America’s Most (And Least) Stressed Cities

Kathy Morris
by Kathy Morris
Study - 1 month ago

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Feeling stressed?

You’re not alone. A recent Gallup poll found that a staggering 55% of Americans experience severe stress throughout the workday. Stress leads to illness, increased work absenteeism, and losses in productivity.

It’s no surprise. Across the country people have a lot to be anxious about. From big bills and small bank accounts, to long hours and long commutes, life can get pretty stressful. However, just like your major and your career choices, where you live and work has consequences for your state of mind.

To determine the cities where Americans are dealing with the most stress, Zippia examined nearly 200 cities across 5 of the most stress inducing areas. The results? It turns out stress isn’t evenly spread throughout the country. Some cities are near to boiling over with stress, while others are as cool as a cucumber. Keep reading to see where you city landed.

Main Findings

Most And Least Stressed Cities

Rank City Commute Time Unemployment (%) Hours Works % Uninsured Income To Housing Costs (Less Is Worse)
1 Honolulu, HI 29 4 39 29 12.51%
2 Warren, MI 26 5 39 20 17.37%
3 St. Petersburg, FL 35 7 37 28 15.20%
4 Clarksville, TN 37 4 39 15 18.21%
5 Frisco, TX 41 4 39 11 10.65%
6 Fremont, CA 35 5 38 13 22.39%
7 Naperville, IL 31 4 37 17 9.74%
8 Miami, FL 29 4 38 23 21.96%
9 Elk Grove, CA 30 5 40 4 14.53%
10 New Orleans, LA 26 5 40 32 45.43%
11 Sioux Falls, SD 27 5 39 13 21.15%
12 Des Moines, IA 35 6 37 16 22.13%
13 Spokane, WA 26 4 38 25 15.96%
14 Richmond, VA 30 5 36 18 15.00%
15 Overland Park, KS 27 4 40 29 31.70%
16 Chula Vista, CA 30 4 38 12 11.66%
17 Omaha, NE 25 4 38 20 22.27%
18 Boise, ID 24 4 39 16 23.42%
18 Greensboro, NC 29 6 37 22 26.75%
20 Little Rock, AR 28 6 36 19 19.11%
21 Fort Lauderdale, Fl 34 4 38 11 15.90%
22 West Valley, UT 24 5 38 14 18.02%
23 Aurora, CO 32 4 38 10 10.90%
24 Salinas, CA 33 4 37 14 20.13%
25 Plano, TX 27 3 40 29 29.57%
26 Lancaster, CA 31 2 41 13 17.37%
27 Stockton, CA 31 5 37 14 17.69%
27 Irving, TX 30 6 38 12 20.69%
29 Fort Collins, CO 29 4 39 27 40.35%
30 Gilbert, AZ 33 6 38 13 27.90%
31 Louisville, KY 21 4 40 17 24.65%
32 Huntington Beach, CA 25 4 39 16 30.37%
33 Lakewood, CO 25 4 38 17 23.30%
34 Arlington, VA 33 3 40 5 10.36%
35 Cincinnati, Ohio 31 3 39 26 43.43%
36 Aurora, IL 28 3 37 17 12.89%
36 Tuscon, AZ 42 5 37 12 23.72%
38 Cary, NC 25 4 38 18 25.19%
39 Glendale, CA 29 5 37 10 16.42%
40 Jackson, MI 28 9 36 20 26.25%
41 Savannah, GA 23 3 39 19 15.50%
42 San Jose, CA 30 5 38 4 13.52%
42 Fullerton, CA 29 3 39 15 24.15%
44 Oakland, CA 28 4 37 11 8.63%
45 Laredo, TX 29 3 38 15 25.01%
46 Kansas, MO 22 5 38 20 21.34%
47 Reno, NV 30 5 36 14 18.95%
48 Nashville-Davidson, TN 27 3 37 32 16.28%
49 Virginia Beach, VA 27 3 40 22 38.40%
50 Birmingham, Al 21 5 41 17 41.50%
51 Newark, NJ 28 3 39 11 10.71%
51 Norfolk, VA 29 3 38 13 14.92%
53 Denver, CO 25 3 37 24 13.57%
54 Wichita, KS 27 4 38 18 27.74%
55 Indianapolis, IN 20 5 39 19 32.03%
56 Fort Wayne, IN 28 6 38 10 21.59%
57 Hayward, CA 31 5 38 9 31.23%
58 Alburquerque, NM 35 4 38 9 18.95%
59 Peoria, AZ 24 4 39 15 32.68%
60 Tulsa, OK 27 3 38 18 26.61%
60 New York, NY 28 3 39 23 43.13%
62 Tallahassee, FL 27 3 37 19 14.73%
63 Olathe, KS 24 4 38 11 13.26%
63 Bellevue, WA 24 2 39 16 21.60%
65 Springfield, MA 30 4 36 9 11.72%
66 Vancouver, WA 27 3 39 22 37.12%
67 Santa Clarita, CA 25 2 39 13 17.85%
67 Yonkers, NY 24 3 40 25 37.54%
69 Fontana, CA 24 5 38 15 31.17%
70 Baltimore, MD 31 3 39 10 25.24%
70 Paterson, NJ 19 4 39 34 38.16%
72 Orlando, Fl 19 5 40 16 33.97%
73 Grand Rapids, MI 23 4 39 15 26.87%
74 Minneapolis, MN 28 3 38 18 31.66%
74 Jersey City, NJ 21 5 39 19 38.76%
76 Boston, MA 36 3 37 11 17.80%
77 Salt Lake City, UT 21 5 37 17 20.44%
77 Santa Ana, CA 29 4 38 15 39.11%
79 Knoxville, TN 24 4 41 13 35.65%
80 Raleigh, NC 22 5 38 11 25.88%
81 Henderson, NV 24 3 39 16 25.81%
82 Brownsville, TX 20 6 37 26 27.12%
83 Chandler, AZ 22 4 38 27 36.85%
84 Corpus Christi, TX 29 2 42 7 17.53%
85 Detroit, MI 30 2 39 12 26.28%
86 Sunnyvale, CA 24 3 39 22 37.27%
87 Huntsville, AL 22 3 38 15 23.11%
88 Philadelphia, PA 32 3 38 7 21.69%
89 Hialeah, Fl 24 3 39 5 11.85%
89 Arlington, TX 28 3 38 15 26.47%
91 Dallas, TX 32 4 37 6 18.23%
91 Sacramento, CA 21 6 38 19 39.63%
91 Toledo, OH 21 5 38 27 47.57%
94 Anaheim, CA 22 3 39 16 26.86%
95 Fort Worth, TX 35 2 38 2 14.75%
95 Alexandria, VA 21 6 37 14 21.01%
97 McKinney, TX 30 3 38 7 13.14%
98 Thornton, CO 21 5 38 19 40.32%
99 Jacksonville, Fl 20 4 38 18 30.69%
100 Seattle, WA 25 5 37 9 18.65%
101 Scottsdale, AZ 27 3 39 5 14.14%
101 Enterprise, NV 23 4 38 14 35.92%
103 Lincoln, NE 18 3 40 14 27.04%
104 Long Beach, CA 29 2 38 8 12.54%
104 Grand Prairie, TX 18 4 39 22 34.44%
106 Paradise, NV 29 3 38 11 23.41%
107 Mobile, Al 20 7 38 20 41.37%
108 Macon, GA 24 3 36 25 16.54%
108 Corona, CA 24 3 38 17 26.08%
110 Oklahoma, OK 21 5 37 16 24.68%
110 Boston, MA 29 2 40 12 31.98%
112 Milwaukee, WI 31 4 38 11 39.16%
113 Columbus, GA 23 5 36 13 21.95%
113 Columbus, OH 25 3 38 11 22.61%
115 Providence, RI 21 2 39 17 25.18%
116 Los Angeles, CA 19 4 38 15 26.44%
117 El Paso, TX 28 3 37 12 12.62%
118 Akron, OH 33 3 37 8 15.41%
118 Masa, Arizona 23 3 39 15 29.42%
120 Mesquite, TX 26 2 40 13 31.62%
121 Shreveport, LA 21 5 38 19 34.28%
122 Killeen, TX 22 3 39 9 23.83%
123 Pembroke Pines, FL 21 3 39 20 35.16%
123 Cleveland, OH 25 5 39 10 42.45%
125 Atlanta, GA 28 3 39 8 29.37%
126 San Bernardino, CA 24 2 39 6 15.24%
127 Hollywood, FL 19 3 40 24 41.82%
128 Oceanside, CA 22 3 38 11 24.66%
128 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 26 9 36 16 64.51%
130 McAllen, TX 28 2 38 6 12.46%
130 San Francisco, CA 22 5 36 16 28.41%
132 Joliet, IL 23 3 40 11 27.05%
132 Buffalo, NY 22 3 38 23 31.68%
134 Santa Rosa, CA 21 3 39 15 35.29%
135 Anchorage, AK 26 3 37 9 17.14%
135 Lubbock, TX 22 3 38 17 33.35%
137 Moreno Valley, CA 19 4 38 13 18.32%
137 Metairie, LA 23 3 39 14 26.99%
139 Modesto, CA 26 3 39 10 28.54%
140 Springfield, MO 26 2 38 11 19.23%
140 Kansas City, KS 31 3 37 3 24.03%
142 Winston-Salem, NC 30 2 41 6 34.55%
143 Las Vegas, NV 25 3 38 4 12.67%
144 Chandler, AZ 19 4 38 15 27.46%
145 Amarillo, TX 22 2 40 8 18.56%
145 Fresno, CA 34 3 38 3 28.77%
147 Riverside, CA 21 3 38 36 35.27%
148 Tempe, AZ 23 3 37 11 14.56%
148 Bridgeport, CT 22 3 39 9 26.79%
148 Palmdale, CA 19 4 38 16 38.40%
151 Irvine, CA 24 8 37 13 42.35%
152 Escondido, CA 22 6 37 10 29.85%
153 Miramar, FL 22 5 37 14 33.93%
154 San Deigo, CA 23 2 38 4 10.56%
155 Tacoma, WA 27 3 39 6 29.75%
156 Port St. Lucie, FL 21 4 37 13 26.49%
157 Tampa, FL 20 3 38 43 41.67%
158 Glendale, AZ 19 3 38 15 19.49%
158 Garden Grove, CA 24 2 39 8 28.32%
160 Portland, OR 21 4 38 14 30.54%
161 Rockford, Il 22 3 37 11 24.02%
162 Chesapeake, VA 22 4 38 8 33.69%
162 San Antonio, TX 17 2 40 21 41.31%
164 Colorado Springs, CO 18 3 38 16 39.55%
165 St. Paul, MN 18 5 35 11 22.68%
166 Spring Valley, NV 23 4 37 8 25.01%
167 Eugene, OR 24 4 36 4 21.03%
168 Baton Rogue, Louisiana 21 5 36 6 24.10%
168 Torrance, CA 21 4 38 11 36.09%
170 Memphis, TN 21 7 37 11 48.01%
171 Fayettteville, NC 19 3 37 15 30.57%
172 Pomona, CA 21 3 36 12 21.19%
172 Montgomery, AL 22 2 39 7 29.93%
174 Pasadena, TX 21 5 37 11 46.11%
175 Chicago, IL 20 3 37 15 29.27%
176 Austin, TX 20 5 37 11 46.43%
177 Chattanoog, TN 18 2 39 12 30.69%
178 Sunrise Manor, NV 18 4 34 9 18.03%
179 Salem, OR 20 4 38 13 43.42%
180 Hayward, CA 24 4 36 8 28.03%
181 St. Louis, MO 20 4 36 7 18.38%
182 Bakersfield, CA 19 4 37 12 35.82%
183 Durham, NC 18 3 37 13 24.61%
184 Cape Coral, FL 18 3 38 13 37.58%
185 Lexington-Fayette, KY 20 7 36 9 40.73%
186 Charlotte, NC 20 3 37 9 30.39%
186 Augusta, GA 17 3 36 17 30.97%
186 Oxnard, CA 24 3 37 8 39.41%
189 Washington DC 19 4 38 9 41.08%
190 Pasadena, CA 16 2 38 17 37.03%
191 Phoenix, AZ 20 2 39 6 31.64%
192 Rochester, NY 21 2 39 9 38.09%
193 Madison, WI 20 3 37 8 27.44%
194 Pittsburgh, PA 16 2 39 9 33.70%
195 North Las Vegas, Nevada 21 4 36 8 43.30%
196 Ontario, CA 18 2 37 10 34.26%
197 Newport, VA 19 2 36 5 26.87%




Methodology – HOW WE DETERMINED The Most (And Least) Stressful Cities

Each city was ranked 1-to-197 in five categories:

  • Commute Time
  • Hours Worked
  • Unemployment
  • % Of Residents Uninsured
  • Income To Housing Costs

All data came from the most recent 5 year Census American Community Survey.
Stress is a complicated, nuanced emotion that can be difficult to quantify. We elected to examine factors that contribute to quality of life and peace of mind.

The first two factors, average commute time and average hours worked, directly impact work-life balance. The more time you spend working (or driving to work) the less time you have to spend with family and friends or on hobbies you enjoy. No matter how much you love your job, having the chance to unwind and step back from the stresses of the day is important for mental health. The longer the commute and more hours worked, the more stressed a city was.

Thirdly, we examined unemployment. The only thing worse than a job you hate might be not being able to find a job at all. Free time is nice, but so is food and shelter. The higher the rate of unemployment, the more stressed a city was.

After that we looked at percent of resident uninsured. Access to healthcare provides peace of mind and can lower healthcare related stress. The less insured a population was, the more stressed a city.

Finally, we delved into income to housing costs. Finances, in addition to job and health, are one of the biggest stressors in modern society. We ranked each city on how much a median salary cost is compared to median home cost. While not everyone owns a home, it is a staple of the American dream and being able to afford a home is an important marker of financial security. The closer the average annual salary to average house cost, the least stress. This is one factor where the 5 year ACS data slightly skewed some fast growing cities, for example booming Austin’s value won’t go far towards purchasing a house in 2020.

Summary On The Most (And Least) Stressful Cities

Stress can be highly situational. While we examined key factors that can contribute to stress (work-life balance, finances etc), your own life might have different stressors or be pretty stress-free. So, if you’re sitting in Honolulu or Warren, Michigan and feeling pretty good, this study might have you scratching your head. Congrats, your neighbors might not be coping as well.

Similarly, if you’re in one of the least stressed cities and feel extremely stressed- that is also possible.

The biggest thing to take away from this study? Some cities have deficiencies that can make life more stressful. Since stress has negative mental and physical consequences, that means residents in these states might need to focus more on stress reduction. So, next time you’re stuck in traffic on the way to work, maybe take a deep breath and know it’s not all your fault– it’s all about location, location, location.


Need some specific data or stats for your coverage? Email kmorris@zippia.com with your requests.

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