by David Klemt

These are the Most-stressed Cities in the US

by David Klemt

Deflated smiley face balloon in street

There’s a simple argument to be made that one characteristic the happiest cities share is being among the least stressful to live.

Yesterday we took a look at the happiest cities in the US, according to WalletHub analysis. Click here in case you haven’t yet read that article.

Today, let’s check out the most- and least-stressed cities in America. As with their happiest and least-happy cities list, WalletHub ranks 182 cities based on stress levels.

Of course, “least stressed” doesn’t mean “stress-free.” Nor should it—some stress is good for us. After all, stress can push us to perform our best, bring out our problem-solving creativity, and even energize us.

The rankings below may surprise you. Like me, you may even find yourself raising an eyebrow and disagreeing with some of them.

However, it’s a compelling list worth reviewing if you’re an operator, leadership team member, hospitality professional, or in the site-selection portion of opening a restaurant or bar.

The Top 25 Cities of Stress

When determining their results, WalletHub ranked 182 cities according to four main categories. Those categories are: work stress; financial stress; family stress; and health and safety stress. The categories consist of 40 key metrics in total.

I think it’s safe to assume that no city wants to be in the top 25 of this list, or even the top 50. Neither, I’m certain, does any city want to wear the crown of “Most Stressed US City.”

Unfortunately, someone must be number one. Below, the top 25 “Cities of Stress,” per WalletHub:

  1. Cleveland, Ohio
  2. Detroit, Michigan
  3. Gulfport, Mississippi
  4. Baltimore, Maryland
  5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  6. Memphis, Tennessee
  7. New Orleans, Louisiana
  8. Birmingham, Alabama
  9. Louis, Missouri
  10. Toledo, Ohio
  11. Augusta, Georgia
  12. Jackson, Mississippi
  13. North Las Vegas, Nevada
  14. San Bernadino, California
  15. Fayetteville, North Carolina
  16. Akron, Ohio
  17. Wilmington, Delaware
  18. Houston, Texas
  19. Montgomery, Alabama
  20. Shreveport, Louisiana
  21. Cincinnati, Ohio
  22. Newark, New Jersey
  23. Mobile, Alabama
  24. Columbus, Georgia
  25. Indianapolis, Indiana

Alas (I don’t get to use this word much), Ohio has four cities on this list. In fact, the Buckeye State has two cities in the top ten.

Of course, Ohio isn’t the only state with multiple cities in the top 25 stressed cities. Alabama has three cities among the top 25. Also, Mississippi and Louisiana each have two cities on this part of the list, unfortunately.

Cities 26 Through 91

As you’ll see below, Ohio shows up a couple of times in this portion of the list. However, so do a handful of other states.

For example, ten Texas cities land on this part of the list. That means Texas has 11 cities among the “top” half of the most-stressed US cities.

  1. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  2. Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. Huntington, West Virginia
  4. Springfield, Missouri
  5. Dover, Delaware
  6. Norfolk, Virginia
  7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  8. Chicago, IL
  9. Newport News, Virginia
  10. Washington, DC
  11. Dallas, Texas
  12. Richmond, Virginia
  13. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  14. Chattanooga, Tennessee
  15. Bridgeport, Connecticut
  16. San Antonia, Texas
  17. Atlanta, Georgia
  18. Glendale, Arizona
  19. New York, New York
  20. Tucson, Arizona
  21. Columbia, South Carolina
  22. Columbus, Ohio
  23. Knoxville, Tennessee
  24. New Haven, Connecticut
  25. Brownsville, Texas
  26. Rochester, New York
  27. Casper, Wyoming
  28. Vancouver, Washington
  29. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  30. Jacksonville, Florida
  31. Corpus Christi, Texas
  32. Charleston, West Virginia
  33. Henderson, Nevada
  34. Phoenix, Arizona
  35. Modesto, California
  36. Wichita, Kansas
  37. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  38. Little Rock, Arkansas
  39. Moreno Valley, California
  40. Louisville, Kentucky
  41. Stockton, California
  42. Spokane, Washington
  43. Fresno, California
  44. Miami, Florida
  45. Kansas City, Missouri
  46. El Paso, Texas
  47. Salem, Oregon
  48. Hialeah, Hawaii
  49. Los Angeles, California
  50. Fort Smith, Arizona
  51. Fort Worth, Texas
  52. Denver, Colorado
  53. Arlington, Texas
  54. Buffalo, New York
  55. Greensboro, North Carolina
  56. Bakersfield, California
  57. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  58. Providence, Rhode Island
  59. Tacoma, Washington
  60. Port St. Lucie, Florida
  61. Lewiston, Maine
  62. Laredo, Texas
  63. Cape Coral, Florida
  64. Grand Prairie, Texas
  65. Garland, Texas
  66. Aurora, Colorado

Cities 92 Through 137

This is where things begin to turn around, at least mathematically. This is the “bottom” half of the list.

Or, to phrase it another way, this section starts identifying the least-stressed cities in America.

  1. Portland, Oregon
  2. Ontario, California
  3. Lubbock, Texas
  4. Reno, Nevada
  5. Huntsville, Alabama
  6. Sacramento, California
  7. Amarillo, Texas
  8. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  9. Tampa, Florida
  10. Long Beach, California
  11. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  12. Fontana, California
  13. Tallahassee, Florida
  14. Las Cruces, New Mexico
  15. Worchester, Massachusetts
  16. Orlando, Florida
  17. West Valley City, Utah
  18. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  19. Peoria, Arizona
  20. Riverside, California
  21. Mesa, Arizona
  22. Nashville, Tennessee
  23. Des Moines, Iowa
  24. Nampa, Idaho
  25. Tempe, Arizona
  26. Irving, Texas
  27. Oakland, California
  28. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  29. Charlotte, North Carolina
  30. Rancho Cucamonga, California
  31. Boston, Massachusetts
  32. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  33. Honolulu, Hawaii
  34. Oceanside, California
  35. Pearl City, Hawaii
  36. Anchorage, Alaska
  37. Warwick, Rhode Island
  38. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  39. Cheyenne, Wyoming
  40. Petersburg, Florida
  41. Chesapeake, Virginia
  42. Billings, Montana
  43. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
  44. Durham, North Carolina
  45. Santa Ana, California
  46. Jersey City, New Jersey

Cities 138 through 182

Finally, we reach what cities, according to WalletHub analysis, experience the least amount of stress.

  1. Salt Lake City, Utah
  2. Aurora, Illinois
  3. Santa Clarita, California
  4. Glendale, California
  5. Manchester, New Hampshire
  6. Paul, Minnesota
  7. Garden Grove, California
  8. Pembroke Pines, Florida
  9. Yonkers, New York
  10. Chandler, Arizona
  11. Oxnard, California
  12. Juneau, Alaska
  13. Anaheim, California
  14. Santa Rosa, California
  15. Chula Vista, California
  16. Charleston, South Carolina
  17. Raleigh, North Carolina
  18. San Francisco, California
  19. Huntington Beach, California
  20. Omaha, Nebraska
  21. San Diego, California
  22. Gilbert, Arizona
  23. Scottsdale, Arizona
  24. Rapid City, South Dakota
  25. Austin, Texas
  26. Seattle, Washington
  27. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  28. Missoula, Montana
  29. Boise, Idaho
  30. Nashua, New Hampshire
  31. Plano, Texas
  32. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  33. Lincoln, Nebraska
  34. Portland, Maine
  35. Irvine, California
  36. Burlington, Vermont
  37. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  38. Bismarck, North Dakota
  39. San Jose, California
  40. Columbia, Maryland
  41. Fargo, North Dakota
  42. Overland Park, Kansas
  43. Madison, Wisconsin
  44. South Burlington, Vermont
  45. Fremont, California

Twelve of the cities on this part of the list are in California. Further, the least-stressed city in California: Fremont. If you read yesterday’s article, you know that WalletHub ranked Fremont, California, the happiest city in the US.

Image: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash