1.4 out of 10


33.9389389063137 -118.239822293042
Great for
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  • Internet Access
  • Public Transport
  • Medical Facilities
Not great for
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1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 2/5

"Still in the Shadow of the Riots"

Even today, when people here the name “Watts” they still think of the 1960’s riots that set the city ablaze. Even the 1990’s Rodney King riots have not wiped away the shadow of those events. But is Watts today still an urban ghetto?

Unfortunately, Watts is now not much different than it was fifty years ago—not in terms of socio-economic status, anyway. Though now this is a predominantly Latino neighborhood. This is the forth poorest neighborhood in all of LA, with only Chinatown, Downtown and University Park coming in lower. It is a densely packed neighborhood as well, with about 17,000 people per square mile.

Homes of this flat grid of a neighborhood take on the typical look of urban poverty, Los Angeles style: small homes on small lots, fenced yards and barred windows, trash strewn streets bordering unkept lawns.

Even worse is the fact the fact that more than a quarter of the population growing up in these conditions is under the age of 10—that’s more than 10,000 kids born into a world of high crime and limited opportunity.

Crime is just as bad now as it ever was. If you just look at the last six months, you find that there have been close to 400 violent crimes, including 8 murders. That puts it in the top ten most violent neighborhoods in all of LA. Since 2007, Watts has been the site of some 65 murders—mostly having to do with gang violence. When you take into account that one in four residents is under 10 years of age and that the vast majority of murder victims are at least in their teen years if not older—that means that the average Watts resident of adult years has a 1 in 1500 chance of being murdered on any given year. Pretty scary.

With the exception of King Drew Medical High School and a few others, the educational system also offers little chance of escape from a cycle of poverty. I say King Drew because although it is far from a great school it does offer some glimmers of hope. Though it missed 7 of its No Child Left Behind standards last year, it did manage to get half of its students to pass the STAR test in English and the SAT scores for its graduates are only about 100 points below the state average. That said, it has long way to go in terms of math where only 1 in 5 test proficient.

Overall, however, this is definitely not where anyone would choose to raise a family if given another option.
  • Lots of Children
  • An Okay High School
  • Lots of Parks
  • Crime
  • Poverty
  • Overcrowded
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 1/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 1/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 1/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 1/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 1/5

"Still a really dangerous neighborhood"

Watts is a part of South Los Angeles that has been dangerous pretty much since it's been Watts. Compton Ave is the main thoroughfare through Watts and it has been mentioned in a number of rap songs in reference to gang violence. The demographic is about 50:50 Latinos and African Americans. And, there is a still a lot of gang activity between the two.
Watts is famous for being the center of both the '65 Watts riots and The Los Angeles riots in '92. The Watts riots were started due to police brutality and discrimination. There were tons of buildings set on fire and over 40 million dollars in property damage. It lasted 5 days and it was, apparently, really horrific.
1992 riots which started after the Rodney King trial verdict came out was even worse. Over 50 people died, thousands were injured and about one billion dollars in property damage was accrued due to fires and looting. I was a kid in LA at the time and it was the most insane thing to watch on the news. Everyone in Los Angeles was afraid for their life.
Basically, I equate Watts with violence. It is not safe and it's not pretty either. I would (and do) avoid this part of town at all costs.

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