For a growing percentage of Angelenos, neighborhood living expenses are rising
Life is getting more expensive for many Angelenos, according to a recent USC Dornsife LABarometer survey. (Image source: iStock.)

For a growing percentage of Angelenos, neighborhood living expenses are rising

USC Dornsife’s latest LABarometer survey on affordability and prosperity in Los Angeles finds that more than half the county experienced rising costs for local goods and services as well as housing in 2021 — up from 38% in 2020.
ByJim Key

Last year, roughly 3 of 4 Los Angeles County residents experienced some form of change in their neighborhood, nearly the same number as in 2020. What did vary is the type of changes they experienced from year-to-year, according to the latest USC Dornsife LABarometer survey regarding affordability and prosperity in L.A.

  • Slightly more than half of L.A. County residents said that the costs for housing, goods and services in their neighborhood were higher in 2021  up about 15 percentage points from 2020.
  • The percentage who reported new home development or construction in their neighborhood rose at least 8 points to about 33%.
  • The number who said that expensive new stores and restaurants opened in their neighborhood increased 7 points to 15%.

So, what neighborhood changes were less common last year than in 2020? The percentage who reported restaurant and store closures decreased 14 points to 37%.

“The upside of these results is that they signal economic growth in L.A.,” said Kyla Thomas, director of LABarometer at the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research.

“The obvious downside is that they’re indicators of a population increasingly burdened by the forces of upscaling and inflation.”

The survey’s other top findings include changes in:

  • percentage of parents homeschooling their kids
  • percentage of Angelenos delaying medical care because of cost
  • prevalence of food insecurity

About the USC Dornsife LABarometer
LABarometer is a quarterly, internet-based survey of approximately 1,750 randomly selected L.A. County residents, designed and administered by the USC Dornsife Center for Economic and Social Research. The survey monitors social conditions with a focus on four key issues: livability, mobility, sustainability and resilience, and affordability and prosperity.

By following the same residents over time, LABarometer aims to capture trends and shifts in residents’ attitudes and circumstances, allowing decision-makers in the public and private sectors to better understand the evolving lives and needs of L.A. County residents.