If you’re feeling more stressed than ever before, you’re not alone. According to the American Psychological Association, 76% of adults in the U.S. have reported experiencing health effects due to stress in the prior month. This comes as no surprise as higher rates of inflation, unemployment, rent prices, and poverty continue to plague the nation. The research team at Charlotte’s Web wanted to know if certain American cities were experiencing higher levels of stress than others, so they conducted a study to determine the least and most stressed cities in America based on several stress-inducing factors.
The 100 most populous cities were scored on eight factors that cover a variety of common causes of stress, including financial stress, work-related stress, health-related stress, and the stress of living in a high-crime area. Factors like the percentage of people in poverty, the rent-to-income ratio, and the city’s cost of living compared to the national average show the financial stress people in different cities are under. Work-related stressors include the average number of minutes it takes to travel to and from work as well as the city’s unemployment rate. Health-related stress in each city was measured by the percentage of people without health insurance as well as its American Fitness Score, which was calculated by the American College of Sports Medicine based on the mental and physical health of each city. Crimes rates in America were another factor considered when determining the most stressful cities in the U.S. The cities found to have higher levels of life’s most stressful events were given higher scores. The city with the highest final score was determined to be the most stressed city in the U.S., and the city with the lowest score is the least stressed city in America. View the results of our study below and see which two cities take the top spots.
What Is the Most Stressed City in the U.S.?
According to the results of our study, the most stressed city in the U.S. is Detroit, Michigan. Detroit was given a stress grade of F after earning bad scores for a multitude of the most stressful life events featured in the eight factors. What are the causes of stress in Detroit? Detroit’s percentage of people in poverty is 31.8%, the highest poverty rate in U.S., meaning that nearly a third of the city’s population is living below the poverty line. On top of this, Detroit also has the highest unemployment rate in America, with 7% of the population out of work. Other stress-inducing factors, like Detroit being one of the cities with the highest crime rate and earning a low American Fitness Score, also contributed to the city having the worst score out of all of the 100 cities included in the study.
The 10 Most Stressed Cities in America
- Detroit, MI
- New York, NY
- Memphis, TN
- Newark, NJ
- Houston, TX
- Miami, FL
- Los Angeles, CA
- Dallas, TX
- New Orleans, LA
- Cleveland, OH
What Is the Least Stressed City in the U.S.?
According to the results of our study, the least stressed city in the U.S. is Boise, Idaho. Boise was given a stress grade of A+ after earning low scores across the eight stress-inducing factors. Boise has the fifth shortest mean travel time to work, at just 19 minutes, leaving residents with more time that isn’t spent sitting in stressful traffic on their way to and from work. Boise’s higher American Fitness Score of 66.5 also helped the city secure its top spot, showing that the residents of Boise are taking care of their physical and mental health, which greatly helps to reduce their stress levels. Residents of Boise are also facing less financial stress, as their cost of living is 5.3% lower than the national average, and the average percentage of household income that goes to rent is below the recommended 30% threshold, at 26.5%. Finally, Boise’s low rate of 16 crimes per 1,000 residents allows for less stress, as people feel safer in their community
Gilbert, Arizona, came in a close second for the least stressed city in the U.S., earning an index score of just 0.06 more than Boise. Gilbert was found to have low percentages of people in poverty and people without health insurance, one of the lowest crime rates in America, and a very low percentage of the average household income going toward rent. Without the added stress caused by crime, finances, and health, the residents of Gilbert, AZ, are some of the least stressed in the country.
The 10 Least Stressed Cities in America
- Boise, ID
- Gilbert, AZ
- Madison, WI
- Virginia Beach, VA
- Lincoln, NE
- Chandler, AZ
- Scottsdale, AZ
- Plano, TX
- Arlington, VA
- Omaha, NE
Are you looking for ways to reduce the amount of stress in your life? There are a few simple steps you can take right now to put focus on your health and wellness, like making sure to exercise, eat right, and get enough sleep each night. If you’re struggling to get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep, add our Sleep Gummies to your nightly bedtime routine.
The following eight factors were used to determine which of the 100 most populous U.S. cities are the most and least stressed. These factors were considered based on variables that can increase the stress in one’s life, including financial stress, health-related stress, work-related stress, and the stress of living in a city with a lot of crime.
- People in Poverty — The percentage of the city’s population living below the poverty line. The financial uncertainty of living in poverty will lead to an increase in stress.
- People Without Health Insurance — The percentage of the city’s population under age 65 who do not have health insurance coverage. Without the safety net that health insurance provides, stress levels will increase if a health emergency were to arise.
- Crime Rate — The rate of violent crime and property crime combined per 1,000 residents in the city. Living in a city with a higher rate of crime will lead to an increase in stress, as residents feel less safe.
- Unemployment Rate — The percentage of the city’s population that is unemployed; if the individual city’s unemployment rate was not available, the unemployment rate for its metropolitan statistical area was used instead. Being unemployed leads to financial stress as residents struggle to find a job while also being able to provide for themselves and their families.
- Travel Time to Work — The mean number of minutes that it takes for residents in the city to commute to their job. Commuting is often stressful, and having a longer commute to and from work everyday will increase work-related stress.
- Rent-to-Income Ratio — The ratio of rent to income was found by finding the average of the costs for one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments and comparing it to the median annual household income in each city. Financial stress increases when people have to put more income toward rent, especially when this amount is higher than the 30% threshold for being rent-burdened.
- American Fitness Score — The American College of Sports Medicine scored each city on a variety of physical and mental health factors to determine which cities are healthier and more physically active. In this case, a higher score means a healthier city. Being healthy and active is proven to lower stress levels.
- Cost of Living Compared to National Average — The cost of living (COL) in each city is compared to the national average; a positive percentage is how much higher the city’s COL is than the national average, while a negative percentage is how much lower the city’s COL is than the national average. Living in a city with a higher cost of living can lead to more financial stress as residents try to keep up with higher costs for goods and services.
The 20 Most Stressed Cities in the U.S.
|City||People in Poverty||People Without Health Insurance||Crime Rate||Unemployment Rate||Travel Time to Work||Percent of Annual Household Income That Goes to Rent||American Fitness Score||Cost of Living Compared to National Average||TOTAL INDEX SCORE||Stress Grade|
|2||New York, NY||17.0%||7.9%||24.8||5.9%||41.4||66.6%||63.1||80.4%||509.80||F|
|7||Los Angeles, CA||16.6%||12.0%||32.0||4.5%||31.6||48.0%||52.0||41.1%||448.54||D+|
|9||New Orleans, LA||23.8%||10.2%||55.0||4.4%||23.5||44.5%||53.7||-4.6%||442.54||D+|
|12||Jersey City, NJ||16.1%||10.6%||16.0||3.8%||36.7||44.2%||62.0||80.4%||434.75||C-|
|19||Kansas City, MO||18.4%||20.1%||57.3||2.6%||22||27.1%||36.4||-8.4%||424.32||C-|
|20||Las Vegas, NV||14.9%||15.0%||30.3||5.5%||25.8||27.8%||32.9||-1.9%||424.14||C-|
The 20 Least Stressed Cities in the U.S.
|City||People in Poverty||People Without Health Insurance||Crime Rate||Unemployment Rate||Mean Travel Time to Work||Percent of Annual Household Income That Goes to Rent||American Fitness Score||Cost of Living Compared to National Average||TOTAL INDEX SCORE||Stress Grade|
|4||Virginia Beach, VA||7.8%||8.3%||16.6||2.6%||23.5||22.7%||54.7||10.6%||291.76||A|
|12||Fort Wayne, IN||15.5%||10.6%||25.8||2.2%||21.3||19.4%||42.1||-8.0%||320.55||B+|
|16||Colorado Springs, CO||10.9%||9.2%||38.3||3.0%||23.2||22.5%||52.9||0.8%||332.15||B+|
|18||St. Petersburg, FL||12.4%||12.7%||31.4||2.1%||23.6||35.0%||56.0||-2.0%||340.34||B|
|19||San Jose, CA||7.7%||5.7%||30.4||2.1%||29.8||27.3%||62.0||68.1%||340.83||B|
|20||San Diego, CA||11.6%||8.1%||23.3||2.7%||24.3||36.0%||61.2||35.0%||341.21||B|
The Most and Least Stressed City for Each Factor
|Factor Causing Stress||Most Stressed City||Least Stressed City|
|People in Poverty||Detroit, MI||31.80%||Fremont, CA||4.90%|
|People Without Health Insurance||Laredo, TX||30.80%||Fremont, CA||2.40%|
|Crime Rate||Memphis, TN||80.5||Santa Clarita, CA||11.19|
|Unemployment Rate||Detroit, MI||7.00%||Miami, FL||1.40%|
|Travel Time to Work||New York, NY||41.4||Lubbock, TX||16|
|Rent-to-Income Ratio||Miami, FL||76.72%||Wichita, KS||16.39%|
|American Fitness Score||Oklahoma City, OK||20.1||Arlington, VA||85|
|Cost of Living Compared to National Average||San Francisco, CA||86.10%||Laredo, TX||-19.40%|
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