18 Pros and Cons of Living in Los Angeles, California

Attracted by the promise of fame in the music, film, and fashion industries, many people, contemplate living in Los Angeles. Consider these pros and cons of living in LA below before making your short term or permanent move.

Los Angeles, popularly called LA, is the next most significant city in the US after New York. Located in southern California, the area is hilly on one side and has a vast stretch of the Pacific Ocean on the other.

With over 3 million people from all over the world residing in this cosmopolitan, they get to enjoy the lovely coastal weather, culturally diverse food, socializing experiences, and rich entertainment scenes made famous by Hollywood celebrities.

Pros and Cons of living in Los Angeles, California

This is a fast-moving city that can feel overwhelming due to the fast life, friendships are sometimes hard to make and keep in LA.

LA has seen a lot of population changes over the last several decades, with the ’70s recording the highest number of people living and working in the city.

These numbers have seen a significant drop in recent times as people move in and out of the metropolis searching for economic opportunities.

LA is huge, when considering moving to live in Los Angeles, you must first decide where you want to live- by the ocean in cities like Malibu or Santa Monica or along the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. Do want to stay away from the hustle and bustle? Or be in the middle of it all?

Los Angeles County includes cities like Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Burbank and Santa Monica (88 in total), which operate independently of Los Angeles proper but are still part of the metropolis. The outlying areas, such as Orange County, Ventura, and San Bernardino, are often referred to as “Greater Los Angeles.”

Pros of living in Los Angeles / LA

1. Culturally diverse population

LA has a mix of many people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

This diversity makes it an exciting location for people visiting for both short-term and long-term stays to mingle with people of all races.

Ethnic communities or neighborhoods are common in LA, such as Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Filipino town, and Little Bangladesh.

2. Access to a major airport

LAX, the Los Angeles International Airport, is among the top busiest commercial airports in the US. Flights within the US are easily accessible, and you will find people traveling across the globe connecting through the airport.

LAX holds a world record as a destination airport because most people come to LA other than just passing through.

3. Beautiful landscape

LA has beautiful beaches, mountains, and desert destinations to explore. Pacific Coast Highway offers some scenic road trips.

From the Venice beach neighborhood to Mt. Lukens, which is 5,100 feet above sea level, visitors can enjoy sunbathing on the various beaches and going camping or hiking trips to the mountains. You will be surrounded by the Santa Monica, San Gabriel, and San Bernardino mountains when living in LA. 

You might like: California road trip itinerary and ideas

California Road trips

4. Expansive tourist and regular spots

LA’s key destinations receive thousands of visitors every year. Families make the trip across the world to visit Disneyland, a favorite for children.

If you are in Los Angeles as a tourist or moving long-term, be sure to see some of LA’s other well-known tourist attractions.

The Universal Studios Hollywood, Griffith Park and Observatory, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, Manhatten Beach, Malibu Pier and Los Angeles farmer’s market are a few amazing ones. 

5. Access to a world-class entertainment scene

Entertainment, Arts, and nightlife in LA are bustling. You can watch your favorite movies, visit art museums and galleries in LA, and dance to familiar music on any day or night out in the city.

The LA Times covers all Hollywood and celebrity news and events, keeping the public updated on all that is happening in town.

6. An all-inclusive food culture

The dining experience in LA is diverse, with restaurants offering a variety of local and international cuisines.

You can experience fine dining in quaint restaurants, Michelin star ones, and a few members-only clubs that cater to the rich and famous.

Street food vendors are also popular in ethnic neighborhoods that offer the best food experiences at an affordable price.

7. Familiarity to home

Because Los Angeles has a vast multicultural population, finding the comforts of home is relatively easy.

One can reside in a neighborhood where people of similar ethnic backgrounds mostly populate.

Some restaurants and stores serve and sell traditional foodstuff from all over the world, allowing you to experience familiar food and different cultures.

8. Museums and Zoos

The Museums and Zoos in LA are great locations to visit. Botanical gardens provide an excellent place to hold concerts, gardening events, and classes for those interested in nature.

The Los Angeles Zoo and Natural History Museum are the best tourist spots to learn about LA’s native wildlife and history.

The Pacific Aquarium is the largest in the city, allowing visitors a glimpse of the pacific fish and sea creatures. 

9. Sporting activities

LA is well-known as a basketball sports city due to the Lakers and Clippers teams that have won numerous national games.

Besides basketball, baseball games at the Dodger Stadium by the Los Angeles Dodgers are worth attending. If you an American football fan, then you will want to follow The Los Angeles Rams who are currently based in LA.

Visitors and residents of LA enjoy a wide variety of outdoor and indoor sports recreations facilities that host international competitions where sports lovers can also play games and children have play areas.

A few of the sports celebrities in Los Angeles have been spotted and signed up from these courts.

Sport teams in Los Angeles, California

10. Education opportunities

Universities and colleges in LA are easily accessible, with the three public universities within the city limits.

Community and private colleges are also numerous with varying costs and quality of education.

There are over 70 public libraries around the city, most within walking distance of the neighborhoods.

11. Pleasant weather all year round

Most of downtown and coastal LA has sunshine and is relatively dry throughout the year.

Although they get moderate rainfall, only the hilly mountainsides experience heavy rainfall. People are drawn to LA due to the lovely weather as the winters are still warm and sunny.

12. Famous people

Some people move to LA to pursue their careers and dream of being celebrities. Visitors and residents in LA are always thrilled to get an autograph or take a photo with celebrities. 

One can easily spot famous actors, musicians, sportspeople, and social media personalities in events and social meet-ups held across the city.

You might also like: Spotting celebrities in LA

Pros and cons of living in LA

Now that we covered the advantages of moving to Los Angeles, let’s consider the disadvantages and potential drawbacks of living in LA.

Income tax in California

According to Nerd Wallet, California state tax rates are 1%, 2%, 4%, 6%, 8%, 9.3%, 10.3%, 11.3% and 12.3%. Plus after the MHSA was passed by California in 2004, an additional 1% mental health services tax is applied to income exceeding $1 million. California state tax brackets and income tax rates depend on taxable income and filing status. In addition, residency status also determines what’s taxable.

Income tax is another aspect to consider when moving to California. If you are considering living in LA as a part time resident, you will have to pay state tax. When it comes to California state tax, there are three residency statuses: resident, part-year resident and nonresident. They determine what portion of your income the state will tax.

If your California residency type is:California taxes this part of your income
Resident.All income from all sources inside and outside California.
Part-year resident.All income received while a resident, plus income from California sources while a nonresident.
Nonresident.Income from California sources.
Credit: Nerd Wallet

Cons of living in Los Angeles / LA

1. High accommodation costs

Housing in Los Angeles is expensive. If moving to LA for a brief stay, it is advisable to consider living in an Airbnb or a hostel as they offer the cheapest accommodation prices in all of Los Angeles.

Real estate in LA is not cheap, according to Salary.com the cost of living in Los Angeles is 41.1% higher than the national average.

If your move is long-term, houses and apartment complexes inland are affordable, although commuting to work will be longer as most employment opportunities are in downtown LA.

LA’s median home sale price is around $950,000 and the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles is $3,852 – which may or may not be in your budget. Don’t fret, there are plenty of affordable Los Angeles suburbs to consider house hunting in. 

Check out these 10 of the best affordable suburbs in LA all within driving distance of the city.

2. Terrible day and night traffic

The traffic in LA is well known for being terrible throughout the year, day and night. LA rush hour is typically from 7 am to 10 am and then again from 4 pm to 7 pm. 

Unlike New York, where you will not need a car, you will need one in LA. Public transportation system routes are limited. The high number of people and vehicles has contributed to the traffic mess.

3. Bad quality of air

Los Angeles has had poor air quality for years, mainly due to congestion, pollution, and low winds.

Although the smog is not as harmful compared to previous years, it is still high and can be detrimental to respiratory and other health problems.

4. Increased Crime rate and Gangs

The high population in LA without formal employment has led to increased crime in the city.

Over 400 gangs formed from the different ethnic communities living in LA are known to assault residents, engage in drive-by shootings, and rob homes due to territorial differences.

Law enforcement has increased efforts to reduce these gang activities and make the neighborhoods safe for the residents.

5. Homelessness and drug abuse

LA has one of the highest numbers of homeless people in the US.

Due to the high costs of living, lack of steady income, poor access to mental health services, and an increased number of incarcerated people.

They resort to drug abuse and petty theft, making the city streets unsafe, especially at night.

6. Low employment or job opportunities

Because of the influx of individuals moving to Los Angeles, well-paying jobs that can afford a good life in the expensive city are harder to find. Making LA one of the worst cities for finding jobs.

Things to consider before moving to LA


Although Los Angeles has beautiful people and offers lovely weather, the cost of living can be expensive for both short stays and long term. Look out for the cheaper hacks and suggestions available if interested in living in LA.

Hope this covered some things to know before moving to Los Angeles and answered a few questions to tend to ask before moving to LA.

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