aerial view of a bridge

L.A. County’s GDP is ahead of 43 Different U.S. States

As of Quarter 4 of 2020, while accounting for only three percent (4,753 square miles) of California’s land mass (155,959 square miles), L.A. County’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or value of economic output was at least $659 billion, larger than that of 43 different U.S. States and Washington D.C. in the same year.

Vermont$34 billion
Wyoming$37 billion
Alaska$51 billion
Montana$53 billion
North Dakota$55 billion
South Dakota$57 billion
Rhode Island$63 billion
Maine$72 billion
Delaware$77 billion
West Virginia$80 billion
Hawaii$83 billion
Idaho$88 billion
New Hampshire$92 billion
New Mexico$101 billion
Mississippi$118 billion
Arkansas$135 billion
Nebraska$140 billion
Washington, D.C.$147 billion
Nevada$176 billion
Kansas$181 billion
Oklahoma$192 billion
Iowa$202 billion
Utah$207 billion
Kentucky$220 billion
Alabama$234 billion
Louisiana$238 billion
Oregon$250 billion
South Carolina$254 billion
Connecticut$283 billion
Missouri$340 billion
Wisconsin$348 billion
Minnesota$383 billion
Tennessee$384 billion
Arizona$389 billion
Indiana$389 billion
Colorado$391 billion
Maryland$417 billion
Michigan$532 billion
Virginia$565 billion
Massachusetts$599 billion
North Carolina$608 billion
Washington$620 billion
New Jersey$632 billion
Georgia$637 billion
Los Angeles County$659 billion
Ohio$698 billion
Pennsylvania$793 billion
Illinois$877 billion
Florida$1.1 trillion
New York$1.7 trillion
Texas$1.8 trillion
California$3.1 trillion

The only states with a larger GDP than L.A. County’s in 2020 were Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida, New York state, Texas, and California. If L.A. County were its own nation-state, California’s Quarter 4 GDP would shrink from $3.1 trillion to $2.3 trillion, retaining its number one position in the U.S. economy, but lying just $500 billion dollars away in output from second-place Texas. And as of 2020, L.A. County contained at least 10 million residents; the 43 states behind in terms of GDP, and D.C., on the other hand, contained just under 183 million people, or 55% of the U.S. population.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, March 2022



In our thirty-third episode, listeners meet Aditya Bhairi, a local program manager for a software company originally from Hyderabad, India, as well as the founder of Grass Roots East Hollywood (GREHO). We discuss Adi’s journey to life in the United States, beginning in Utah and culminating in none other than East Hollywood, Los Angeles, as well as the use of data such as statistics and analytics to engage with local communities. We also discuss Adi’s experience with the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council, and goals for GREHO. A very fun session for any and all L.A. aficionados, dreamers, and more.


Hollywood Presbyterean Hospital in East Hollywood, Los Angeles

Three Months After Shut-down, L.A. “Reopens” while both COVID-19 and LAPD Budget Remain Uncontained, Posing the Greatest Risk to Black, Latino and AAPI Communities

(Pandemic in Los Angeles: Day 86)

As of the evening of June 11th, according to the L.A. County Public Health Department, Black, Asian and Latino communities still represent more than 70% of 2,629 deaths from COVID-19 in L.A. County, while whites represent 29% of deaths. The numbers might seem commensurate with these groups’ share of the total population in L.A. County, but as before, they are actually still an under-count and not indicative of the whole picture.

Of 66,941 active coronavirus cases reported by the department, L.A. County Public Health Director, Dr. Barbara Ferrer, has pointed out that there is still a disproportionate rate of death for ethnic minority groups:

The death rate among Native Hawaiians & Pacific Islanders is 52 deaths per 100,000 people. And among African Americans the death rate is 33 deaths per 100,000 people. For people who identify as Latino and Latinx, the death rate is 32 deaths per 100,000 people. For people who are Asian, the rate is 23 deaths per 100,000 people, and for whites, the death rate is 17 deaths per 100,000 people…We also see that people who live in areas with high rates of poverty continue to have almost four times the rate of death for COVID-19.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, L.A. County Public Health Director

In my native East Hollywood neighborhood, the County is tracking a total of 254 cases, with 38 deaths from the disease so far, while the adjacent Silver Lake neighborhood is tracking a total of 221 cases, with 14 deaths from the disease so far.

But as startling as the numbers for a “natural disease” like COVID-19 in Los Angeles may be, they still fall short of another galling statistic for the county. In an L.A. Times report published earlier this week, data showed that since 2000, more than 78% of people killed by police in L.A. County–98% of whom were shot to death by police officers–were Black and Latino, overwhelmingly males between the ages of 20 and 39 years.

As protests of Mayor Garcetti’s police budget continue into this weekend, then, I wonder if another budget for Los Angeles has actually gone less noticed: The L.A. County sheriff department, which employs roughly as many boots on the ground as LAPD–just under 10,000–and almost 8,000 civilians on staff, was only recently approved by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors for a budget of $3.5 billion through 2020 – 2021.

The L.A. County sheriff’s department patrols cities as close as East Los Angeles & South L.A., and as far as Lancaster and Castaic. The location of their patrol is highly significant since, according to the L.A. Times report, the neighborhoods with the highest number of fatal shootings by police are cities such as Compton, Inglewood and East Los Angeles, home to large minority populations, and where L.A. County sheriffs partner with LAPD to police civilians.

The L.A. County sheriff’s department also runs the L.A. County Jail, which oversees more than 17,000 people, where 80% of inmates are Black and Latino.

Similarly to their counterparts at LAPD, however, they actually seek more taxpayer dollars for their services, and may even have loftier ambitions than what LAPD’s longed-for $150 million raise would suggest. According to the L.A. County sheriff website, the department actually needs $400 million more than the $3.5 billion that the L.A. County Board of Supervisors has recommended for fiscal year 2020-2021.

At 18,000 staff members, the budget the L.A. County sheriff’s department seeks for 2020-2021 would amount to more than $216,000 a year for one staff member. At present, it is $194,000.

To be sure, with these numbers and more projections to consider, only a few things are clear:

At the beginning of the crisis due to coronavirus, there was much we did not know about the disease, no federal guidelines for states regarding testing sites or containment for COVID-19, and much confusion about the best course of action.

Three months later, there is still much we don’t know about the virus, no federal plan in place for testing or containment strategies, and now a litany of discussions about our racialized and punitive society proving more confusing than not for many. As the battles continue, more confusion will ensue, but I believe the time for a break, if not a breaking point, is upon us, Los Angeles.


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