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America’s Ten Most Stressful Cities

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, December 22, 2008 2:36 PM EST
Category: On The Road, Protecting Your Family
Tags: Stress, Living Well, Anxiety, Psychological Disorders, Environmental Health

Chicago ranks number one in stressful cities in this forbes survey. 

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IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons / Chicago skyline/ author: Z-dead

Drum roll please.

Forbes.com  lists Chicago as the country’s most stressful city.

Examining the country’s 40 largest metropolitan areas, Forbes measures quality-of-life issues including affordable housing, clean air, employment numbers, and the price of gasoline among the indicators.

Forbes.com defined stress as anxiety that diminishes the quality of life. Although some stress can be good if it leads to productivity and self-satisfaction.

Number 2:  New York, N.Y.

The Big Apple is packed to its core with the highest population density at 786 housing units per square mile. And while everyone wants to take advantage of great food, art, and job opportunities, the cost of housing makes it difficult to get ahead, unless you like to live small.  NY has the ninth worst air quality.  

Number 3: Detroit

Obviously the collapse of the auto industry has thrown this city into a tailspin, along with massive layoffs and a 9.4 percent unemployment rate.  On the upside, the cost of housing is more affordable.

Number 4:  Los Angeles

High unemployment at 7.5 percent coupled with a high cost of homes, the second highest in the country, and the worst air quality makes this car-dependent city a stressful one.

Number 5:  San Francisco

Least affordable homes earn the Bay area of San Francisco its ranking among the most stressed cities.  Citizens pay among the highest in the country for a gallon of gas while housing units are almost 360 per square mile, the ninth in density.

Number 6:  San Diego           

Who would think this Southern California city would be in the top ten most stressful cities, but the price of homes adds to the stress of its residents. Find many buckled mortgages and a relatively high unemployment at 6.4 percent.

Number 7:  Cleveland

Cleveland, Ohio a rustbelt city, has the fourth fewest sunny days, the tenth highest population density and the fourth worst air quality.  Also ranked high in unemployment which makes low housing costs, the third most affordable housing prices in the country, good news. 

Number 8: Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City, Utah has the 13th least affordable housing prices and high gas prices, along with a high population density.  Good news is a low unemployment rate at 5.9 percent.

Number 9:  Providence, RI

Providence has the second highest rate of unemployment at 7.9 percent. Couple that with a high population density with 432 housing units per square mile.

Number 10:  Philadelphia

The City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia has a tight population density, almost 430 housing units per square mile, along with smaller paychecks and high cost homes.

In October, Forbes reported on a survey from the American Psychological Association that finds 30 percent of participants are chronic worriers with “extreme stress.”  Half report regular stress in the moderate range. 

Americans’ stress type was different depending on the city in which they lived.  #


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