The primary concern for residents of Los Angeles County is the cost of living, according to the recently released L.A. County Quality of Life Survey by the Lewis Center at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.
The survey, conducted among L.A. County residents in February and March by the Lewis Center, found that the overall satisfaction with quality of life rose two points to 55 from 53 last year. The environment category also rose four points to 58, with categories of neighborhoods, public safety, jobs and economy, transportation, and education all rising two points.
This reflects a modest improvement in the economy with California’s pandemic coming to an end last year, as well as an ease in burden as economic activity resumes, the institute said.
When asked about the “most important issue right now,” respondents voted cost of living (73%), followed by public safety (62%), health (58%), and jobs and the economy (57%). Notably, the percentage of respondents voting ‘cost of living’ as the most salient issue rose from 63% in 2021 to 69% last year and 73% earlier this year. Interest in education, on the other hand, dropped 10 percentage points in a year to 48%.
By race, Latinos (up 3 percentage points) and Asian-Americans (up 4 percentage points) saw slight improvements in satisfaction compared to a year ago. By gender, men were more satisfied at 56%, two percentage points higher than women.
When asked about factors affecting their quality of life, 94% cited inflation and the rise of basic living costs, while housing costs (82%), homelessness (73%), and climate change (71%) were also major factors.
When asked, “Have you worried about putting food on the table for your family in the past few years?” 25% said yes, with 37% of these respondents being black, 29% Latino, 17% white, and the lowest percentage of Asian-Americans at 16%.
In terms of neighborhoods, South L.A. (54%), the San Fernando Valley (53%), and the Westside (52%) showed lower rates than other neighborhoods when asked if they felt safe from violent crime. Additionally, 75% of residents said that the pandemic has “changed their lives in some fundamental way.”
The Lewis Institute surveyed 1,429 residents of Los Angeles County via telephone and online interviews, with a margin of error of ±2.6%.
BY INSEONG CHOI [firstname.lastname@example.org]