The cities most in need of a spa day: these are the most stressed out people in America

These are the most stressed out cities in America. Spa day, anyone?

Who are the most stressed-out people in America, where do they live and what stresses them out the most? A new survey asked these questions and found some answers, which we at Spa Executive think could prove quite valuable to the Spa and Wellness industry.

Knowing what stressors are affecting local populations can help wellness businesses connect with people and offer exactly what they need to relieve that stress. So, let’s take a look at the findings.

Attorney directory, Just Great Lawyers (a surprising source for this information, we thought), conducted the survey, which sought to learn who the most stressed out people are in America. To do this, rather than try to estimate people’s stress levels based on factors like unemployment rates, commute times, or home prices, they took another tactic and just asked people about their stress levels. The report argues that, “when it comes to stress, perception can be more important than reality,” and, that “the human nervous system is designed to respond to threats real or imagined, evoking the same physical and emotional consequences either way. So in essence, how stressed people think they are is exactly how stressed they really are.” This sounds reasonable.

Just over 2,700 people in 25 major American cities were asked to rate their stress levels around a variety of factors. The results showed that Americans in general are currently feeling more stressed than they were a year ago with sources varying from city to city.

The most stressed out cities

The most stressed out city was Indianapolis, IN, followed by Houston, TX, and Washington, D.C. Indianapolis also ranked in the top five for stress levels about money and political concerns.

Interestingly, eight of the most stressed out cities are located east of the Mississippi, while the two least stressed cities are in the South and Southwest.

the most stressed out cities


The most stressed out professions

Human resources, architecture, and religious ministry are the most stressed out professions, followed by those in pet care, and attorneys and others in the legal profession to round out the top five.

The report makes the observation that practitioners of these professions “hold people’s (or animals’) lives in their hands” in one way or another. “HR decisions make or break the quality of life for millions of people. An architect’s creations must be perfectly planned and constructed, or buildings come crashing down. Religious counselors work for nothing less than the integrity of people’s souls. And vet workers care for the lives of our precious pets — which, in America, might as well be people.“ It’s interesting, then, that doctors aren’t in the top five.

At the other end of the spectrum, fitness professionals, real estate agents, and government workers are feeling the least stressed. Somewhere in the middle are hospitality and service industry workers, followed by educators and career military members.

Being unable to work because of a disability was about as stressful as working in HR or architecture. Being out of work and running a business were both equally stressful, and retirees were the least stressed out of anyone.


Other significant findings of the survey include:

  • Young people feel more stress than older people.
  • Women feel more stress than men.
  • People with lower incomes generally feel more stress than people with higher incomes.
  • Stress levels decreased as income increased over $15,000 a year, but began creeping back up gain when income reached $250,000.
  • Las Vegas, NV, Indianapolis, IN, and Houston TX, residents report feeling the most financial stress.
  • People in Phoenix, AZ, Cleveland, OH, and New York, NY, feel the least financial stress.
  • San Francisco Bay area, CA, residents feel the most career stress.
  • Atlanta, GA, residents are a lot less worried about their careers.
  • Residents of Washington, D.C., are most stressed about health and healthcare, family matters, political concerns, and personal safety.
  • Houston, TX, San Francisco, CA, and Las Vegas, NV, residents are also stressed about health and healthcare.
  • New Orleans residents are least worried about their health.

When it comes to marketing spa services, these findings may help directors and operators come up with creative outreach ideas to connect with, for example, young, female HR professionals in Indianapolis or Washington D.C.

To see the full report click here.


The cities included in the survey:

Atlanta, GA
Baltimore, MD
Boston, MA
Charlotte, NC
Chicago, IL
Cleveland-Akron, OH
Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
Houston, TX
Indianapolis, IN
Las Vegas, NV
Los Angeles, CA
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
Nashville, TN
New Orleans, LA
New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Pittsburgh, PA
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA
Seattle-Tacoma, WA
St. Louis, MO
Washington, D.C.


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