THIS Is the Most Stressful U.S. City
Where is the most stressful place to live in the entire United States? Tacoma, Washington.
So says a new study from Sperling's BestPlaces that ranked the top 10 most and least stressful U.S. cities based on nine different factors that are associated with stress: unemployment rate, divorce rate, commute time, violent and property crime rates, suicide rate, alcohol consumption, self-reported "poor mental health," and the number of cloudy days.
What's the matter with Tacoma? In addition to having one of the nation's highest unemployment rates, this city also has a very high divorce rate. Add in the stress of frequent cloudy days and high rates of suicide and property crime, and it gets this dubious No. 1 ranking.
The top 10 most stressful cities of the 100 largest metropolitan areas are:
- Tacoma, Washington
- Miami, Florida
- New Orleans, Louisiana
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- New York, New York
- Portland, Oregon-Vancouver, Washington
- Mobile, Alabama
- Stockton-Lodi, California
- Detroit, Michigan
- Dallas, Texas
The No. 1 stressor for most of the top 10 cities is a high unemployment rate. "It affects the entire community, whether you have a job or not," said Bert Sperling, president of Sperling's BestPlaces, when he announced the survey results. "Rising unemployment has been tied to increased crime, and declining tax revenues force reductions in social services that affect young and old alike."
There were exceptions to this. While the Las Vegas economy is booming and unemployment is low, the city has the highest percentage of divorced residents and the highest rate of suicides.
The top 10 cities with the lowest stress are:
- Albany-Schenectady, New York
- Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle, Pennsylvania
- Orange County, California
- Nassau-Suffolk, New York
- Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota
- Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Omaha, Nebraska
- Norfolk, Virginia-Virginia Beach, Virginia
- Honolulu, Hawaii
- Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Interestingly, most of the cities recognized for low stress are state capitals and areas with colleges and universities. "Government and universities provide a solid economic base to smaller cities, lessening the stress caused by economic cycles," explained Sperling.