Best Cities 2010: Los Angeles, CA

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Best Cities 2010: Los Angeles, CA

Kid-friendly activities like Universal Studios Hollywood and the California Science Center make LA a fun-packed place to be

City: Los Angeles
State: California

Best Cities Overall Rank: 78

About Los Angeles: Amelia Earhart began her aeronautic career with flying lessons in Los Angeles in 1921.

In 1960 the Minneapolis Lakers basketball team moves to Los Angeles and was renamed the Los Angeles Lakers. Legendary Lakers have included Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant.

When you want to give your kids some experiences that won’t turn them into teenagers who dread family vacations, there’s no better place than Universal Studios Hollywood, where movie-making magic will keep them reminiscing for days, if not weeks. Or check out the California Science Center, which is custom-made for kids and has three levels of nonstop interactive exhibits.

County: Los Angeles

Population: 3,833,995

Official website for city visitors’ bureau/city: Visitor’s bureau website

Newspaper with the largest circulation: Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles blogs:
Los Angeles Moms Blog
L.A. Snark

Los Angeles’ Facebook page: Follow Los Angeles on Facebook

Los Angeles’ Facebook page: Follow Los Angeles on Twitter


Education rank: 95

High School graduation rate 2008: 72.4%

Blue Ribbon Schools, 2003-2009: 5

Blue Ribbon Schools per 100,000 people: 0.13

NEAYC-accredited preschools: 51

NAEYC schools per 100,000 people: 1.33

NAEP State proficiency reading, grade 8: 253

Pupil/Teacher Ratio: 19.80

Total Expenditures Per Student: $13,341


Health rank: 100

Quality children’s hospitals: 3

Hospitals per 100,000 people: 7.82

Quality Pediatricians: 19

Quality Pediatricians per 100,000: 0.50

Average number of Unhealthy Air Quality days between 2006-2008, by county: 24.33


Safety rank: 22

Violent Crimes, 2008: 26,553

Violent Crime Rate per 100,000: 692.57

Sex Offenders: 3,157

Sex Offenders per 100,000: 82.34


Economy rank: 82

Travel time to work, 2006-2008, in minutes: 29.5

Percent of labor force unemployed, January 2010: 12.4

Best Performing Cities Job Index: 1165.49

Median Home Sale Price: $404,400

5-Year Home Value Index: -4.69%

Percent of homes sold for a loss: 26.87%


Recreation Rank: 87

Parkland acreage, 2008 (includes pools and playgrounds): 15,722

Parkland per 100,000: 410.07


Photo courtesy of Sten Rüdrich