according to financial news website 24/7 Wall St. The city grapples with various issues, contributing to its undesirable living conditions.

Alarming Poverty Rate

East Bakersfield contends with a staggering poverty rate of 44.8%, well exceeding the state average of 11.4%. Nearly half of the city’s residents live below the federal poverty line, set at $26,500 for a family of four in 2023. The median household income in East Bakersfield is a mere $29,200, significantly lower than the state median of $75,300.

This high poverty rate is linked to limited economic opportunities and educational attainment in the city. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 9.4% of adults in East Bakersfield hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, in stark contrast to the state’s 34.1%. Additionally, the city’s unemployment rate is notably higher at 6.8%, compared to the state average of 4.2%.

Escalating Crime Rates

East Bakersfield faces a significant challenge with its elevated crime rates, impacting the safety and well-being of its residents. FBI data reveals a violent crime rate of 1,038 per 100,000 residents in 2023, surpassing the state average of 241 per 100,000 residents. Violent crimes, including murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, are more prevalent in East Bakersfield.

The property crime rate in the city also exceeds the state average, with 4,462 incidents per 100,000 residents compared to 1,617 incidents per 100,000 residents statewide. This increases the likelihood of residents falling victim to either violent or property crimes, with odds at 1 in 17 compared to the state’s 1 in 38.

Troubling Drug-Induced Fatality Rate

Another concerning aspect of life in East Bakersfield is its elevated drug-induced fatality rate, reflecting a significant issue with substance abuse and addiction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the city recorded a rate of 32.7 drug-induced fatalities per 100,000 residents in 2023—more than double the state average of 14.6 per 100,000 residents.

These fatalities encompass deaths resulting from overdose, poisoning, or adverse effects of both legal and illegal drugs. The heightened drug-induced fatality rate underscores the severity of the city’s struggle with drug abuse, impacting health, social dynamics, and the local economy.


East Bakersfield grapples with multiple challenges, including high poverty, crime rates, and drug-induced fatalities. These factors collectively contribute to its designation as the worst city to live in California by 24/7 Wall St. While the city boasts some positive features, such as its proximity to the Kern River and the Sequoia National Forest, addressing these underlying issues is imperative to enhance the overall quality of life for its residents.

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