U.S. Cities Ranked by Stress Levels

U.S. cities ranked by stress level

After spending a couple of months in fast-paced New York City, I was absolutely certain that my small town of Shreveport, LA, was one of the most peaceful places I had ever lived. Trees back home surround my house and everyone seems to take their time doing anything. Why would you zoom through the grocery store in 15 minutes grocery shopping if you could spend a leisurely hour? I was in for a great surprise, however, when my very dear and calm town was ranked number six in the most stressed cities in the U.S., according to WalletHub’s new reportThe personal-finance website conducted an in-depth analysis to determine the most and least stressed cities in the country in 2016. They compared the 150 largest cities across 27 key metrics, ranging from average work hours to debt load to divorce and suicide rates. 

Most Stressed Cities

  • Detroit, MI                 
  • Mobile, AL                 
  • Birmingham, AL         
  • Memphis, TN            
  • Cleveland, OH           
  • Shreveport, LA           
  • Columbus, GA                       
  • New Orleans, LA        
  • Newark, NJ                
  • Montgomery, AL        

Least Stressed Cities

  • San Diego, CA
  • Sioux Falls, SD
  • Overland Park, KS
  • Plano, TX
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose, CA
  • Madison, WI
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Irvine, CA
  • Fremont, CA


What's behind the stress (and calm) in these cities?

Greensboro, NC, has the lowest commuter stress index, 1.11, which is nearly 1.5 times lower than in Los Angeles, the city with the highest, 1.62.

Lincoln, NE, has the lowest unemployment rate, 2.5 percent, which is about five times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest, 12.4 percent.

Overland Park, KS, has the lowest poverty rate, 6.0 percent, which is nearly seven times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest, 39.8 percent.

Fremont, CA, has the lowest divorce rate, 12.24 percent, which is about three times lower than in Cleveland, the city with the highest, 41.29 percent.

Seattle has the lowest percentage of single parents, 9.54 percent, which is about four times lower than in Newark, NJ, the city with the highest, 37.79 percent.

Minneapolis has the lowest percentage of adults in fair or poor health, 10.77 percent, which is about two times lower than in Mobile, AL, the city with the highest, 25.71 percent.

Irvine, CA, has the lowest number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents, 0.49, which is more than 40 times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest, 19.89.

Fresno, CA, has the most psychologists per 100,000 residents, 80.1, which is about 22 times more than in Baton Rouge, LA, the city with the fewest, 3.7.


Are you as surprised by the results as I was? And, did your city make the cut?