A man gathers signatures Wednesday at the Downtown Farmers' Market for a pro-Santa Monica Airport petition. (David Mark Simpson dave@www.smdp.com)

Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of stories about the results of the Wellbeing Project’s index. The initial report is 142 pages long. Today’s story is an overview of the emotions of Santa Monicans.

Does Santa Monica make you happy?

On Monday, City Hall released data from its Wellbeing Project, an initiative paid for by a $1 million grant from the Bloomberg Philanthropies that aims to gauge the mental health and happiness of the beachside city.

The study includes broad data sets, like Santa Monica’s level of satisfaction in context of European countries, and narrow data sets, like the happiest or loneliest ZIP codes in the city.

Santa Monicans are more satisfied with their life, according to the study, than the French or the Spanish. The city ranks behind the U.K., Germany, Netherlands, and Denmark. There was no similar data available for the United States.

Residents who live north of Montana Avenue have the highest personal wellbeing in the city and members of the Pico and Mid-City neighborhoods had the lowest wellbeing. The data showed that wellbeing bottoms out for 45 to 54-year-olds and then steadily increases with age.

Nine of 10 residents report having energy most or all of the time. Seven out of 10 residents are happy most or all of the time while 5 percent are sad most or all of the time. About 72 percent of residents are stressed some of the time or not at all and 93 percent say they are rarely lonely.

When compared to Europeans, Santa Monicans feel more freedom but less sense of worth of accomplishment. About 22 percent of Santa Monicans said they seldom have time to do things they really enjoy.

When compared to the rest of the United States, Santa Monicans said they felt much more trusting in their neighbors but significantly fewer Santa Monicans (66 percent) feel they can count on their neighbors when compared to the country as a whole (80 percent).

When compared to the U.K., Santa Monicans said they stop to talk to their neighbors significantly less and they feel less of a sense of a belonging. But, more Santa Monicans plan on staying in their neighborhoods for a number of years.

Residents of the far north and far south ZIP codes in the city expressed the greatest sense of community.

Downtown, Pico Neighborhood, and Mid-City felt the least sense of community. A sense of community increases steadily with age, according to the Wellbeing index. Women in Santa Monica feel a greater sense of community than men, according to the index.

Residents on the far north and south sides of the city were most likely to be happy with their homes. Hispanic respondents report significantly lower levels of satisfaction with their homes. While more than half of Santa Monica’s residents said they were very satisfied with their homes, about a third of Hispanic respondents felt the same way.

Residents east of Downtown were the least satisfied with their homes.


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