5.3 out of 10

Lincoln Heights

34.0646300000003 -118.2088845
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Cost of Living
  • Internet Access
  • Medical Facilities
  • Neighborly Spirit
Not great for
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Pest Free
  • Safe & Sound
  • Schools
Who lives here?
  • No ratings yet


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5

"Poor But Hope Inspiring"

Lincoln Heights definitely has a kind of southwestern feel to it. This is largely an immigrant area with the majority of residents here being born south of the border. Three quarters of those who live here also rent rather than own their dwellings. Both of these are testaments to the ever-changing face of this neighborhood.

Despite this every changing cast of residents, Lincoln Heights has a fairly strong sense of of place. People from here, generally have a strong sense of having been from an unusual place. In part, it is the look of the place. Despite being near the heart of Los Angeles, Lincoln Heights also has a certain amount of open space to it where you see undeveloped hills behind main drags. There are spots where it feels like you are deep in a rural area or in a cowboy sort of a town. Of course, most of the neighborhood is the usual set of older style Ranch homes, but even there, you have a feeling of being away from truly urban areas.

One way that you see this sense of place is in the relatively mild crime rates in this area. Despite the fact that the average income in the area is a very low $30K (usually a correlate for high crime in an area), Lincoln Heights is just about average in terms of violent crime. It has a relatively high number of murders compared to say the suburbs, but not so bad compared to many of its nearby neighbors. I don’t want to overstate it, I would definitely feel unsafe living here, but if I were low income and had to find somewhere to live, I would much rather live here than say Avalon Gardens, West Adams or Watts.

Unfortunately this doesn’t really translate to the local high school’s general student body. Lincoln High gets very poor ratings. It has consistently missed about 10 of its No Child Left Behind standards and is about 150 beneath the norm in terms of its API scores. In terms of the STAR test that all California students take only about one in 10 student test proficient in math, and, given the high number of non-native English speakers, less than 1/3 pass the English portion. SAT scores, on the other hand are only about 200 below the state average which isn’t as bad as many other schools with similar challenges.

Lincoln, however, does also have a Magnet devoted to science and technology and it does much better. In terms of math, the one of three students who pass places Lincoln only 10% beneath the state average, and in terms of English—surprisingly given that 4 of 5 students come from Latino families they actually beat the state average, with 2/3 passing that portion of the test.

This is kind of the wrap on this neighborhood, then. It is sort of a mixed bag. On the one hand, there are the usual crime and poverty problems you might expect, but on the other, there is also enough pride in community and sense of place that gives students a chance to escape the traps of poverty. In some ways, you might think of this as a positive model for a neighborhood with enough support that it can give us hope for the future.
  • Strong Sense of Community
  • Affordable Housing
  • Nice Semi-Country Feel
  • Gangs and Violence
  • Poverty
  • Weak Schools Generally

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