The 10 Most Stressed-Out Cities in America in 2020

Stressed woman
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The nation’s Rust Belt and the Deep South appear to have cornered the market on stress.

A pair of major cities from the Rust Belt — Cleveland and Detroit — took the top two slots in WalletHub’s recent rankings of the most stressed cities in America. Meanwhile, Deep South cities took five of the top 10 slots.

The analysis accounted for four types of stress:

  • Work stress
  • Financial stress
  • Family stress
  • Health and safety stress

A lot of different factors went into those categories. According to WalletHub:

“To determine the cities where Americans cope best, WalletHub compared more than 180 cities across 42 key metrics. Our data set ranges from how vulnerable the state is to COVID-19 to average weekly work hours to divorce and suicide rates.”

Then, the publication gave each city a total score on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest levels of stress.

The most stressed cities in America are:

  1. Cleveland: Total score of 66.93 out of 100
  2. Detroit: 64.96
  3. Birmingham, Alabama: 62.40
  4. Gulfport, Mississippi: 62.39
  5. Newark, New Jersey: 62.37
  6. Baltimore: 62.03
  7. New Orleans: 60.44
  8. St. Louis: 59.78
  9. Mobile, Alabama: 59.75
  10. Jackson, Mississippi: 59.27

Financial stress is particularly acute in the Rust Belt. Detroit and Cleveland rank first and second, respectively, in terms of having the highest poverty rates of the 180 cities in the analysis. Detroit also has the lowest median credit score.

Meanwhile, if you want a little more relaxation, the Great Plains are the place to be. According to WalletHub, the five least-stressed cities in America are:

  1. Lincoln, Nebraska: Total score of 35.49 out of 100
  2. Boise, Idaho: 35.77
  3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota: 36.14
  4. Fargo, North Dakota: 36.40
  5. Overland Park, Kansas: 36.70

How to reduce your stress

No matter where you live, chances are good that you bear a fair share of stress. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce all that tension.

Sometimes, you can shop your way to lower stress. Weighted blankets are all the rage now. They promise to give you a secure, snug feeling that helps you sleep better. Such blankets are on our list of “8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress.”

The WalletHub study clearly shows that money stress can trigger a lot of angst. Taking control of your cash can go a long way to calming your fears. For more, check out “A 7-Step Plan to Quit Stressing Out About Your Finances.”

Finally, Money Talks News contributor Veneta Lusk engages in a practice that keeps her feeling stress-free. Learn more in “This Habit Saves Me Money and Stress All Week Long.”

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