Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of stories about the results of the Wellbeing Project’s index. The initial report is 142 pages long. Today’s story looks are the demographic breakdowns of wellbeing in Santa Monica.
Perhaps because it’s geographically hugged by the sprawling city of Los Angeles, Santa Monica is sometimes thought of as a unified space.
On Monday, City Hall released data from its Wellbeing Project, which was paid for by a $1 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies, showing the great diversity among the different ZIP codes, genders and types of people in the city.
90402, North of Montana neighborhood
The city’s ZIP codes don’t align perfectly with the city’s neighborhoods, but the 90402 code matches up largely with the neighborhood north of Montana Avenue.
This area, which has the highest median age (48.6) and the wealthiest residents, showed the highest overall wellbeing. Residents of the oldest and wealthiest ZIP code tend to have positive things to say about many aspects of their life. What’s lacking? They use community and public spaces with far less frequency than other neighbors and they are the least confident in their cooking abilities.
90403, Wilshire-Montana neighborhood
The 90403 area, which is just south of the previous ZIP code and roughly covers the neighborhood that runs between Montana Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, scored better than any other neighborhood in the health portion of the Wellbeing Index. Residents use a lot of outdoor space. They eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. They bike a lot. Economic worries are also significantly lower in this area, but people work a lot. Far more people in this ZIP report working long hours than any of the other parts of the city.
90404, Mid-City and Pico neighborhoods
The ZIP code to the southeast, 90404, is an amalgam of the Pico and Mid-City neighborhoods. It has the lowest median age (38.2) and its residents are struggling the most to maintain a high level of wellbeing, according to the index.
“This zip code also performs worst on community, health, and economic opportunity,” the Wellbeing Project report states. “The largest gaps can be seen in terms of satisfaction with home, many of the community variables such as trusting people and belonging to neighborhood, use of outdoor space, fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity, and credit card debt.”
This neighborhood ranks second in the amount of residents that attend classes, have confidence in their ability to make repairs, and walk to work.
Downtown, which roughly aligns with the 90401 ZIP code, had the worst scores among economic and community-based factors. Residents of Downtown trust their neighbors the least, felt least comfortable borrowing from neighbors and feel the least satisfied and secure in their jobs.
Downtowners were most satisfied with the cultural events, businesses, and nightlife in the city, and they were the least likely to drive. They are the most likely to eat five or more fruits or vegetables a day, but many respondents also said they eat no fruits or vegetables.
90405, Ocean and Sunset parks
The southernmost ZIP code in the city, 90405, scored the highest in the index focused on learning.
“The zip code ranks highest on many indicators in the community and learning dimensions,” the report states, “including stopping and talking to neighbors and being able to count on them and borrow things from them (though it comes in second to 90402 in terms of trust and belonging), number of classes attended, confidence doing repair jobs, and satisfaction with events such as community events.”
The neighborhood, which is home to the Santa Monica Airport, made the second most complaints about noise.