People around the world have spent the past year coming to terms with the dramatic life changes foisted upon them by COVID-19 — and by no means all of these changes have to do with actually getting sick. Rising poverty levels, unemployment, and safety concerns around commuting are among the many additional factors that lead to increased stress levels.
According to estimates for 2020 by the Urban Institute, the percentage of Americans living in poverty reached 12.4% (without benefit of stimulus checks, the SNAP program, or unemployment benefit increases), with a level of 20.5% for African-Americans. The overall poverty rate in 2019, in comparison, was 10.5%. (Here’s how COVID-19 has disproportionately affected minority communities in every state.)
As of January of this year, “The labor market continued to reflect the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it,” according to a report on the current employment situation by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the unemployment rate fell slightly as of the beginning of the year, it still stands at 6.3% — compared to 3.5% in 2019, the lowest rate since 1969.
The situation is worse in some places than others. It may not come as a surprise that New York is the country’s most stressed-out city, but the fact that six of the ten most stressed are in supposedly laid-back California might be food for thought. Every state, however, suffers from the same problems to a greater or lesser extent. Here’s a list of the most stressed-out city in every state.