Think back to the last time you went to the doctor or even the dentist — chances are that stress came up at least once as a cause for some of your health issues. I never know how to respond when a medical professional blames stress for something and then instructs me to simply “be less stressed,” as if there’s some sort of magical potion or method that works for everyone. (Note: Yes, I’m aware of meditation and mindfulness. Very aware. It is not universally useful.)
But what if one aspect of stress had nothing to do with your job or your predisposal for being easily startled by everything from a bird flying overhead to your own shadow? What if where you lived could dictate — at least partially — the levels of stress you experience?
According to a report by WalletHub, it can. The site just released its 2017 lists of the most and least stressed cities in the United States, and the answers are somewhat surprising.
The most-stressed city in America is Newark, New Jersey, followed by Detroit, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; Jackson, Mississippi and Miami, Florida. On the other end of the spectrum, the least-stressed cities are Fremont, California; Plano, Texas; Overland Park, Kansas; Scottsdale, Arizona and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
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New York City is the 49th most-stressed city, while Chicago ranks 24th and Los Angeles is 36th, proving that big-city living doesn’t necessarily come with the most stress. (This is making me feel pretty smug, living in New York after growing up in the third-most-stressed city, Cleveland.)
In order to complete the report, WalletHub analyzed four dimensions of life in the 150 most populated cities in the United States: work stress, financial stress, family stress and health and safety stress. In addition to stress, it also ranked median credit score (lowest is in Detroit, Michigan, and highest is in Fremont, California), divorce rate (highest is in Cleveland, Ohio, and lowest is in Fremont, California) and percentage of adults in fair/poor health (highest percentage is in Corpus Christi, Texas, while Lincoln, Nebraska has the lowest… followed, of course, by Fremont, California).
Now excuse me while I look up real estate in Fremont, California.