THE 10 BEST Neighborhoods In Los Angeles For 2020


We used science and data to determine which neighborhoods in Los Angeles are the best of the best.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best neighborhoods to live in Los Angeles.
Best Neighborhoods In Los Angeles

What is it about Los Angeles, California that makes 3.8 million people want to live there?

Well besides the obvious: 284 days of sunshine, great beaches, and the hopes of spotting a famous person to name a few, we discovered that people are starting to flock to Los Angeles because The City of Angels has some of the best neighborhoods in America. And lucky for you, HomeSnacks has created a guide to those great neighborhoods and the top ten best neighborhoods in Los Angeles for 2020 are listed below.

But before you scroll down, you should probably know a little bit about how we ranked these LA gems. In order to determine the best, we had to give each neighborhood an actual concrete score: we call this a neighborhood's overall 'Snackability'. To get this score, we looked at the latest data on income levels, unemployment rates, crime, and home prices for 83 Los Angeles neighborhoods with over 1,000 residents. Incidentally, this is our sixth time ranking Los Angeles' best neighborhoods, so trust us when we say that these are the best of the best.

And folks, there's a lot of fun to be had in Los Angeles' best neighborhoods. For example, you can walk Universal Studios on a daily basis if you choose to live in Century City, you can visit the Brentwood Farmers' Market every Saturday if you choose LA's Westside, and you can go for a dip in the ocean if you choose Pacific Palisades

Want to know more? We recommend that you grab yourself a fresh avocado and kale smoothie, head to a shady park in Bel Air, and read on as we divulge Los Angeles' best neighborhoods.

The biggest cities in most states do tend to have the most problems; and while Los Angeles does have its fair share of problems and some pretty dangerous neighborhoods, it does have some of the best, most unique, neighborhoods to call home.

So, what's the best neighborhood in Los Angeles for 2020? That would be Mar Vista.

To see how your favorite LA neighborhoods compared, take a look at the list below; and if you don't see it there, head to the bottom.

For more California reading, check out:

The 10 Best Neighborhoods To Live In Los Angeles

Population: 42,620
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $797,290 (14th best)
Median Income: $78,017 (23rd best)
More on Mar Vista: Homes For Sale | Data

If you want to live close to the Los Angeles Airport and close to Venice Beach, but not on the beach, then Los Angeles' first for 2020 neighborhood should be right up your alley.

But, folks, the Mar Vista neighborhood comes with a price. Homes in this neighborhood will run you around $797,290 and the median income is around $78,017. Fortunately, however, it's cheaper to rent in Mar Vista than buy. With rental rates currently topping $1,576, this gives you an opportunity to check out the neighborhood at discount before making any major, life changing, financial decisions.

Population: 55,285
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $854,491 (13th best)
Median Income: $79,643 (22nd best)
More on Westwood: Homes For Sale | Data

Westwood is the largest neighborhood in terms of population on our list, currently recording 55,285 residents.

The bonus to this neighborhood, it's super safe. It ranked the fourth safest neighborhood on our list.

The one downfall to this neighborhood, however, is that the unemployment rate is currently above the national average at 5.0 percent. This tells us two things: 1).You should probably have a job in mind before you consider Los Angeles' second best neighborhood; and 2). Local notables like Mila Kunis and Johnny Depp won't live next to just anyone.

Bel Air Los Angeles, CA

Source: Public domain

Population: 8,746
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $1,853,384 (First best)
Median Income: $183,950 (First best)
More on Bel Air: Homes For Sale | Data

You, too, can live in Los Angeles' third best neighborhood if you can afford to buy a $1,853,384 home.

But don't let that price tag scare you. Bel Air, or Bel Air Estates as the locals call it, does have its many perks. It's located in the Westside area of LA in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains; and, people, it's gated. Probably why it's LA's second safest neighborhood.

Bel Air is another lightly populated neighborhood that made our list reporting only 8,746 residents. So, if you're into living next to older, well-educated neighbors who make a lot of money, definitely give Bel Air a second look.

Portar Ranch Los Angeles, CA

Population: 22,688
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $681,550 (21st best)
Median Income: $122,141 (Fourth best)
More on Portar Ranch: Homes For Sale | Data

Los Angeles' fourth neighborhood for 2020 is not just any ranch, it's Porter Ranch.

Hailing from the northwest area of LA in the San Fernando Valley region, the fourth best neighborhood on our list does not disappoint. Porter Ranch has less expensive homes with the average around $681,550 and a higher than average rent rate at $2,763. So, buy, don't rent, if you're considering Porter Ranch: it will be easier on your pocket book.

And word on the street, the Porter Ranch neighborhood is one of the best kept secrets in California.

West Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA

Population: 42,797
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $1,114,810 (Fourth best)
Median Income: $109,618 (Seventh best)
More on West Los Angeles: Homes For Sale | Data

Located on the corner of the 405 and the 10 is the fifth best neighborhood in the City of Angels, West Los Angeles.

This is one of the many neighborhoods on the list that hails from the northwest side of LA. And can we just say, if you like shopping at Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade, you will be super close if West Los Angeles is your jam.

The homes in West Los Angeles are going to run you around $1,114,810, but the neighborhood is super worth it.

Pacific Palisades Los Angeles, CA

Population: 22,500
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $1,719,534 (Second best)
Median Income: $177,558 (Second best)
More on Pacific Palisades: Homes For Sale | Data

If you guessed that Los Angeles' sixth best neighborhood, Pacific Palisades, got its name because it is located on the Pacifc coastline, you guessed right.

But I bet you didn't know that if you want to live in this coveted LA neighborhood, you're going to have to make the big bucks and you're going to have to drop those big bucks on a home if you choose to buy or rent. Pacific Palisades is currently the second wealthiest and has the second most expensive homes on our list.

So, if you're looking for a true LA gem, look no further than Pacific Palisades.

Brentwood Los Angeles, CA

Population: 23,965
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $1,628,579 (Third best)
Median Income: $168,650 (Third best)
More on Brentwood: Homes For Sale | Data

There are many advantages to living in Los Angeles' seventh best neighborhood, Brentwood. For one, you have a better chance of having your bike stolen than getting mugged. This neighborhood only had 421 violent crimes recorded at the time of this report, making them the sixth safest on our list.

Secondly, Brentwood scored off the charts on our snackability scale with an emphasis on education and employment, too. So, if you're looking for a safe place to send your kids to school, walk your dog, and/or go to work, Brentwood delivers.

Population: 44,552
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $781,023 (15th best)
Median Income: $73,640 (29th best)
More on Sawtelle: Homes For Sale | Data

Not only is Sawtelle the eighth best neighborhood in Los Angeles, it is the largest neighborhood on our list in terms of population.

The Sawtelle neighborhood has a lot to be proud of: they moved up 12 spots to clinch the eighth place rank to live. The average home price is $781,023. If you know anything about California real estate, this is quite the victory.

Sawtell is also the eighth neighborhood to make our top ten list from LA's Westside. It's starting to make us wonder what they're putting in the water over there.

Population: 44,417
Rank Last Year: 19 (Up 10)
Median Home Value: $455,157 (39th best)
Median Income: $63,724 (40th best)
More on Palms: Homes For Sale | Data

The Museum of Jurassic Technology and the Woodbine Park are two of the reasons why Palms is the ninth best neighborhood in Los Angeles, but they're not the only reasons.

Made up of Craftsman and Spanish Colonial style homes, the Palms neighborhood is another neighborhood that made our list with only 44,417 residents. It is also LA's 15th least dangerous.

Most people get to Palms via the 405 and the 10 freeways, but the coolest feature in this neighborhood is that you can get to it by LA's only rail line, the Metro Expo Line.

Century City Los Angeles, CA

Population: 5,574
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 8)
Median Home Value: $1,026,067 (Seventh best)
Median Income: $113,367 (Sixth best)
More on Century City: Homes For Sale | Data

What happens when you mix people with great jobs, $113,367 as the average income, and $1,026,067 as the average home price? You get the tenth best neighborhood in Los Angeles for 2020, Century City.

Century City has the smallest population on our list with only 5,574 residents; but what they lack in numbers, they make up in chutzpah: they've had 59,131 property crimes recorded already this year.

On a lighter note, Century City is the second best neighborhood to find a job on our list. Must be all of that very important Tinseltown stuff happening there.

How We Determined The Best Los Angeles, CA Neighborhoods In 2020

In order to rank the best neighborhoods in Los Angeles, we had to determine what criteria defines a "best".

Using crime, census, and extrapolated BLS data, we arrived at the following set of criteria:

  • High incomes
  • Low unemployment rates
  • Low crime
  • High home prices
  • High population densities (A proxy for things to do)

We then ranked each neighborhood with scores from 1 to 83 in each category, where 1 was the best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each neighborhood to create a best neighborhood index.

And finally, we crowned the neighborhood with the lowest best neighborhood index the "Best City Neighborhood In Los Angeles." We're lookin' at you, Mar Vista.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best places Los Angeles, California has to offer. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the neighborhoods in the city from best to worst.

Putting A Bow On Our Analysis Of The Best Neighborhoods In Los Angeles

If you're measuring the neighborhoods in Los Angeles where crime is low and everyone wants to live, this is an accurate list.

As we mentioned earlier, the neighborhoods in Los Angeles aren't all good. Fashion District takes the title of the worst neighborhood to live in Los Angeles.

We ranked the neighborhoods from best to worst in the chart below.

For more California reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Neighborhoods To Live In Los Angeles For 2020

Rank Neighborhood Population Home Value Median Income
1 Mar Vista 42,620 $797,290 $78,017
2 Westwood 55,285 $854,491 $79,643
3 Bel Air 8,746 $1,853,384 $183,950
4 Portar Ranch 22,688 $681,550 $122,141
5 West Los Angeles 42,797 $1,114,810 $109,618
6 Pacific Palisades 22,500 $1,719,534 $177,558
7 Brentwood 23,965 $1,628,579 $168,650
8 Sawtelle 44,552 $781,023 $73,640
9 Palms 44,417 $455,157 $63,724
10 Century City 5,574 $1,026,067 $113,367
11 Playa Del Ray 16,056 $873,850 $104,607
12 Playa Vista 35,789 $655,300 $73,844
13 West Hills 31,007 $619,850 $109,439
14 Pico-Robertson 45,659 $710,696 $65,587
15 Mid City West 45,784 $751,571 $83,400
16 Tarzana 20,130 $741,275 $94,739
17 Woodland Hills 45,798 $663,193 $97,451
18 Encino 56,158 $753,844 $98,640
19 Northridge 108,186 $479,471 $77,841
20 Glassell Park 34,778 $526,314 $58,054
21 Venice 32,773 $1,098,985 $97,311
22 Los Feliz 32,513 $740,684 $76,677
23 Winnetka 67,623 $426,978 $70,256
24 Granada Hills 43,697 $504,116 $89,035
25 Eagle Rock 55,648 $515,345 $67,271
26 Chatsworth 41,309 $488,581 $87,403
27 Reseda 81,554 $401,545 $56,346
28 Shadow Hills 3,577 $429,300 $74,718
29 Atwater Village 7,087 $644,383 $70,884
30 Highland Park 23,411 $447,106 $45,910
31 Sylmar 80,559 $341,340 $63,082
32 Hollywood Hills 36,670 $1,101,565 $108,400
33 Glendale 1,744 $948,840 $99,810
34 Silver Lake 43,338 $608,859 $67,034
35 Beverly Glen 52,653 $964,402 $116,423
36 Mount Washington 9,218 $487,589 $66,596
37 Studio City 48,533 $871,116 $105,301
38 Mid Wilshire 187,740 $514,690 $54,852
39 Toluca Lake 3,727 $986,825 $88,731
40 Westchester 41,406 $656,248 $99,210
41 Panorama City 39,335 $360,041 $66,293
42 Sunland 19,165 $399,675 $67,316
43 Cypress Park 16,101 $506,469 $58,463
44 Tujunga 20,424 $398,793 $59,580
45 Echo Park 31,774 $578,907 $54,669
46 Canoga Park 86,344 $357,583 $68,663
47 Mission Hills 21,104 $360,914 $76,104
48 Arleta 46,531 $321,512 $60,040
49 Valley Village 48,263 $599,057 $66,181
50 Lakeview Terrace 14,460 $310,747 $63,338
51 San Pedro 73,264 $448,065 $63,234
52 North Hills 99,507 $322,940 $55,344
53 New Downtown 6,396 $282,200 $49,413
54 Van Nuys 127,440 $423,518 $48,885
55 Boyle Heights 79,029 $315,626 $35,846
56 Mid City 146,100 $435,677 $40,330
57 North Hollywood 158,322 $405,914 $48,628
58 El Sereno 51,650 $361,841 $47,364
59 Harbor City 25,861 $342,247 $55,073
60 Montecito Heights 33,281 $402,508 $39,004
61 Wilmington 61,534 $326,871 $49,496
62 Harbor Gateway 39,083 $391,780 $48,823
63 Chinatown 23,676 $371,808 $33,038
64 Jefferson Park 8,745 $385,400 $43,632
65 Civic Center-Little Tokyo 3,457 $306,133 $55,760
66 Sun Valley 32,371 $363,538 $54,645
67 Leiment Park 10,458 $460,217 $51,933
68 Central City 54,475 $247,881 $32,820
69 Westlake 125,087 $187,383 $31,797
70 Lincoln Heights 2,763 $393,650 $27,434
71 Pacoima 55,999 $290,939 $49,893
72 South Park 7,021 $209,983 $48,922
73 Crenshaw 26,759 $326,642 $53,326
74 Hollywood 90,322 $317,506 $39,247
75 South Los Angeles 248,666 $308,659 $33,551
76 Hyde Park 34,645 $340,818 $41,074
77 Southeast Los Angeles 187,683 $263,781 $31,927
78 Central City East 7,185 $408,571 $44,386
79 Watts 40,795 $214,404 $29,288
80 West Adams 11,961 $331,433 $39,578
81 Downtown 12,199 $188,382 $37,562
82 Wholesale District-Skid Row 7,245 $218,186 $29,771
83 Fashion District 2,466 $89,350 $39,866

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.