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article imageThe most stressed cities in the U.S. revealed

By Tim Sandle     Jul 20, 2016 in Health
Stress affects different people in different ways. Environment is also a factor. Is it possible for a town or city to create a greater feeling of stress compared with another? The outcome of a new survey infers that this is the case.
A new survey has considered the most stressed and least stressed cities in the U.S. The survey has been commissioned by a finance website called WalletHub, under the header: “2016's Most & Least Stressed Cities in America.”
To arrive at the data, the survey used 27 measures and examined these against the 150 largest (by population) cities in the U.S. The website indicates it commissioned the survey because over 100 million U.S. citizens have reported feeling stressed at some point in their lives. In addition, the U.S. healthcare spend on treating ‘stress’ is reportedly $300 billion.
The metrics used fell into the following broad categories:
Work-Related Stress, which included assessment of working hours; job security; commute time.
Money-Related Stress, including bankruptcy rates, debt levels and credit scores.
Family-Related Stress, which looked at divorce rates, single parent rates and general ‘well-being.’
Health- & Safety-Related Stress, which considered overall health, rates of depression, suicide rates and so on.
Coping with Stress, which considered perceptions of stress.
Whether the 27 metric included, which stretched from average work hours to debt load to divorce and suicide rates, are all of the required measures of stress is open to interpretation. Stress is a complex thing to pin down and it is the combination of mental and emotional pressure, together with physiological and physical factors. Nevertheless, the results are interesting.
The top ten most stressed cities were revealed to be:
1 Detroit, MI
2 Mobile, AL
3 Birmingham, AL
4 Memphis, TN
5 Cleveland, OH
6 Shreveport, LA
7 Columbus, GA
8 New Orleans, LA
9 Newark, NJ
10 Montgomery, AL
Whereas the least stressed places to live are:
141 San Diego, CA
142 Sioux Falls, SD
143 Overland Park, KS
144 Plano, TX
145 San Francisco, CA
146 San Jose, CA
147 Madison, WI
148 Honolulu, HI
149 Irvine, CA
150 Fremont, CA
Among these rankings, there were some interesting differences. In relation to commuter stress, Greensboro, N.C., was found to have the lowest commuter stress index; some 1.5 times lower than in Los Angeles. With unemployment rates, Lincoln, Neb., had the lowest unemployment rate, some five times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest recorded.
Furthermore, Overland Park, Kan., has the lowest poverty rate, a massive seven times lower than in Detroit. With divorce, Fremont, Calif., has the lowest divorce rate (a still sparingly high 12 percent. This is which is about three times lower than in Cleveland, the city with the highest, a whopping 41 percent.
Those cities that have done well out of the survey have taken to social media to promote their low-stress environments. Reporter Gabriella Dunn (@gabriella_dunn), for example, has tweeted: "Wichitans don’t stress too much about money but stress a lot about work compared with 150 cities around the country." To add to this, the SA Business Journal (@SABizJournal) messaged: "How passing the ‘stress test’ helps San Antonio economy."
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