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Stress Awareness Demographics & Statistics Health Tips

The Most Stressed Cities In America 2024

3 days, 23 hours ago

948  0
Posted on Jul 09, 2024, 2 p.m.

Modern society seems to be set up to promote stress, it is everywhere and virtually impossible to avoid. Some stress is pretty much inevitable these days to some degree from family and relationship struggles to health and money to environment and politics. These recent years have elevated stress levels with imposed restrictions, heightened inflation, and increasing homicide rates. 

You are pretty much guaranteed that something is going to stress you out at some point, even if it is from a simple little annoyance of everyday life like traffic. A new poll from the team at WalletHub comparing over 180 cities across the nation on 39 key factors that can lead to stress such as local crime, family conflicts, workplace stress, divorce rates, health issues, and financial stress suggests that where you live plays a very significant role in how you are feeling. 

“Some stress is out of our control, due to issues with family, friends or employers. However, where you live can play a big role in how stressed you are. Cities with high crime rates, weak economies, less effective public health, and congested transportation systems naturally lead to elevated stress levels for residents. When moving, it’s important to consider how a certain city may impact your mental health – not just your financial opportunities,” says WalletHub Analyst Cassandra Happe in a statement.

Top 10 Stressed Cities

The 10 most stressed cities in America are Cleveland, OH taking the top spot for stress, followed by Detroit, MI taking the second spot, Baltimore, MD ranks 3rd for stress, Memphis, TN comes in at 4th, Gulfport, MS places 5th, Philadelphia, PA is ranked 6th, Birmingham, AL took 7th place, Akron, OH ranks 8th, New Orleans, LA was ranked 9th, and Jackson, MS round off the top 10 most stressful cities. 

10 Least Stressed Cities

The 10 least stressed cities in America are Fremont, CA is the least stressful city in America ranking #182, South Burlington, VT was #181, Fargo, ND took spot 180, Lincoln, NE placed 179, Bismarck, ND ranked 178, Sioux Falls, SD came in at 178, Biose, ID is #176, Nashua, NH ranked 175, Portland, ME holds spot #174, and Overland Park, KS is ranked 173 in the 10 least stressful cities in America.

Health

According to the poll, Portland, MN appears to be the healthiest place to live in America, having the lowest share of adults in fair or poor health. For example, there are 3 times fewer people in poor health living in this city compared to Huntington, WV, Montgomery, AL, San Antonio, TX, and Jackson, MS which are all tied as the number one city with the highest number of residents in poor health. 

Perhaps lack of sleep is playing a part in residents being stressed out, the best city for sleep (South Burlington) gets 2 times more sleep than those living in the worst for average hours of sleep per night (Detroit). 

Workplace Related Stress

On average, 3 in 5 people don’t talk about their stress because they don’t want to place that extra burden on other people. However, money, health, and the economy remain the top stressors. Stress isn’t just harmful to people as individuals, recent estimates suggest that workplace-related stress costs the nation over $300 billion annually. 

Miami and Hialeah, FL have the lowest unemployment rates in the country which is 5.9 times lower than in Detroit where the unemployment rate is the highest.

Those living in Scottsdale, AZ work the most hours, those living in Dallas, TX and Casper, WY tied for second place in hours worked which was followed by Washington, DC, and Fayetteville, NC round off the top 5 in most average weekly hours worked. On the other end of the scope, Bridgeport, CT ranked 178, New Haven, CT came in at 179, Tallahassee, Fl was 180th, Huntington, WV placed 181, and those living in Burlington, VT round off the list at spot #182 with the fewest average weekly hours worked.

Poverty Rate

The poverty rate has a serious fluctuation, with the best city (Overland Park) versus the worst city (Detroit) having an 8 times difference. Detroit, MI was ranked #1 with the worst poverty rate, Cleveland, OH ranked 2nd, Huntington, WV is 3rd, Rochester, NY was 4th, and Buffalo NY has the 5th highest poverty rate. Rounding off the bottom of the least as cities with the lowest poverty rate Scottsdale, AZ ranked 178, Gilbert, AZ placed 179, Fremont, CA came in at 190, and sharing spot #181 Pearl City, HI tied with Overland Park, KS. 

Crime Rate

Living in an area with high levels of violence and crime can have both direct and indirect effects on mental health which includes elevated stress levels which may be driven by chronic safety fear. This year, three cities Memphis, TN, Oakland, CA, and Tacoma, WA tied for 1st place for cities with the highest crime rate, St. Lois, MO ranked 4th and Little Rock, AR was 5th in cities with the highest crime rate. Meanwhile, Warkwick, RI ranked 175 for the lowest crime rate, Nashua, NH placed 176, Cape Floral, FL came in at 177, Gilbert, AZ took spot 178, and Port St. Lucie, FL rounded off the list at 179 for the city with the lowest crime rate in America.

A Closer Look At The Top 3 Most Stressed Cities

#1. Cleveland, OH.

This is the most stressed city in America this year, which may be due to it having one of the lowest median household incomes (under $41,000) after adjusting for the cost of living. The low wages contribute to the fourth-highest share of households that fall behind on their bills in the past 12 months, the second-highest foreclosure rate, and the second-highest poverty rate. It’s not just financial stress either, health and safety have a big impact. 

In Cleveland, over 20% of adults have 14+ mentally unhealthy days per month, and 43% of adults sleep less than 7 hours a night, in this city with one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation. All this takes a toll on personal lives, adding stress to family and relationships. This city has the second-highest separation and divorce rate in the country, hovering at 41%, and this pairs with the 19th-highest percentage of single-parent households. 

#2. Detroit, MI.

One of the contributing factors to Detroit having the second most stressed population in the country is that this city has the highest unemployment rate across the nation at 8.2%. Detroit also has the lowest median household income (under $37,000) after adjusting for the cost of living. Add to this that the city has the highest poverty rate (31.5%) in the country, and residents have a very low median credit score of 614, which is in the bad credit range. 

Detroit has one of the highest violent crime rates across the nation which adds to the stress the residents have for their family structures. Safety concerns may be keeping people inside which contributes to the city having very low physical activity levels and the second-highest obesity rate.  This city also has the highest separation and divorce rates as well as the highest share of single-parent households. 

#3. Baltimore, MD.

Residents here may be stressed over the fact that it is very expensive to rent in the city, with the city ranking second highest for financial stress. The average annual rent for a two-bedroom apartment in this city is 40% of the median household income, which is the fourth highest in the country. People living here who purchase a home also have trouble keeping up with mortgage payments as the city has the ninth-highest share of underwater mortgages. 

Baltimore has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country, along with the sixth most mass shootings between 2020 and 2024. This city has the ninth-highest separation and divorce rates, and it has the tenth-highest food insecurity rate in the nation. Just getting around in this city can be difficult too, which is reflected in it having the 13th highest traffic congestion rate.

Managing stress

Stress can be good, and it can be bad. Good stress is typically short-term, and it may even inspire and/or motivate you, or help you to focus your energy and enhance your performance. Bad stress, on the other hand, tends to wear you out, leaves you feeling uneasy, and is harmful to your health. Chronic (bad) stress leads to anxiety, confusion, poor concentration, fatigue, mood swings, paranoia, weight fluctuations, sleep disturbances, muscle tension, decreased performance, as well as other physical and mental symptoms. 

Stress is part of life, making it important for us to find ways to keep our level of stress in check such as practicing mindfulness, yoga, meditation and getting enough sleep among other options. Don’t let stress get the better of you, if you are having difficulty dealing with stress make sure to reach out for help whether that be to a family member, friend, or psychologist talking about it can offer valuable support, resources, and treatment options to help you manage stress effectively. 

The Most To Least Stressed Cities In America 2024

Overall Rank* 

City

Total Score 

Work Stress Rank 

Financial Stress Rank 

Family Stress Rank 

Health & Safety Stress Rank 

1

Cleveland, OH

60.37

55

1

12

2

2

Detroit, MI

59.72

44

9

4

1

3

Baltimore, MD

58.30

5

2

16

38

4

Memphis, TN

57.12

53

4

15

6

5

Gulfport, MS

57.12

28

13

5

22

6

Philadelphia, PA

56.03

12

12

31

9

7

Birmingham, AL

55.96

57

18

11

3

8

Akron, OH

54.86

108

16

6

8

9

New Orleans, LA

54.02

25

3

65

20

10

Jackson, MS

53.43

68

10

41

14

11

St. Louis, MO

53.38

35

5

69

16

12

Montgomery, AL

53.10

114

6

40

7

13

Indianapolis, IN

52.41

19

17

42

37

14

Shreveport, LA

52.29

81

7

61

13

15

Newark, NJ

51.35

9

15

35

92

16

Mobile, AL

51.23

65

8

84

27

17

Milwaukee, WI

50.92

60

45

13

34

18

Houston, TX

50.92

13

72

36

17

19

San Bernardino, CA

50.83

112

35

2

53

20

San Antonio, TX

50.43

92

47

18

11

21

Baton Rouge, LA

50.02

69

23

70

15

22

Augusta, GA

49.80

89

21

39

29

23

Cincinnati, OH

49.45

41

31

48

36

24

Las Vegas, NV

49.11

32

37

29

76

25

Wilmington, DE

49.05

43

30

34

62

26

Toledo, OH

49.03

78

19

90

26

27

North Las Vegas, NV

48.87

128

32

3

84

28

Columbus, GA

48.80

150

11

47

55

29

Fresno, CA

48.58

139

39

1

117

30

Huntington, WV

48.54

180

20

79

5

31

Vancouver, WA

48.52

4

100

33

63

32

Fayetteville, NC

48.43

136

43

24

30

33

Chicago, IL

48.12

8

36

93

85

34

Salem, OR

47.74

117

113

21

12

35

Spokane, WA

47.68

107

107

7

54

36

New York, NY

47.59

6

51

75

105

37

Fort Smith, AR

47.57

147

27

80

10

38

Laredo, TX

47.44

181

22

14

57

39

Dover, DE

47.28

67

28

98

31

40

Modesto, CA

47.21

101

84

8

107

41

Dallas, TX

47.08

21

87

81

35

42

Los Angeles, CA

46.76

29

61

37

103

43

Little Rock, AR

46.74

88

14

119

50

44

Tucson, AZ

46.73

134

68

25

45

45

Rochester, NY

46.68

121

60

27

56

46

Washington, DC

46.65

15

99

28

108

47

Corpus Christi, TX

46.65

166

41

45

23

48

Charleston, WV

46.64

62

150

63

4

49

Louisville, KY

46.54

20

33

137

41

50

Buffalo, NY

46.52

64

78

51

43

51

Bridgeport, CT

46.32

7

34

101

140

52

Winston-Salem, NC

46.06

100

71

23

75

53

Newport News, VA

46.05

157

49

19

79

54

Richmond, VA

45.88

38

48

86

73

55

Kansas City, MO

45.79

47

91

103

19

56

Oklahoma City, OK

45.58

95

67

64

40

57

Knoxville, TN

45.50

153

65

72

21

58

Tacoma, WA

45.33

46

125

20

81

59

Norfolk, VA

45.30

138

46

60

48

60

Jacksonville, FL

45.30

118

38

59

67

61

El Paso, TX

45.21

158

44

43

61

62

Tulsa, OK

45.18

152

54

87

24

63

Bakersfield, CA

44.89

111

58

30

115

64

Ontario, CA

44.75

133

63

17

130

65

Fort Wayne, IN

44.54

84

64

82

66

66

Moreno Valley, CA

44.51

149

59

9

123

67

Columbus, OH

44.42

61

75

107

46

68

Fort Worth, TX

44.37

63

118

46

59

69

Worcester, MA

44.36

123

102

10

128

70

New Haven, CT

44.35

116

26

83

102

71

Brownsville, TX

44.12

167

40

55

65

72

Miami, FL

44.09

151

24

67

96

73

Hialeah, FL

44.07

168

29

32

127

74

Sacramento, CA

44.00

103

76

22

129

75

Arlington, TX

43.90

120

93

54

51

76

Columbia, SC

43.78

172

25

96

47

77

Phoenix, AZ

43.72

122

82

58

58

78

Grand Prairie, TX

43.63

51

104

73

64

79

Atlanta, GA

43.54

39

81

116

69

80

Denver, CO

43.44

1

122

150

86

81

Long Beach, CA

43.37

48

56

62

151

82

Portland, OR

43.35

10

130

102

106

83

Glendale, AZ

43.34

144

55

76

77

84

Albuquerque, NM

43.30

97

106

53

71

85

Springfield, MO

43.30

125

57

145

18

86

Greensboro, NC

43.22

113

83

56

93

87

Stockton, CA

42.88

104

62

66

119

88

Garland, TX

42.65

105

90

77

74

89

Reno, NV

42.65

110

129

49

70

90

West Valley City, UT

42.55

162

100

26

72

91

Chattanooga, TN

42.52

173

66

113

28

92

Aurora, CO

42.45

23

77

120

111

93

Oceanside, CA

42.20

22

116

74

159

94

Las Cruces, NM

42.15

119

52

108

97

95

Fontana, CA

42.02

161

69

38

136

96

Oakland, CA

41.95

11

141

68

149

97

Wichita, KS

41.85

129

74

130

44

98

Riverside, CA

41.68

148

73

57

118

99

Oxnard, CA

41.54

93

114

44

157

100

Henderson, NV

41.44

49

98

78

145

101

Nashville, TN

41.26

33

95

144

80

102

Glendale, CA

41.20

24

70

97

171

103

Tampa, FL

41.04

90

92

88

125

104

Tallahassee, FL

41.04

171

42

106

89

105

Colorado Springs, CO

40.89

142

132

52

99

106

Lubbock, TX

40.86

178

50

132

32

107

Port St. Lucie, FL

40.67

99

133

117

60

108

Des Moines, IA

40.54

58

97

135

91

109

Casper, WY

40.42

56

149

155

25

110

Santa Clarita, CA

40.37

31

53

123

172

111

Santa Ana, CA

40.13

140

108

71

126

112

Salt Lake City, UT

40.08

135

105

91

109

113

Charlotte, NC

39.98

42

137

99

139

114

Amarillo, TX

39.95

176

96

118

42

115

Peoria, AZ

39.79

59

94

127

124

116

Cape Coral, FL

39.78

85

80

129

132

117

Boston, MA

39.42

30

103

147

142

118

Pittsburgh, PA

39.19

131

86

143

82

119

Irving, TX

39.16

155

143

92

78

120

Mesa, AZ

39.06

163

109

94

104

121

Orlando, FL

39.04

177

79

95

101

122

Anaheim, CA

39.00

83

111

89

164

123

Garden Grove, CA

38.92

126

124

50

167

124

Providence, RI

38.82

96

88

134

131

125

Missoula, MT

38.56

127

139

142

52

126

Fort Lauderdale, FL

38.40

124

89

141

110

127

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

38.32

102

115

115

143

128

Huntsville, AL

38.07

175

131

126

49

129

Austin, TX

38.02

40

158

128

134

130

San Diego, CA

37.91

70

117

111

176

131

Chula Vista, CA

37.83

66

134

85

177

132

Pembroke Pines, FL

37.75

36

123

138

158

133

Anchorage, AK

37.70

79

167

114

113

134

Santa Rosa, CA

37.70

91

140

109

163

135

Lewiston, ME

37.66

159

120

163

39

136

Aurora, IL

37.63

54

136

133

141

137

Tempe, AZ

37.46

182

112

100

90

138

Billings, MT

37.26

130

152

166

33

139

Lexington-Fayette, KY

37.07

73

85

174

87

140

San Francisco, CA

37.00

3

169

140

179

141

St. Petersburg, FL

36.98

109

138

146

114

142

Cheyenne, WY

36.95

26

159

168

68

143

Honolulu, HI

36.92

76

121

124

175

144

Yonkers, NY

36.81

14

135

154

170

145

Chesapeake, VA

36.73

143

128

125

138

146

Seattle, WA

36.68

34

179

104

154

147

Omaha, NE

36.57

87

110

164

122

148

Jersey City, NJ

36.41

16

126

152

173

149

Huntington Beach, CA

36.21

50

165

112

166

150

Nampa, ID

36.02

154

119

162

88

151

St. Paul, MN

35.99

98

146

148

135

152

Pearl City, HI

35.93

2

155

157

174

153

Raleigh, NC

35.61

80

175

110

165

154

Juneau, AK

35.50

27

178

159

94

155

Warwick, RI

35.49

17

156

175

116

156

Chandler, AZ

35.46

160

144

121

146

157

Grand Rapids, MI

35.44

156

145

160

98

158

Cedar Rapids, IA

35.40

82

147

167

112

159

Minneapolis, MN

35.26

106

160

156

121

160

Scottsdale, AZ

35.12

52

153

158

162

161

Virginia Beach, VA

34.96

115

151

139

160

162

Manchester, NH

34.67

137

161

161

95

163

Durham, NC

34.60

164

170

105

144

164

Gilbert, AZ

33.75

170

127

151

155

165

Plano, TX

33.59

77

172

153

153

166

Columbia, MD

33.48

37

171

122

181

167

Irvine, CA

32.51

71

166

136

180

168

San Jose, CA

32.19

45

180

131

178

169

Charleston, SC

31.80

141

163

173

120

170

Madison, WI

31.67

145

174

149

168

171

Burlington, VT

31.64

179

154

171

100

172

Rapid City, SD

31.19

132

162

178

83

173

Overland Park, KS

30.95

72

168

169

169

174

Portland, ME

30.76

94

157

176

150

175

Nashua, NH

30.57

146

176

172

133

176

Boise, ID

30.03

174

173

165

147

177

Sioux Falls, SD

29.98

86

148

182

148

178

Bismarck, ND

29.49

74

177

179

137

179

Lincoln, NE

28.77

165

142

181

156

180

Fargo, ND

27.93

169

164

177

152

181

South Burlington, VT

27.81

75

182

180

161

182

Fremont, CA

27.52

18

181

170

182

Notes: *1=Most Stressed

With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that city, where a rank of 1 represents the worst conditions for that metric category.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. Additionally, it is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Content may be edited for style and length.

References/Sources/Materials provided by:

T.W. at WHN

https://wallethub.com/edu/most-least-stressed-cities/22759

https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2023/collective-trauma-recovery

https://stress.org/workplace-stress/

https://search.cdc.gov/search/?query=stress%20management&dpage=1



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