Fernando J. Guerra, Ph.D. – a friend of Cerrell – hosted a vibrant discussion this month about preparing the Greater Los Angeles region for the future. Loyola Marymount University’s Forecast LA is a comprehensive regional forecast that looks beyond traditional economic indicators and focuses on residents’ opinions and levels of satisfaction with the City of Los Angeles. Cerrell’s business is deeply intertwined in the diverse populations of Los Angeles, and uses the Forecast LA study as a tool to better understand the communities it serves.
Forecast LA is the largest annual general social survey of any metropolitan area in urban America. The survey spoke to 2,008 adult residents about their civic and economic concerns, cultural identities, and levels of satisfaction of Los Angeles residents and leaders. Despite our current divisive political climate, Angelenos remain optimistic about the city they call home.
Overall, Los Angeles residents and leaders have a positive outlook on the direction of the city. Levels of satisfaction are high amongst Angelenos, with a strong majority rating their city as a place they would highly recommend living in (81%), working in (73%), raising children in (71%), and even retiring in (57%). Participants also believe Los Angeles is a safe place to live (75%) with good overall quality of life (78%).
A few key takeaways from the Forecast LA Conference come from the intersection of age demographics, spending habits, and the rapid emergence of an app-driven economy. While California is aging, millennials and Gen Z-ers account for 40% of spending, dominated by an app-driven and service economy. As one speaker put it, it’s helpful to think about the economic forecast as three C’s, “consumption, commutes and communication.”
One fun fact from the survey was related to the amount of Angelenos who own pets. According to the survey, of the roughly half of Los Angeles households that own pets, about 34% own dogs, 9% own cats, and 7% have both cats and dogs. Pets have proven to increase our happiness and well-being and interestingly, Angeleno pet owners are also more likely to be registered voters (82%) than those without pets (71%). It looks like pet-obsessed Angelenos are serving additional, yet unintended consequences: positively increasing the city’s civic engagement!
As Los Angeles prepares for milestone events – like hosting the 2022 Super Bowl, 2026 World Cup, and 2028 Olympics – the Forecast LA survey data and insights are a useful tool to contextualize our changing city.
We applaud LMU and its staff for another successful Forecast LA conference. Thank you for informing us on how to tackle changes, challenges, and opportunities throughout Los Angeles. To learn more about the Forecast LA 2019 publication, visit: https://academics.lmu.edu/studyla/events/forecastla.