At Apartment List, we know that people care about a lot of factors when they’re searching for a home. Everyone wants a great apartment at a great price, but families look for different things in a city than young singles.

Last year, we released our list of the best cities for young families; this year, we refreshed our analysis with the latest and greatest data to help you make the best decision for your homebuyers. This report is specifically tailored for Los Angeles.

The Apartment List methodology

Our analysis centered around the four factors that we identified as being important to families:

  • Safety (35 percent): We used FBI data to rank cities by the number of violent crimes and property crimes per 100,000 residents.
  • Housing cost (30 percent): We used census data to calculate the percentage of the median renter income required to rent a 2-bedroom apartment.
  • School quality (25 percent): Cities were ranked on high school graduation rate for public school districts based in that city. Comparing schools across different states can be challenging, but using high school graduation rate data from the Department of Education gives us a good estimate of overall school quality.
  • Child friendliness (10 percent): Communities with a greater percentage of children tend to be more child friendly, so we used census data to score cities based on the percentage of the population that’s under 18.

We weighted these factors using the percentages listed above, and used this index to assign grades and rankings to the nearly 500 cities in our study.

Los Angeles family-friendly factor

Los Angeles’ scores were as follows:

  • Crime score: 68.5
  • Child score: 32.3
  • Education score: 12.4
  • Housing score: 12.7
  • Total score: 34.1

Los Angeles’ best score was its crime score, with about 2,618 crimes being committed per 100,000 people.

Next best was its child score, with 22 percent of the city’s population being under the age of 18. This makes Los Angeles 9 percent more child-friendly than California’s other major city, San Francisco, where children under the age of 18 account for only 13 percent of the city population.

However, Los Angeles’ education score did not fare so well, with a much lower graduation rate of 68 percent, compared to San Francisco’s 82 percent. In addition, the average renter is cost-burdened in Los Angeles, where 40 percent of the median renter income is required in order to rent a two-bedroom apartment.

Overall, Los Angeles is a worse place for families than San Francisco, and is not one of the top cities for families nationwide.

Yuki Graviet Knapp is a Content Marketing Associate with the Growth Team at Apartment List and is a resident of the Bay Area. 

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