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How Safe Is Your L.A. Zip Code?

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A new "community safety scorecard" compiled by a public policy group takes a look at each Los Angeles zip code. The scorecard, created by the Advancement Project and published by Miller-McCune, "assesses the factors that foster or fight violence in every community" in L.A.

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Map by The Advancement Project via Miller-McCune (view a larger version here)
Instead of just statistics, the scorecard aims to use analysis of both risk and protective factors to give a clearer picture of what struggles each community faces, particularly in disadvantaged areas.

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“The goal of this was really to say, if we’re going to try to share best practices, if we’re going to really take what we call a public health approach to violence — seeing violence as a disease — and be very prevention-oriented, then you really need to know what the symptoms are,” said Kaile Shilling, the director for the Violence Prevention Coalition.

104 Los Angeles County zip codes are ranked, and scored with letter grades based on crime data and quality of schools. "The risk factors include the percent of families in a given ZIP code living in poverty, the unemployment rate, the percent of single-parent households, and the percent of local students scoring below “basic” in English on standardized tests — all factors that can be quantified in hard numbers."

When it comes to protective factors, the scorecard considers information like "youth violence prevention nonprofit revenue per capita (as a measure of community resources available to a neighborhood) and active voting population statistics (as a signifier of community engagement)."

Top-ranking zips cover the central swath of L.A. County from 90210 (Beverly Hills) westward to the shore and 90290 (Topanga). The next level of safest zip codes includes the southern portion of the Valley, West Hollywood, Hollywood, and Mid-City, and the area near LAX, like Westchester. The least safe zip codes are from Vernon and southward immediately adjacent to the 110 Harbor Freeway, as well as a small area of zip codes at the southern end of Downtown, like 90021 and 90015.