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More Angelenos Want To Leave LA

A glittering nighttime view of downtown L.A.'s skyscrapers taken from Griffith Park
The Los Angeles skyline is seen from Griffith Observatory on April 18, 2020.
(Apu Gomes
AFP via Getty Images)
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In a new survey of L.A. residents, 10% of respondents said they're planning to move out of L.A. County in the next year. The results mark a 40% increase from 2019.

Researchers with the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research, spoke with 1,800 L.A. County residents over a two-month period to gauge their feelings about life in L.A. The survey quantified satisfaction with neighborhoods, housing, exposure to crime and more.

Angelenos, based on those factors, reported being less satisfied with their lives than other Californians, and other Americans. Average satisfaction among Angelenos was 4.3 on a scale of one to seven, while the average for both Californians and other Americans was 4.7.

Kyla Thomas, the study’s director, said that this data is cause for concern.

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“The 40% increase in the number of people who plan to leave Los Angeles in the coming year raises a red flag,” she said.

Another red flag: That gap between satisfaction rates reported by Angelenos (4.3) and other Americans (4.7) has doubled since 2019, when Angelenos reported a satisfaction rate of 4.4 compared to Californians’ and other Americans’ 4.6.

“It’s also worrisome that the gap in life satisfaction between L.A. County and the national average has grown,” she said.

Some good news out of the survey was a large drop in the number of people who said they'd been a crime victim or witnessed a crime in the last year. Angelenos were also less likely to say issues like crime, vandalism or substance abuse were common in their neighborhoods.

“The question is, will that persist?” said Thomas. “Our hypothesis is that this dip ... is very much linked to the effects of the pandemic — [with] fewer people on the streets, certain types of crime became less common.”

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