A report released Wednesday shows that some groups of Los Angeles County residents boast the highest levels of well-being in the United States, while others have some of the lowest.
"A Portrait of Los Angeles County," commissioned by county Office of Child Protection, reveals findings based on a formula that combines data on income, health and education.
"The Portrait provides us with critical information about the well-being of communities that is greatly needed to effectively target prevention supports to the families who need them most," said Michael Nash, executive director of the office.
On the 10-point Human Development Index scale, the highest- and lowest- scoring communities are separated by seven points. In L.A. County, San Marino, Manhattan Beach, and Palos Verdes Estates top the list, all scoring over 9.3 on the index. Lennox, East Rancho Dominquez, and Florence-Graham each score lower than 2.7.
Within the city of Los Angeles, the gap is even larger. Bel Air-Beverly Crest and Brentwood-Pacific Palisades are on top with scores of 9.51 and 9.24, respectively. Southeast L.A. is at the bottom with 2.26.
The HD Index is a composite statistic of life expectancy, education and per capita income indicators, which are used to rank areas into four tiers of human development.
"The county has been prioritizing data collection and analysis to enable us to make smarter decisions to support the well-being of our 10 million residents,'' said county Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. "This report provides us with a portrait that can begin to immediately inform county decision-making."
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Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said the report offers an understanding of how income, health and education intersect "to contribute to whether you and your community experience well-being or live at a great disadvantage."
"We knew there were grave disparities across the county, but now we have a more reliable way of geographically pinpointing the areas of greatest need," she said.