West Coast, best coast?
Comparing the 150 most populated cities, the study determined which are the most and least stressed. The four categories assessed were work-, financial-, family-, and health and safety-related stress.
After Newark, Detroit, Michigan, and Cleveland, Ohio, took the number two and three spots, respectively. And on the opposite side of the spectrum, Fremont, California, was the least stressed city. Plano, Texas, and Overland Park, Kansas, closely followed with their low stress scores.
Work stress was quantified based on the average work-week hours of individuals and unemployment rate, among other factors. Median annual household income and housing affordability were two of the financial stressors, and divorce rate and strength of social ties were factored into the family stress category. To round out the study, the number of residents insured and suicide rate were two of the twelve areas of interest for the health and safety dimension. Data used was collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others.
Individual factor results showed even more information about the stress level of cities’ populations. Fayetteville, North Carolina and Anchorage, Alaska tied for highest average weekly work hours. Meanwhile, Portland, Oregon residents had the highest job security.
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Poverty rate was among the most revealing, as Fremont, Plano, and Overland Park (the three least-stressed cities), were in the top five for lowest poverty rate. The highest poverty rate was found in Detroit, with Cleveland coming in second. The two cities also took the top two scores for highest divorce rate.
Unsurprisingly, San Francisco and New York had the least affordable housing options. And while New York is supposedly the city that never sleeps, three cities in Nevada—Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas—tied for lowest average hours of sleep per night.