Los Angeles County Quality of Life Index
The Lewis Center hosts data and information for the Los Angeles County Quality of Life Index on behalf of the Los Angeles Initiative at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. All resources listed below are available to the public with the exception of the raw survey data, which is only available to members of the UCLA community. UCLA community members can access these data by using their single sign-on login after clicking the data link below.
The Quality of Life Index polls a cross-section of Los Angeles County residents each year to understand the public’s perception of the quality of their own lives. Respondents are asked to rate the quality of approximately 40 different aspects of life organized into nine different categories: public safety, education, intergroup relations, cost of living, transportation and traffic, jobs and the economy, health care, the environment, and neighborhoods. Respondents are also asked to rate the salience or importance of each item. Results are calculated into an index figure; the annual figure, as well as the individual rankings, can be compared over time. The index is not simply a mean satisfaction score, but rather a weighted measure that gives greater importance as the respondents rank them.
In addition to the quality of life questions, each survey addresses a small number of additional, timely issues. These have included hunger, homelessness, fears of being deported, gentrification, and other contemporaneous matters.
More detailed resources including mean score tables, ranked mean score tables, top line results, and crosstabs are publicly available through the Quality of Life Index online archive. Raw data is available for users at UCLA.
Note: Survey codes for the raw data are found in that year’s associated questionnaire.
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The Quality of Life Index was inspired by Meyer Luskin, the benefactor of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, and Zev Yaroslavsky, the director of the Luskin School’s Los Angeles Initiative. As a former member of both the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and LA City Council, Yaroslavsky wanted to create a survey to fill gaps in policymaker’s knowledge, asking, “How do we inform public policy makers about real people — their aspirations, their frustrations?” As an index, the survey data affords policymakers informative trend lines and points of comparison.