BEL AIR—In a study by economists David Albuoy and Bert Lue, Bel Air/Brentwood/Beverly Crest was declared to be the second most sought-after neighborhood in the country.
Using comprehensive geographic information from the Census Bureau, the study took into account 2,071 neighborhoods in the US.
The popularity of the neighborhood was determined by how much income individuals were willing to sacrifice in order to live in the area. Rent, income, and commuting costs were combined to come up with the willingness-to-pay index, also known as the quality-of-life index.
Though opinions may vary in terms of what neighborhood a person finds desirable, calculating the willingness-to-pay index based on how much income people sacrifice is a way of putting desirability of a place into actual numbers.
Bel Air/Brentwood/Beverly Crest was ranked number 2 with quality of life index of .311. It was second only to Upper East Side, Manhattan, which had a quality of life index of .327.
The study found that densely populated areas with abundant recreational activities like restaurants, good school districts, and low crime rates ranked higher. Bel Air is a suburban area and it is not densely populated. They also do not have any multifamily dwellings (such as apartments).
According to a 2008 census, the median household income is $207,938, which is high for both Los Angeles and the entire country.
The neighborhood is not ethnically diverse: about 83 percent are Caucasian.
About 66 percent of the neighborhood population are above the age of 25 and have a four-year degree, which is also high for both the city and the country.
About 66 percent of the residents are married.
The neighborhood is famous for its connection with the film industry. Former US President Ronald Reagan lived in the area. Actress Jennifer Aniston currently resides in Bel Air. The famed television show “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” was set in Bel Air, though shooting was done in Brentwood.