Ranking: The Most and Least Stressed Cities in the U.S.
Stress may be inevitable, and some levels of stress may indeed be positive, but many situations, relationships, and even whole cities are downright toxic. Americans should know which parts of the country are associated with stress or thriving.
Many factors contribute to stress, and it is difficult to rank America's largest cities by this metric. Even so, some level of analysis is possible and even helpful for Americans deciding where to make their home.
To rank America's cities, WalletHub considered four major types of stress. The site assigned 25 points each to work stress, financial stress, family stress, and health and safety stress.
Work stress considered average weekly work hours, job security, traffic, unemployment and underemployment, average commute time, income growth, and job satisfaction. Financial stress considered household income, families behind on bills, foreclosure, bankruptcy, poverty, and food insecurity rates, median debt per median earnings, and housing affordability. Family stress considered the divorce rate, single parent households, length of marriage, strength of social ties, and child care cost. Health and safety considered health, depression, mental health, suicide, and insurance rates, along with binge drinking, smoking, physical activity, obesity, sleep, crime, and hate crimes.
Without further ado, here are the ten most stressed cities in the U.S., from least to most stressed. The ten least stressed cities will follow.
10. St. Louis, Mo. Score: 53.57.
St. Louis, the home of Anheuser-Busch, Boeing, Energizer, Panera, and Monsanto, ranks tenth on the WalletHub stress list. It ranks 28th for work stress, 19th for financial stress, 50th for family stress, and 17th for health and safety stress. This balanced rating seems unusual, as most cities have one or two very bad scores and one or two rather good scores.
9. Gulfport, Miss. Score: 54.82.
The second largest city in Mississippi, Gulfport struggles most with health and safety issues. It ranks 67th for work stress, 18th for financial stress, 43rd for family stress, and third for health and safety stress. It may not be a bad place to work, but crime and physical well-being sure take a hit.
8. Milwaukee, Wis. Score: 55.02.
Perhaps it is fitting that a city known for breweries is not a city known for economic and personal well-being. Milwaukee has great beer, but that doesn't make up for the stress. The city ranks 58th for work stress, 14th for financial stress, 12th for family stress, and 33rd for health and safety stress.
7. Wilmington, Del. Score: 55.25.
Delaware's most populous city is a rather bad place to work. Wilmington ranked 7th for work stress, 30th for financial stress, 33rd for family stress, and 28th for health and safety stress — a rather tragic situation all around.