Overview

LABarometer is a research center housed at the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR). We conduct basic and applied social science research on issues affecting Los Angeles County residents, with the aim of informing academic research, public discourse, and policy. At the heart of our research is the LABarometer Panel, a probability-based Internet survey panel of approximately 2,000 adults randomly selected from households throughout Los Angeles County. The LABarometer Panel is a sub-panel of the Understanding America Study.

LABarometer has three ongoing data collection efforts:

LABarometer surveys are fielded to the LABarometer Panel on a biannual basis to monitor social and economic conditions in Los Angeles County. These longitudinal surveys focus on four dimensions of individual and community well-being: livability, affordability, mobility, and sustainability. LABarometer surveys include questions about residents’ lives, their attitudes and behaviors, and the challenges they encounter in their communities, filling data gaps on topics ranging from housing insecurity and climate resilience to transportation behavior and the economy.

COVID-19 tracking surveys are fielded to the LABarometer panel as part of a national survey effort called Understanding Coronavirus in America. This longitudinal survey was launched in March 2020 to track the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on U.S. residents. Surveys cover a number of topics related to COVID-19, including health-related attitudes, preventive health behavior, mental and physical health, employment, discrimination, family, and education.

Our Contextual Database includes hundreds of Los Angeles County neighborhood environment measures culled from administrative and geospatial data sources. These data can be downloaded and used on their own to explore neighborhood conditions in Los Angeles or linked to LABarometer survey data to enrich survey analysis.

The Survey

  • LABarometer surveys are fielded to the LABarometer Panel on a biannual basis to monitor social and economic conditions in Los Angeles County.

    From 2019 to 2022, LABarometer survey waves comprised four surveys, fielded three to six months apart. The surveys covered the following topics: Livability, Mobility, Sustainability & Resilience, and Affordability & Prosperity. In 2022, LABarometer moved to a biannual survey frequency and these four surveys were combined and reduced in size to the following two surveys:

    Links to our survey data and documentation are included under Data. For a comprehensive and harmonized longitudinal data file of our completed LABarometer survey waves, see Longitudinal Data. For individual survey datasets, see Individual Survey Data.

    UAS registration is required to download any LABarometer data. To become a registered user, please visit the UAS registration page and create an account.

  • The LABarometer survey on Livability & Affordability survey tracks neighborhood livability and affordability stress in Los Angeles County, guided by the principle that a livable neighborhood is in one in which residents feel happy, healthy, safe, socially connected, and have access to affordable goods, services, and amenities. The survey covers the following topics: life satisfaction, stress, housing quality and plans, neighborhood satisfaction, crime and safety, social engagement, as well as the accessibility and affordability of four key resources in Los Angeles County – housing, healthcare, food, and education. The survey also includes LABarometer’s consumer sentiment index, a set of six questions designed to monitor individual finances and the economy.

  • The LABarometer survey on Mobility & Sustainability tracks environmental sustainability, transportation behavior, and community resilience in Los Angeles County, inspired by efforts to reduce automobile congestion, minimize environmental impacts, and increase the county’s resilience to climate change. The survey covers a number of topics, including heat and pollution exposure, natural disaster preparedness, pro-environmental behavior, transportation sentiment, transportation access and behavior, and the steps Los Angeles County residents may take to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The survey also includes LABarometer’s consumer sentiment index, a set of six questions designed to monitor individual finances and the economy.

  • In addition to these four issues of focus, all LABarometer surveys include our Consumer Sentiment Index, a set of six questions designed to track optimism about personal finances and the economy.  Lastly, and as needed, space is allocated for miscellaneous, time-sensitive, or follow-up questions.

The Panel

  • The LABarometer survey panel is an internet panel of approximately 1,800 non-institutionalized adults living in households throughout Los Angeles County. It is a sub-panel of the Understanding America Study, a national internet panel managed by the Center for Economic and Social Research at USC. Households are randomly selected into the panel through address-based sampling using postal codes. Average response rates for individual surveys are 70-80%.

    All surveys are distributed online in English and in Spanish and are mobile-friendly. To participate in a survey, panel members can use any computer, cell phone, or tablet with Internet access. The majority of panel members have their own internet access, but internet access is not a barrier to panel entry. Panel members who do not have access to internet are provided with an internet-enabled tablet to ensure their regular participation in our surveys.

    For more information about LABarometer’s survey panel, including up-to-date demographic information, recruitment and retainment procedures, standard variables, and survey weights, please see our LABarometer Panel Information sheet.

Data

  • The LABarometer Longitudinal File is a comprehensive and harmonized dataset containing all completed waves of LABarometer Survey data. Variable names have been harmonized, allowing easy longitudinal analysis. For the vast majority of cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, this longitudinal file will be the dataset of choice.

    Follow the “Data” link below and you will be taken to a page on the UAS site where you can download the LABarometer Londigudinal File (available in Stata and cs file formats). Click on the codebook link to download the longitudinal file codebook directly.

    The LABarometer survey panel is a sub-panel of the Understanding America Study (UAS) which has now fielded two complete waves. You can follow the Data & Codebook links below to view the codebook and metadata for each survey and to download the datasets. You can also visit LABarometer’s data page on the UAS website for direct data download links.​

    LABarometer Longitudinal File – Data

    LABarometer Longitudinal File – Codebook (direct download)

  • For individual survey datasets, you can follow the Data & Codebook links below to view the codebook and metadata and to download individual survey datasets. You can also visit LABarometer’s data page on the UAS website for direct data download links.
    Note that each LABarometer survey has a UAS survey number as LABarometer is a sub-panel of the Understanding America Study.
    WAVE 1
    – Livability Survey (July 19, 2019 – September 30, 2019) – UAS 194 – Data & Codebook
    – Livability Survey Complement (August 12, 2019 – September 08, 2019) – UAS 199 – Data & Codebook
    – Supplemental questions were included in the UAS 199 satisfaction, neighborhood, and financial sections; fielded to the national panel
    – Mobility Survey (December 11, 2019 – February 7, 2020) – UAS 219 – Data & Codebook
    – Sustainability Survey (June 03, 2020 – July 13, 2020) – UAS 286 – Data & Codebook
    – Affordability Survey (September 30, 2020 – November 1, 2020) – UAS 312 – Data & Codebook
    WAVE 2
    – Livability Survey (November 9, 2020 – January 7, 2021) – UAS 320 – Data & Codebook 
    – Mobility Survey (March 2, 2021 – April 30, 2021) – UAS 379 – Data & Codebook
    – Sustainability Survey (July 19, 2021 – September 5, 2021) – UAS 363 – Data & Codebook
    – Affordability Survey (October 14, 2021 – January 9, 2022)  – UAS 403 – Data & Codebook 
    WAVE 3
    – Livability & Affordability Survey (June 6, 2022 – September 4, 2022 – UAS 468 – Data & Codebook
    – Mobility & Sustainability Survey (January 27, 2023 – March 31, 2023 – UAS 510 – Data & Codebook

Team

Kyla Thomas

Director of LABarometer

Sociologist

kylathom@usc.edu

Arie Kapteyn

Executive Director of CESR

kapteyn@usc.edu

Tania Gutsche

Co-Director of CESR

Understanding America Study Manager

tgutsche@usc.edu

Data Analyst and Survey Methodologist

Economist

angrisan@usc.edu

Ying Liu

Contextual Data Scientist

Statistician

liu.ying@usc.edu

Evan Sandlin

Data Analyst

Political Scientist

esandlin@usc.edu

Reports and Releases

For key results from each survey, check out our Top 5 Takeaways.  For a comprehensive analysis of the results, we recommend the Full Report. For survey questions and basic summary statistics, please click on the Topline.

WAVE 1
Livability Mobility Sustainability Affordability
Top 5 Takeaways Top 5 Takeaways Top 5 Takeaways Top 5 Takeaways
Full report Full report Full report Full report
Topline Topline Topline Topline
Topline Supplement
WAVE 2
Livability Mobility Sustainability Affordability
Top 5 Takeaways Top 5 Takeaways Top 5 Takeaways Top 5 Takeaways
Topline 1

Topline 2

Topline Topline Topline
WAVE 3
Livability & Affordability Mobility & Sustainability
Top 5 Takeaways Tracking Report
Topline Topline

 

Press Releases

WAVE 1 WAVE 2 WAVE 3
Livability – USC Press Release, October 2019 Livability – USC Press Release, June 2021 Livability – USC Press Release, November 3, 2022
Mobility – USC Press Release, February 2020 Sustainability – USC Press Release, December 2021
Sustainability – USC Press Release, September 2020 Affordability – USC Press Release, May 2022
Affordability – USC Press Release, February 2021

 

Contact Us

LABarometer

Other Inquiries

If you would like to learn more about LABarometer or have any specific questions, please contact us using the information below.

Email
General inquiries: labarometer-l@usc.edu
Survey weight inquiries: uas-weights-l@mymaillists.usc.edu

Phone
213.821.8923 (phone)
213.821.2716 (fax)

Services and Pricing

If your organization is interested in buying into an LABarometer survey or fielding your own survey to our panel of Los Angeles County residents, we offer a simple pricing structure based on the estimated time a survey takes to complete.

Our team of experts is available for additional activities as well, including the following services: questionnaire design, testing, human subjects research advising, application development, visual displays, graphical interface, sample management design. These are priced based upon time estimates of our programming and research staff.

For pricing information, please refer to the Understanding America Study’s Services and Pricing page, or contact us directly at labarometer-l@usc.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

For answers to the most frequently asked questions about LABarometer, please see our FAQ sheet.