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Annual UCLA Survey Reveals Record Low Quality of Life Rating Among LA County Residents

LOS ANGELES (KABC) – The exorbitant cost of living in Los Angeles County has driven residents’ satisfaction levels to an all-time low, with some renters expressing concerns about the looming threat of homelessness, as revealed by an annual survey conducted by UCLA.

The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs’ Quality of Life Index (QLI) collects feedback across nine primary categories and approximately 40 subcategories to generate an overall satisfaction score. This year, the survey encompassed responses from around 1,700 individuals.

Survey Findings:

The survey results indicate that 26% of respondents harbor fears of potential homelessness, with 37% of them being renters.

The overall satisfaction rating for this year dropped by two points compared to the previous year, settling at 53 on a scale ranging from 10 to 100. This marks the second instance in three years where the rating has dipped below the midpoint of 55, signifying a prevailing sense of dissatisfaction among the majority of participants.

Ken Tran, a resident of L.A. County, voiced the prevailing sentiment, noting, “It’s tough. You think about it… me and my fiancé have great jobs. We are fairly compensated, but expenses are soaring, especially housing costs.”

Zev Yaroslavsky, the study’s director, highlighted that renters are disproportionately affected by economic strains and inflationary pressures. Nearly six out of ten respondents (59%) identified housing as the most critical factor influencing their satisfaction levels.

Yaroslavsky emphasized, “People are expressing discontent with their quality of life, primarily due to the soaring cost of living, particularly housing expenses. This year’s rating is the lowest we have recorded in the nine years of conducting this survey. Affording life in L.A. is becoming increasingly challenging, especially in terms of housing affordability. Familiar quality of life issues persist, compounded by the impact of inflation on everyone’s earnings.”

The study further reveals that 65% of individuals have felt significant repercussions from the escalating costs of food and groceries, while 56% have cited the rising housing expenses as a key factor affecting their quality of life.

Yaroslavsky also noted, “75% of renters have lost hope of ever owning a home, a stark contrast to previous generations’ aspirations. The belief that hard work would lead to homeownership is fading.”

Silver Linings:

Despite the prevailing concerns, the QLI highlighted positive ratings for intergroup relations across different races, ethnicities, and religions, as well as satisfaction levels regarding healthcare. The top-rated aspect was residents’ sentiments about their own neighborhoods, provided they can sustain living there amidst the escalating costs.

The data for this year’s QLI was collected through interviews conducted in both English and Spanish, engaging 1,686 county residents from February 22 to March 14.

The comprehensive report was unveiled during UCLA’s Luskin Summit. For more information about the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, please refer to their official resources.

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