And the most and least stressed cities in the country are…


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Photo: Stocksy/Jamie Grill Atlas

It’s no secret that stress is a huge aggravation plaguing adults: Not only does it compromise your sleep game, but it also targets your health—specifically your gut and autoimmune functions. So you’re likely well-versed about tips for finding peace—like focusing on your breathing—and data on the subject, including WalletHub’s study of the most and least stressed states from a few months ago. But, the platform also recently stress-tested the country’s major cities, and the results are far from identical.

For it’s just-released data, WalletHub focused on 182 metropolitan locales—the 150 most populated in the country plus at least two of the most populated in each state—to paint a more specific picture of how urban dwellers stack up stress-wise. The study used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, FBI, and other agencies to measure each place on 37 indicators across four key dimensions of stress: work, finances, family, and health and safety.

The highest city stress scores were found in Detroit, Michigan; Newark, New Jersey; Cleveland, Ohio; Birmingham, Alabama; and Toledo, Ohio.

The highest city stress scores were found in Detroit, Michigan; Newark, New Jersey; Cleveland, Ohio; Birmingham, Alabama; and Toledo, Ohio. Comparatively, Michigan ranked 21 on the most stressed states list, and New Jersey ranked 31. Those who live the low-stress urban life reside in Fremont, California (in first place for its overall chill); Bismarck, North Dakota; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Overland Park, Kansas; and South Burlington, Vermont. While California was listed as the 25th most stressed state (interestingly, even more strained than New Jersey!), North Dakota seems to be committed to peace of mind all around, since it also was the second least-stressed state.

A closer look at the data shows that the oh-so-lucky residents of Fremont ranked the lowest on the financial stress scale. (Coincidence? Maybe not.) The place also boasted the second-lowest ranking for health and safety concerns. On the other end of the spectrum, Detroit scored extremely poorly on nearly every stress meter, particularly in the realms of health and safety, financial stress (it came in third), and family stress (it’s listed fourth). When you weigh all of that together, it makes sense that Detroit’s inhabitants also reported clocking the lowest hours of shut-eye (residents of Overland Park, Kansas, boasted the highest).

So, while a low-stress state does not a peaceful city make, keep in mind that you can tweak the effect of individual stressors. Try, for example, reigniting your boss-babe spark and taking these three smart investing tips under consideration. Hey, even just knowing you’re stressed is half the battle, right?

If you’re wondering how your home ranks by “health” and “fun” parameters, look no further.

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