The small city of Taft, CA is a great community in the foothills of San Joaquin Valley that is located about 36 miles southwest of Bakersfield. It is bordered by Ford City, South Taft, Taft Heights, Maricopa, Buttonwillow, Cuyama, Derby Acres, Dustin Acres, Fellows, McKittrick, New Cuyama, Tupman, and Valley Acres.
What is now called Taft was originally named Siding Number Two and was a quick stop along the Sunset Railroad. In 1900, locals requested to change the name to “Moro” but the railroad company chose to name it “Moron” instead, which didn’t have the same meaning back then as it does today.
The city was officially incorporated as a city in November 1910 and was renamed Taft after William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States.
Taft has long been known for its strong history in the oil industry as an area that produces petroleum as well as natural gas. It remains one of the few places in the US that stands because of its oil reserves.
Notable people who you may recognize have lived in Taft over the years include actress Jeanne Cooper, sculptor Benjamin Victor, guitarist Ryan Shuck, and Motorcyclist magazine publisher Bill Bagnall.
Many people moving to Taft discover that it’s a great place to live with plenty of amenities and activities to enjoy across town.
1. People Living in Taft, CA – Population & Demographics
How many people live in Taft? While it is still a fairly small city, the local residency has doubled since the 1970s with people relocating to Taft each year. The current population in Taft is 9,372 people with a median age of 35 years old.
As an area that is gradually becoming more diverse, Taft demographics include 56% Caucasian, 36% Hispanic or Latino, 3% Asian, and 1% Black or African American. Men outnumber women in the city with a gender ratio of 56% male and 44% female. The median household income in Taft is $45,197 per year.
Is Taft a safe place to live? The crime rate in Taft is 23% higher than the national average and 12% higher than the California average. However, for the most part, Taft is a safe place to live.
The local Taft Police Department has 14 police officers who serve and protect residents living in the community.
2. Cost of Living in Taft, CA
How much does it cost to live in Taft, CA? The average cost of living in Taft is about 15% lower than the national average and 64% lower than the California state average. Local utilities in the city tend to be the only higher cost, while other expenses like the Taft real estate market, healthcare, groceries, and transportation are less. For California, Taft is definitely an affordable place to live.
The homeownership rate in Taft is 57.1% as just over half of locals buy versus renting. Taft, CA homes for sale make up a mildly competitive market as most tend to sell in a matter of only a few days. The average price of a home in Taft is $182,000, which is a median sale price of $136 per square foot.
Taft’s property tax rate is 1%, so a $182,000 home would have about $1,820 per year in property taxes.
Nearly 43% of people residing in Taft rent instead of purchasing property. The average price of rent in Taft is $807 per month.
3. Taft Neighborhoods | Where to Live in Taft
Where should you live in Taft? With safe and comfortable options all over the city, a few of the best neighborhoods in Taft include:
- Buena Vista
- Heritage Park
Taft operates numerous parks and other outdoor activities at sports complexes, skate parks, dog runs, and more. These fun locations are maintained and watched over by the West Side Recreation & Park District.
If you’re on the lookout for convenient shopping in Taft, the best places in town are Albertsons, Starbucks, Dollar General, and Pilot Plaza.
Taft is 119 miles from downtown Los Angeles. It is a two-hour drive from Taft to Los Angeles. It is about 36 miles and takes 40 minutes to get from Taft to Bakersfield.
4. Taft, CA Weather & Climate
As a mostly desert area, there is an arid subtropical climate in Taft. You won’t have to keep an umbrella around all that often since the city only gets about 6.5 inches of rain per year. Local Taft weather is mostly sunny days with some occasional cloud cover from time to time.
The average temperature in Taft is hot and dry during summertime, reaching highs that get over 100°F and then dip into the mid-60s at night. Winters can cool off a bit in the colder months as average temps stay between the low 40s and upper 50s.
5. Things to Do in Taft
Plenty of fun places to visit, local points of interest, and unique outdoor activities are available all over town in Taft.
West Side Recreation & Park
A can’t miss thing to do in Taft is to visit the West Side Recreation & Park, a top-rated destination for people of all ages. As one of the best places to visit, the recreation center has everything from bowling and basketball courts to volleyball courts, a fitness center, and outdoor gardens.
West Side Recreation & Park, 500 Cascade Pl, Taft, CA 93268 (661) 763-4246
If you’re ready to catch some air in a whole new way, make sure you head over to Skydive Taft. This popular attraction in Taft offers people the chance to go tandem skydiving and if you like it enough, they’ll even train you to go solo.
Skydive Taft, 500 Airport Rd, Taft, CA 93268 (661) 765-5867
Additional Taft Attractions
- West Kern Oil Museum, 1168 Wood St, Taft, CA 93268
- Fort Preservation Society, 915 N 10th St STE 2, Taft, CA 93268
6. Taft Restaurants
Grab a bite to eat at the best restaurants in Taft with some great options like these two local spots.
Tacos Y Mariscos Casa Tavarez
One of Taft’s top-rated places to eat is Tacos Y Mariscos Casa Tavarez, a Mexican restaurant with an all-day menu. They offer a great selection of cuisine including breakfast burritos, tacos, chimichangas, fajitas, seafood, fish plates, and much more.
Tacos Y Mariscos Casa Tavarez, 330 Kern St, Taft, CA 93268 (661) 745-4898
Jo’s Family Restaurant
Among the best restaurants in Taft, Jo’s Family Restaurant is a household name for people living in the area. They have a mouthwatering menu of American comfort food options like burgers, fried chicken, pork chops, chicken fried steak, top sirloin, chili, chicken strips, and others.
Jo’s Restaurant, 510 Kern St, Taft, CA 93268 (661) 763-4621
7. Jobs in Taft
The average salary in Taft is $62,000 per year. There is an 8.0% state income tax rate. The 11.1% Taft unemployment rate is more than twice the current national average.
The best Taft jobs can be found with a variety of reputable local employers around the city. Some of the top places to work in Taft are:
- Clinica Sierra Vista
- Bolthouse Farms
- Esparza Enterprises
- Continental Labor & Staffing Resources
8. Taft Schools
Adding up to about 31% of the population, there are over 2,905 kids between the ages of 0 and 18 years old living in Taft. Between its safe communities and the reputable Taft City School District, Taft is an excellent place for families to live.
If you’re moving to the area with children, the most trusted schools in Taft worth a look are:
- Conley Elementary School
- Jefferson Elementary School
- Lincoln Junior High School
- Taft Union High School
A couple of top-rated colleges and universities near Taft are California State University–Bakersfield as well as Bakersfield College.
The free Kern County Library is accessible to all residents living in Taft, offering book and movie rentals.
9. Taft Statistics & Information
Taft covers a geographical area of 15.26 square miles along the southwest border of Kern County in California. The zip codes are 93252 and 93268. A new phone number in the community will have a 661 area code.
The time zone in Taft is Pacific Standard Time (PST), but it shifts to Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) during daylight savings time.
The elevation in Taft is 955 feet above sea level.
Map of Taft, CA
This Taft map is a great resource if you’d like to learn more about what the city has to offer and what it’s like living there.
Tips for Living in Taft
- The cost of living in Taft is considered very low, especially by California standards.
- Don’t expect a lot of rainfall as local weather tends to stay pretty dry and arid throughout the year.
- Thanks to its easy access to Bakersfield, living in Taft means you get a small-town lifestyle while still being close to the bigger city.
Moving to Taft, CA
Have you found enough reasons to move to Taft? As soon as you decide this quiet, cozy city is the place for you and your family, the next step is to hire a team of top-rated Taft movers like Mentors Moving. Get in touch with us today at tel:+16612156023 or fill out the Request a Quote form on this page for a free moving estimate!