In Sunny Southern California, Some Find Life Is Getting Cloudy

In Los Angeles County, apparently sunshine isn’t enough to make one happy. Thanks largely to the high cost of living, Los Angeles County residents are generally less satisfied with

their lives than people across the nation, according to a USC study released Wednesday.

According to the LABarometer survey conducted by the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research, Angelenos are also less optimistic about the economy.

“Our first survey results show a resounding theme, which is that the high cost of living in Los Angeles largely dampens residents’ views on a range of measures, from life satisfaction to their economic outlook,” said Kyla Thomas, the director of LABarometer and a USC Dornsife CESR sociologist.

The study found that Los Angeles residents are overall slightly more satisfied than dissatisfied with their lives. Survey respondents reported having an average life satisfaction score of 4.4 on a scale of one to seven, with one being the least satisfied.

The study found that level of satisfaction is close to the state’s average, but Angelenos are slightly more dissatisfied with their lives compared to most Americans. The average national score is 4.6.

According to the report, respondents said personal finances are the most important factors for life satisfaction in Los Angeles County. Angelenos also reported being less satisfied with their personal finances compared to family life, their job, social lives, health, free time, and self-esteem, the study found.

Combined, the results suggest that dissatisfaction with personal finances may be a key reason that Angelenos report lower life satisfaction than other Americans, USC stated.

“We find that residents who are less satisfied with their financial situation tend to be less satisfied with their lives overall,” Thomas said.

Los Angeles has some of the highest rent and property values in the country, and as of recently, it has the highest gas prices in the nation, according to GasBuddy.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food prices in Los Angeles rose an average of 3.9% compared to last year. Energy prices rose 3.4%, largely the result of an increase in the price of electricity, according to BLS.

LABarometer surveys residents each quarter on issues such as transportation, the economy, and housing.

The first survey was conducted from July 19 through Sept. 30 and asked 1,700 Los Angeles County residents a series of questions about life satisfaction, housing circumstances and plans, neighborhood satisfaction, crime, and social connectedness.

According to USC, the survey had a 75% response rate.

LABarometer is funded by Union Bank.

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hifi5000
hifi5000
1 year ago

Living in California is getting more and more hard every year.House prices and rents are rising pretty fast and the great middle-class cannot keep up.It is coming down to either leaving the state or moving away from the coast.There is plenty of affordable housing outside the LA metro area if you look closely and long enough.I wonder who and where LABarometer called to do this survey with these results.

Three Links
1 year ago

Very sad to see what has happened to California over the years.

Oh no
Oh no
1 year ago

So sad what’s become of my hometown. It was a swell and magical place to grow up in the 60s & 70’s. I could go anywhere as a kid and be totally safe. Now it’s just tear everything down & build, similiar to what’s happened to SF Bay Area. And the homeless situation, mental health & addiction is so out of control & sad.

Eric Jon Schmidt
1 year ago

This is not a political issue. Neither party is to blame solely, but both should do more to help stop the dramatic gap between the wealthy and the poor. The comments about blaming the Democrats only serves to be divisive which contributes to the problem. The Democratic leadership of California is here to stay (in my prediction). The Democrats have and continue to help those who cannot have a “piece of the pie” because of low pay and high cost of living. Many of us take for granted what we have and believe others are not working hard enough to… Read more »

JF1
JF1
1 year ago

Our grandparents left us the Golden State and the ultra-liberal policies are leaving us a third would state. Very sad to see what has happened to California over the years. Very, very sad. And yet people keep voting these people in office with the very policies that have destroyed this state.

Will
Will
1 year ago
Reply to  JF1

Exactly! I am so glad I changed to a Republican. Texas is looking good compared to this mess. But I don’t want to live in homophobe-land. So I’m looking for gay Republicans to support in hopes they’ll flip the party and our state at the same time.

Oh no
Oh no
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

Don’t be so sure of Texas, theres a chance it’s leaning blue.

Will
Will
1 year ago

It’s so tragic that Democrats have destroyed this beautiful state. I miss Gov. Pete Wilson… And I never thought I’d say that…

enemyofthestate
enemyofthestate
1 year ago
Reply to  Will

Reading the first three comments, I’d say we are off to a good start. They speak the inconvenient truth.