The most stressed out cities and countries

most stressed out cities

A new study has ranked the most stressed out cities in the USA. Is yours one? 

A recent study ranked the most and least stressed out cities in the USA. 

To determine the rankings, personal finance website WalletHub compared 182 cities, including America’s 150 most populated, across 40 key metrics under four main categories:

Work stress, including average weekly work hours, job security, traffic congestion, and unemployment rate.

Financial stress, including median annual household income, foreclosure rate, personal bankruptcy rate, and poverty rate.

Family stress, including separation and divorce rate, share of single parent households, median duration of current marriage, and childcare costs.

Health and safety stress, including vaccination rates, share of adults in fair or poor health, mental health, suicide rates, share of adult smokers, and crime rate. 

Cities were graded on a 100-point scale for each metric, with 100 indicating the highest stress levels. The overall scores were calculated by weighted average across all metrics.

They found that the most stressed out US city is Cleveland, Ohio, followed by Detroit, Michigan, and Gulfport, Mississippi. And the least stressed city is Fremont, California, followed by South Burlington, Vermont, and Madison, Wisconsin. 

Here are WalletHub’s top 10 most and least stressed out US cities and their scores out of 100: 

Top 10 most stressed out US cities

  1. Cleveland, OH – 64.66
  2. Detroit, MI – 61.2
  3. Gulfport, MS – 57.03
  4. Baltimore, MD – 56.72
  5. Philadelphia, PA – 6.45
  6. Memphis, TN – 56.31
  7. New Orleans, LA – 55.91
  8. Birmingham, AL – 54.86 68
  9. St. Louis, MO – 54.36
  10. Toledo, OH – 54.03

Top 10 least stressed out US cities

  1. Fremont, CA – 28.58
  2. South Burlington, VT – 31.14
  3. Madison, WI – 31.27
  4. Overland Park, KS – 31.46
  5. Fargo, ND – 31.46
  6. Columbia, MD – 32.12
  7. San Jose, CA – 32.85
  8. Bismarck, ND – 32.91
  9. Sioux Falls, SD – 32.94
  10. Burlington, VT – 33.24

The most stressed out cities and countries in the world

Separate research, also released recently, ranked the most stressed out cities and countries in the world. 

Insurance company, William Russell, ranked 73 cities to find the most and least stressful in the world. They also ranked 38 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). City rankings are based on cleanliness (includes* air pollution, noise pollution, and quality of green spaces), financial stress (includes the percent of the population living in poverty and the estimated monthly cost of living for a single person), LGBTQ+ safety, and suicide rates.

Country rankings are based on cleanliness, current health expenditure per capita, cost of living, LGBTQ+ safety, and suicide rates. Cleanliness includes air pollution index, noise pollution, cleanliness, and quality of green spaces.

Each location received a score out of 10 for these factors, which was then averaged across all factors to reach overall stress scores out of 10. 

The least stressed cities in the world and their scores out of 10 were:

  1. Helsinki, Finland – 2.45
  2. Vienna, Austria – 2.49
  3. Munich, Germany – 2.59

And here are the most stressed cities in the world and their scores out of 10.

  1. Cairo, Egypt – 7.67
  2. Delhi, India – 6.96
  3. Karachi, Pakistan – 6.47

The most stressed out country in the OECD, meanwhile, was found to be Korea, followed by Chile, and the United States. And the least stressed countries were Finland, Sweden, and Australia. 

Global stress, sadness, and worry are at an all-time high

Finally, yet another report has found that global stress, sadness, and worry are at an all-time high.  The most recent annual Gallup Global Emotions report, which takes a pulse of the negative and positive experiences that people are having each day and ranks happiness levels around the world, found that emotionally, the second year of the pandemic (2021) was an even tougher year for the world than the first one.

The Negative Experience Index rose in 2021 

“As 2021 served up a steady diet of uncertainty, the world became a slightly sadder, more worried and more stressed-out place than it was the year before — which helped push Gallup’s Negative Experience Index to yet another new high of 33 in 2021,” says the report.

As it has every year since 2006, Gallup asked adults in 122 countries and areas if they had five different negative experiences on the day before the survey and compiled the results into an index. In 2021, four in 10 adults worldwide said they experienced a lot of worry (42%) or stress (41%), and three in 10 experienced a lot of physical pain (31%). More than one in four experienced sadness (28%), and two in 10 experienced anger (23%). 

Negative experiences were already at record highs in 2020 and have ticked upwards. The only one that did not increase in 2021 is anger, which dropped one point from 24% in 2020.

Meanwhile, positive experiences declined. The poll also asked people about positive experiences on the previous day and found that, after several stable years, the Index dropped slightly for the first time since 2017, from 71 to 69. 

“With more people dying from the coronavirus in 2021 than the previous year despite the rollout of vaccines, people felt less well rested, and fewer derived enjoyment from the previous day. The percentage who said they felt well rested dropped three points, and the percentage who experienced a lot of enjoyment dropped two.” 

It’s not all bad, however. The percentage of people who laughed or smiled a lot increased two points and the percentage who learned something interesting rose one point. 

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