America’s Most Stressed and Relaxed Cities

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According to a recent study by the American Psychological Association, one in four Americans reports being highly stressed. The most-often cited sources of that stress are money — not enough — and work — too much. A full two-thirds of Americans are stressed about money and nearly as many, 65%, are stressed about work. In its 2015 study, the APA noted that family responsibilities rose to third place (57%), with personal health concerns (51%), family health problems (50%), and the economy (50%) rounding out the top five.

The younger you are, the more stress you feel. Millennials’ average stress level is 6 (on a 10-point scale) compared with 5.8 for GenXers, 4.3 for boomers, and 3.5 for matures. Urban dwellers feel more stress (5.6) than suburban adults (5.9) or rural dwellers (4.7).

Researchers at the National Association of Realtors’ website compiled a list of 11 metrics that indicate stress levels and, using their list, ranked the 10 most stressed cities and the 10 most relaxed cities. Among the items on the list, housing affordability, commute times, and percentage of people who say their health is “fair” or “poor.”

The 10 most stressed cities and their median home prices are:

  1. Los Angeles, California: $673,000
  2. Riverside, California: $350,000
  3. Miami, Florida: $349,000
  4. Anchorage, Alaska: $315,000
  5. New York City, New York: $422,000
  6. Houston, Texas: $315,000
  7. New Orleans, Louisiana: $250,000
  8. Lafayette, Louisiana: $218,000
  9. Phoenix, Arizona: $300,000
  10. Sacramento, California: $427,000

The 10 most relaxed cities and their median home prices are:

  1. Fargo, North Dakota: $253,000
  2. Burlington, Vermont: $296,000
  3. Madison, Wisconsin: $275,000
  4. Bismarck, North Dakota: $275,000
  5. Sioux Falls, South Dakota: $220,000
  6. Portland, Maine: $329,000
  7. St. Cloud, Minnesota: $192,000
  8. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: $175,000
  9. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: $191,000
  10. Duluth, Minnesota: $170,000
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