Many people love Long Beach, California. But, there are some things everybody collectively dislikes, hates, and wishes would change. So, here’s the list of things that have made residents rethink why they moved there.
1. Cost of Living
California is expensive, but living by the water like you would while living in Long Beach is extremely expensive. Many people find that they are paying way too much for an older apartment that doesn’t function well. People have said that by living here, they accept the fate that they will never be able to afford a home in the area they want to live in. In 2022, we know that everything got more expensive, but is it worth it?
Many people are moving out of California and into states like Utah, Arizona, and Texas because the cost of living is cheaper. In fact, with the change in the economy from state to state, Californians are finding that in other states they can actually afford to buy a home, whereas in California that is impossible. With this trend, we can say with a lot of certainties that the cost of living is not worth it, at least in the long term.
2 . Are You Working to Live There, or Living There for Work?
Many people say that there are so many job opportunities in Long Beach, and locals say otherwise. Instead, you will need a car (which is a problem in and of itself) and you will need to commute outside of Long Beach for your job, which can take forever with traffic. Traffic is another problem that we will get into later.
If you work in the city you will be taken care of for the most part, but you might not make enough money to support yourself. Outside of the city, there are more jobs for people with specific professions, and those people travel 30+ minutes each day for their job, and that number can increase to people driving for an hour or more to get to work!
Parking is horrible in Long Beach. Locals say that unless you need your car, it might not even be worth bringing or using in Long Beach because of how crowded the parking is. Not to mention that locals will frequently encounter people parking in their driveways! Maybe they are avoiding getting a ticket or don’t want to pay for parking. But, either way, it is wrong and can make you late because strangers have trapped you in your driveway with their car.
People also have posted pictures of people parking in walkways, on red curbs, and in more places where it is wrong and illegal to park. Clearly, there are too many cars for the city to hold, and people complain that because the issue is too big, law enforcement can’t do anything about it. They issue tickets, but it doesn’t change the habits people have of parking where they shouldn’t.
4. Crime, Drugs, Shootings, and Gangs Galore
There is so much crime occurring in this city, and residents are well aware of this. They know not to be out after dark, and there are specific streets that are good and bad. In just June of 2022, one month of data, the city reported a total of 321 cases of violent and property crimes.
This includes 65 cases of aggravated assault, robbery, and rape. There are a lot of auto thefts and grand thefts as well, and overall there are a lot of issues with crime, drugs, shootings, and gangs that feed into other problems like homelessness, waste, and more.
5. Super Safe or Super Unsafe?
Your feeling of safety and security in your own apartment or home can depend on the very street you live on. Your feelings can change even from street to street. Some people hear a lot of shootings at night, and others can sleep soundly. You should not have to worry about this in the city you live in, and people find themselves constantly moving to new apartments because they didn’t know about the streets that are safe and unsafe.
Many travel sites that help you plan your trips even say that traveling to Long Beach is not safe, and to visit successfully you need to be aware of how to live there and not get scammed or harmed. So, make sure you study up on what times you should be inside when it is okay to visit the beach and know what streets to avoid.
6. Homelessness Population
In February 2022, there was a new count for the homeless population so that the city can have newly updated numbers on this issue. The numbers have increased, and are influenced by the pandemic, which made people lose their jobs and it provided a lot of insecurity. They found that 3,296 people were homeless. Those living on the street increased by 22%, and those living in vehicles increased by 123%.
7. Lots of Waste
When I talked to locals, many of them mentioned multiple times that there was a problem with the amount of dog poop that is on sidewalks and grass. People also mentioned that there are a lot of human feces in the streets, in alleys, and more places where the homeless go. This makes the city look extremely unkempt and dirty, and many residents hate putting up with it. Clearly, this is a disgusting topic, but it is definitely something to know about before moving there, so make sure you pick the right street to live on if you choose to move there.
8. Named After the Beach, But is it Nice?
Long Beach was given its name because it extends out to the beach, but is it really nice? You might be surprised, but not all beaches are made alike. Many residents say that the beach has horrible sand and complain that there are oil slicks, and there are no waves because of a breakwater that was installed in the 1940s. The beach is also dirty, so many residents will drive to other beaches, even though they have one, just because the Long Beach beach is not worth it.
Also, because of the breakwater blocking waves, fish that come through the barrier are either dead or die on the other side. So, the beach often smells like dead fish because the fish can’t escape or get past the breakwater while trying to get back to the ocean.
9. For Going Green, it’s Quite Dirty
Apart from the beach being dirty, the rest of the city experiences uncleanliness. The streets are dirty and there’s trash everywhere. There are going to be streets a lot worse than others, especially streets where homeless groups gather and live. There will be lots of trash in those areas and it is sad to see, but the cycle of crime, drugs, homelessness, trash, and pollution just keeps continuing and is hard to fix.
10. Ocean Breeze Doesn’t Fix the Air
From that point, we have something that is unexpected but is commonly talked about amongst residents. That is the pollution and air quality. Many people say that the air quality is not good, and if you have an iPhone, your weather app can confirm that. On the app, you can see that the air quality in Long Beach is moderate, but they also say that because of nearby wildfires over the years they also are at risk for respiratory issues. So, you should be careful moving here if you are at risk of issues regarding your lungs.
11. Real Possibility for Earthquakes and Wildfires
There is a real chance that an earthquake can occur in Long Beach or nearby, making Long Beach feel the effects depending on the magnitude. Also, there are wildfires that can spread quickly in California. A lack of rain can directly influence wildfires to grow quickly and pose a threat to your home, job, kids, and schools.
Personally, I remember being at Disneyland one day when there was a wildfire a few cities over, but it made the sky turn orange. Scary, right? In California, this is a real concern. So, if you choose to move to Long Beach, make sure you prepare yourself and get the proper insurance so you won’t have to pay for repairs by yourself should your home be damaged by a natural disaster.
12. Nice Temperatures, But No Seasons
California is the perfect place to visit because, at any point of the year, you can enjoy the outdoors. The ocean might get colder, but that’s why they invented wetsuits! If you love the fall season and like snow, Long Beach is not for you. The leaves don’t even fall or change color.
Palm trees always stay one color. You will have to drive over an hour (probably more with traffic) to visit the mountains in order to see trees changing colors. Personally, I have found that California beach cities are great for extended family who want to visit California, but living there long-term has its ups and many downs.
13. Political Beliefs
California residents tend to vote for Democratic candidates with some pockets of Republican voters. Long Beach is definitively a blue-voting city. This might have you say “well I vote Democrat, so this is not a con for me” and you are right. But, for others wh are more conservative, this is an important factor to know before moving.
Plus, some people are more right-leaning and are in the middle of the Democrat and Republican spectrum. So, even people who agree and vote towards the blue side also can find some ideas extreme and might not enjoy living in Long Beach. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, so if you find that moving here would put you in a political climate that you dislike, you should reconsider doing so.
14. Never-Ending California Traffic
Ah, the never-ending traffic that has locals going loco. You can imagine what occurs daily when we already know from the above point that there are too many cars in the city and in California. So, there is not only an issue with cars while they are not on but when they are on and in use. Imagine having to add 5-30 minutes to your estimated time of arrival to wherever you go, all the time. It is exhausting and will definitely make you reconsider moving to Long Beach.
15. Too Populated
If there are too many cars in the city, you can imagine that there are too many people. If you do a quick Google search for how big Long Beach is and how many people live there, you will find that Long Beach is 80.35 square miles. There are almost half a million people living there, as the population is about 462,081 people. That’s a lot! Just look at the houses and how close together they are! Needless to say, you don’t have much space on the street or in your own apartment, so you will likely feel pretty cramped all the time.
16. Too Many Tourists
Because too many people living here is not enough, there are also many tourists that visit Long Beach during their vacation. So, now there are people absolutely everywhere. If you love the feeling of a busy living city, this is your place. If not, you are often going to feel overwhelmed. And if you can’t find solace in your home or in your city, it won’t feel like home.
17. Too Comfortable
This might seem odd, but some people are too comfortable in Long Beach. This means that there are handouts, flyers, pictures, and performers in many places that are inappropriate. Whether that is language-wise or how they are dressed, it can become kind of vulgar.
One person has written about how they walked into a store and were bombarded with inappropriate images and items for sale. So, living here you will have to learn what streets are appropriate and inappropriate, especially if you have kids. That is not something every parent wants to have a trial and error to learn about.