L.A. has the world's least stressed workers, and other findings from our global city survey

Just like you, we're always looking to get to know L.A. better—including how life here compares to life in some of the world's other great cities. So this year, Time Out conducted a global interview, polling almost 20,000 people across 18 cities all over the world. The Time Out City Index is the first study of its kind ranking cities in which people have the most fun and live city life to the fullest. The Index tracks the qualities that make a city great to live in across categories, such as how dynamic and inspirational each city is, the quality of its food and drink options, community, sociability and affordability.

So, how did L.A. do? Well, turns out we're ranked the 8th most fun city in the world. Not too shabby! Chicago came in at #1 (how?! it's so cold!), New York at #4, and Miami a bit behind us at #12. How do we compare internationally? Melbourne was ranked #2, Mexico City at #6 and London at #10 (time to plan our next vacation).

Fun and excitement

Almost 60 percent of Angelenos feel like this city is on the up and up, and L.A. ranked fourth in the world for excitement. Wahoo! And who says no one walks in L.A.? Of the people we polled, more than 60 percent say there are great places to go within walking distance of where they live. And almost 80 percent say they love exploring different parts of L.A., dispelling the myth that traffic keeps everyone stuck in the neighborhoods they live in. More than 50 percent of Angelenos say L.A. has great bars, and 70 percent say the same about restaurants—but only 20 percent of us think it's actually affordable to go out here, which may explain why less than 40 percent say we take advantage of all the great things this city has to offer. 

Money worries

In fact, less than 5 percent of Angelenos think that they don't need a lot of money to enjoy living well in L.A.—and only 13 percent have a good chunk of money left over at the end of each month. Only 12 percent report that they can afford the lifestyle they want in L.A. (probably because most of our money is going to pay the rent). Angelenos report that an average night out costs them about 5 percent of their weekly income, or around $72.

Out and about

Speaking of nights out, ours aren't late ones: People in L.A. are the least likely to stay up until sunrise (hey, our bars close early). We may also eschew sugary drinks for health (er, vanity?) reasons: Sixteen percent of us are likely to count our calories—the highest of any city polled other than Miami, which tied. But, we're second only to Miami in dabbling with illegal drugs when we do go out. 

Work life

When it comes to work, there's both good and bad news. L.A. residents have the most stress-free work life of all cities, with only a quarter of those surveyed reporting that their jobs are stressful. Angelenos also work marginally fewer hours than people in other U.S. cities. However, 87 percent of us travel by car, and on average Angelenos spend 277 hours a year commuting—almost 3 percent of their lives. Sad but true: most Angelenos would choose a shorter commute over more sex.

Friends and lovers

And sex? We're having a hard time finding it (or at least the meaningful kind): Only 4 percent of Angelenos polled say it's easy to find love in this city, while a meager 8 percent report that it's easy to make friends. That being said, 60 percent of us agree that L.A. is very accepting of all kinds of people and lifestyles (New York is the only city to top us there). We report an average of 10 good "real life" (not social media) friends, falling short of the global average of 12. But hey, we'll take 10 close buds any day!

In summation

To cap off our findings, we thought we'd ask each city what they'd be most and least likely to change about their lives. Here's how L.A. responded: 

Angelenos are most likely to ask for a good pay raise (61 percent), a fitter body (41 percent—makes sense considering all those calories we're counting) and an extra day off work (35 percent)—even though we work less than almost everyone else! Angelenos are least likely to ask for not having to use public transport (2 percent—because barely anyone uses it to begin with), more sex with different people (4 percent—apparently we can find sex, just not love) and to live in a different neighborhood (9 percent—we love our walkable 'hoods!). 

Does this jive with how you live in Los Angeles? Let us know in the comments below! Want to read more about L.A. and the other cities we surveyed? Click here.

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Chris Alexakisactivities