Atlanta Vs. Los Angeles: Which City Is Better to Live In?

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

atlanta vs los angelesBoth cities have fantastic weather, plenty of opportunities, and loads of entertainment. Comparing these two cities is difficult, especially with the rich culture just oozing around every street corner in these wonderful cities. However, we can choose only one winner when it comes to living in these cities.

Atlanta is a better city to live in when compared to Los Angeles because of the lower cost of living, higher quality of life, and more opportunity for growth. This city has a lower unemployment rate and a higher job growth potential in the coming years, making it an ideal location to start a new life or raise a family.

Los Angeles, though, does have some fantastic perks with an amazing lifestyle centered around entertainment and leisure. The seasonably delightful weather year-round is excellent for residents if you can stomach the extremely high housing cost and limited demographics. Of course, consulting with a real estate agent located in these respective cities will give you a better insight into what it is like to live and work in these two cities.

Which City Is Better: Atlanta or Los Angeles?

Determining a winning city between Atlanta and Los Angeles is hard, especially with some of the residents’ drastic income gap compared to the average person. For our research and comparison, though, we will focus on how the average person lives, works, and enjoys the city daily.

Quality of Life

If you are moving to a new city, you have to be sure that you will live a life you enjoy. When it comes to the quality of life, Atlanta has more to offer new residents. This city will give you more purchase power and better healthcare. Residents in Atlanta tend to experience less pollution and less traffic on a day-to-day basis.

Los Angeles certainly has perks, too, though. Compared to Atlanta, this city is safer and has a much better climate to enjoy. While both of these cities rank far above average when it comes to quality of life, Atlanta ranks significantly higher.

Winner: Atlanta

Cost of Living

Overall, it is 61% cheaper to live in Atlanta compared to Los Angeles. A large portion of this difference comes in the form of housing, which is more than 166% higher in LA. Further, food will be more expensive, about 5.4% more, and transportation is about 34.7% more in LA. In Atlanta, expect to pay 9.6% more for utilities month to month, and healthcare will cost about 2.6% more.

Winner: Atlanta

Housing Costs

The biggest difference between these two cities regarding the cost of living is the housing cost. In LA, houses will cost over $630,000 on average, while in Atlanta, people will pay just under $300,000 for a home. It follows then that more people, about 63% of the population, choose to rent in LA, and only 37% of the population owns their homes. In Atlanta, more people, about 44%, can own their homes.

AtlantaLos Angeles
Median House Price$290,400$636,900
Average Rent 1 BDRM$1,153$1,450

Winner: Atlanta

Job Market

Although the median family income appears higher in Los Angeles, you must consider that the cost of living is also significantly more. Los Angeles also has a much higher unemployment rate and less future job growth potential. Atlanta boasts a powerful job growth projection, with a low unemployment rate.

Residents will find that the primary industries in Los Angeles include advanced transportation, aerospace, and biopharmaceuticals. The University of California and Kaiser Permanente are the area’s biggest employers. Atlanta specializes in the finance, healthcare, and biomedical industries, with Georgia Pacific, UPS, and Delta as the biggest employers.

AtlantaLos Angeles
Projected 10-Year Growth51%12.7%
Median Household Income$59,994$62,142
Median Personal Income$47,424$34,156

Winner: Atlanta


With a deeply rooted heritage in the Civil Rights Movement, Atalanta is a historically significant city for Black Americans. This city is home to Martin Luther King, Jr. and has a museum and historic monument marking the historical efforts of this leader in the movement. Further, Atlanta has one of the highest concentrations of LGBT residents making this a diverse, fun, and exciting city.

The entertainment industry strongly drives the culture in Los Angeles. Being the entertainment capital of the world, everything related to entertainment drives the culture of the city. There is also a strong Latino heritage and indigenous people culture, which is largely reflected in fun fused cuisine.

Winner: Atlanta


Atlanta is an urban city with loads for residents to do. Many people enjoy visiting the Georgia Aquarium or touring the Coca-Cola Museum. The Piedmont Park area features live sporting events and a farmer’s market to browse. There are professional football and baseball teams based out of Atlanta too.

LA is the epicenter of entertainment, and residents will find plenty to keep them busy with the countless iconic studios throughout the city. Residents can visit Holywood, browse the Walk of Fame footprints, or visit Disneyland. There is also a lively art scene in Los Angeles, with the Getty Art Museum centered in this city.

Winner: Tie


Mass transit in Atlanta gives commuters plenty of options. There is a rapid rail system, light rail system, streetcar, bus, and Amtrak station. These mass transit options help connect the world’s busiest international airport to the main urban city center and surrounding residential areas. In Atlanta, about 10% of the population uses mass transit options.

Comparatively, Los Angeles has an extensive bus line and subway system. This city boasts the 9th busiest subway system globally, and nearly 38 million people utilize these transportation methods every year. There are plenty of freeways and highway transportation options available but expect busy and congested highways.

Winner: Los Angeles


Atlanta is one of the most educated populations in the country, with nearly 23% of the population earning a Master’s degree and 29% holding a Bachelor’s degree. The population is made up of 51% identifying as Black, 41% White, 4.7% Hispanic, and 1.5% Asian. The majority of the population is young, with 21% of the population aged between 24 and 34.

In Los Angeles, the residents are also incredibly educated, with 23% of the population holding a Bachelor’s degree. The ethnic makeup of the city is much less diverse, though, with a whopping 93% of the population identifying as White, 4% Black, and 2% Asian.

Winner: Atlanta


Atlanta is home to some of the best grade schools and high schools in the country. Both public and private schools are highly ranked when it comes to academics and athletics. There is also plenty of opportunity for higher education with Emory University, Georgia State, and Spelman College located in the city.

Comparatively, Los Angeles also has top-notch school systems at both the public and private levels. These schools are excellent when it comes to academics. There are also several higher education facilities in Los Angeles, including the University of Southern California, Marymont, and branch campuses for California State University and UCLA.

Winner: Tie


Both Atlanta and Los Angeles are home to some pretty great weather patterns year-round. In Atlanta, expect the summers to hover in the high 80s, with winters rarely dipping below 50 degrees F. Although snow is rare, you will have numerous strong storms in the area. Several tornadoes each year go through the city, which can make this a dangerous part of the country.

Not to be outdone, Los Angeles also has some pretty incredible weather. Summers rarely go above 80 degrees F, with winters averaging in the high 60s. Although Los Angeles rarely gets any rain and never snows, residents will have to deal with the frequent earthquake in the area. While many earthquakes are minor and unnoticeable, some can be large, intense, and damaging.

Winner: Tie

Crime Rates

Like many urban areas, Atlanta is home to some higher than average crime rates. Violent crimes like assault, murder, and rape are all about three times higher than the national average. Looking at property thefts like burglary and motor vehicle theft, Atlanta is only slightly higher than average.

Comparatively, Los Angeles also has a high crime rate, but much better when compared to Atlanta. Violent crimes like rape, murder, and assault are only slightly higher than the national average. Interestingly, property crime cases are way below the national average, which is impressive for a city as large as Los Angeles.

Winner: Los Angeles

Related Questions

What parts of Atlanta are known for high crime rates?

Although compared to other urban areas in the United States, Atlanta is considerably safer, there are some areas that you should avoid due to high crime rates. These areas include Old Fourth Ward, Kirkwood, Castleberry Hill, Peopelstown, and Washington Park. Many of these areas are known for increased gang activity.

Is there a problem with homelessness in Los Angeles?

It is no secret that housing costs are sky-high in Los Angeles, which has led to a growing homelessness issue across the city. 62% of the county’s homeless residents reside in Los Angeles. Famously, the Skid Row neighborhood, which houses 8,000 homeless residents, is in Los Angeles.


When determining a winner between Los Angeles and Atlanta, it is easy to see why Atlanta is the clear winner. Although Los Angeles has plenty to offer with a culture deeply rooted in the entertainment industry, it is hard to pass up Atlanta’s affordability, high quality of life, fantastic weather, and wonderful school systems. Couple this with the increased opportunity for job growth in the coming years, and Atlanta quickly becomes the winner as the best city to live in.

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