The UCLA CTSI partner institutions serve Los Angeles County, the most populous and diverse county in the United States. An ethnic, economic, and cultural mosaic, Los Angeles County provides challenges for health and disease research that few counties replicate. Los Angeles County’s 4,058 square miles are divided into eight service planning areas (SPAs), 26 health districts, and 88 incorporated cities. The county’s population, at almost 10 million residents, is larger than that of 40 states and extremely diverse, with three-quarters of the county’s residents being non-white and over one-third of residents born outside the US. Residents collectively speak over 200 languages and there is no ethnic majority. Los Angeles’ diverse population includes Hispanic/Latino: 49%, Black/African American: 9%, White/Caucasian: 25%, Asian: 15%, and a composite of other communities including American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islanders totaling about 2% of the overall population. 20.4% of residents are under age 18 and 15.2% are older than 65. 14% of residents of Los Angeles County are living in poverty, with communities of color disproportionately affected. While mortality rates in 2020 were greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, there was nonetheless a continuing disparity in mortality rates for Blacks and Latinos as compared to Whites. In fact, the pre-pandemic disparities in mortality rates were only widened by COVID-19 and could largely be explained by variations in socioeconomic status. Indeed, the rates of diabetes and obesity within Los Angeles County have steadily increased since 1999. The disease burden is magnified by language barriers, cultural beliefs, poverty, and disparities in access to care. A more than 15-year life expectancy gap separates Los Angeles residents based on their community.

Last updated
November 27, 2023