Is It Home Sweet Home or Home Stressed Home?

July 21, 2016
WalletHub compared the stress levels at 150 major cities across the country. Is your city chill or stressed?

With stress affecting more than 100 million Americans and costing more than $300 billion in annual health spending, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis to determine 2016's Most & Least Stressed Cities in America.

WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 largest cities across 27 key metrics. The data set ranges from average work hours to debt load to divorce and suicide rates.

The 10 most stressed cities are, in order, Detroit; Mobile, Ala.; Birmingham, Ala.; Memphis; Cleveland, Ohio; Shreveport, La.; Columbus, Ga.; New Orleans; Newark, N.J.; and Montgomery, Ala.

The 10 least stressed cities are, counting back from tenth to first: San Diego; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Overland Park, Kan.; Plano, Tex.; San Francisco; San Jose, Calif.; Madison, Wisc.; Honolulu; Irvine, Calif.; Fremont, Calif.

Best vs. Worst

Greensboro, N.C., has the lowest commuter stress index, 1.11, which is nearly 1.5 times lower than (no surprise!) Los Angeles, the city with the highest at 1.62.

Lincoln, Neb., has the lowest unemployment rate, 2.5 percent, which is about five times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest unemployment rate of 12.4 percent.

Overland Park, Kan., has the lowest poverty rate, 6 percent, which is nearly seven times lower than in Detroit, the city where nearly 40 percent of the population lives in poverty.

Fremont, Calif., has the lowest divorce rate, 12.24 percent, which is about three times lower than in Cleveland, the city with the highest rate: 41.29 percent.

Seattle has the lowest percentage of single parents, 9.54 percent, which is about four times lower than in Newark, N.J., the city with the highest percentage: 37.79 percent.

Minneapolis has the lowest percentage of adults in fair or poor health, 10.77 percent, which is about two times lower than in Mobile, Ala., the city where more than one-quarter of the population – 25.71 percent – is in fair or poor health.

Irvine, Calif., has the lowest number of violent crimes – .49 per 1,000 residents – which is more than 40 times lower than in Detroit, which has nearly 20 violent crimes per 1,000 residents.

Fresno, Calif., has the most psychologists per 100,000 residents, 80.1, which is about 22 times more than in Baton Rouge, La., the city with the fewest (3.7).

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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