It has been said that money cannot buy happiness — but it can certainly alleviate financial pressure. About 64% of American adults report being at least somewhat stressed about money, according to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America survey.
The second most common cause of stress, also related to money, is work. Six out of every 10 Americans said their job added stress to their lives. These two factors, of course, are not the only sources of stress in a person’s life. People also worry about their family, their health, and the overall state of the country and the world.
Not all Americans experience equal levels of stress. As the income gap between the rich and the poor widens, the levels of stress experienced by the different socioeconomic groups also grows further apart. Many parts of the United States are much more susceptible to work and financial stressors than others.
To identify the most stressed city in every state, 24/7 Wall St. created an index that measures the likelihood that money and work will cause stress among residents of U.S. metropolitan areas.
While everyone experiences some stress, some of which is even good, too much stress can have many negative effects on health. Elevated levels of stress can contribute to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic.
To identify the most stressed city in every state, 24/7 Wall St. created an index of data measuring the two most common sources of stress — money and work — in each state’s metropolitan areas. To capture money-related stress inputs we reviewed poverty rates, housing affordability, and food insecurity. For work-related stress inputs we included average weekly work hours, average daily commute times in hours, and annual unemployment rates. With the exception of food insecurity and unemployment rates, which came from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), respectively, all data used in the index came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 American Community Survey (ACS). The incidence of violent crime in each area came from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2017 Uniform Crime Report. All data are for the most recent periods available.