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Wednesday, 15 September, 2010 0:54 AM

AAAAAAHHHHHH! Summer is Over, Let the Stress Begin! Portfolio.com Unveils America's Most Stressful Cities

Examines Stress Levels in the 50 Largest U.S. Metros; Smaller Cities with Low Crime Rates are Least Stressed Cities

PHOTO BY JENNIFER VUOUNG / ©AMERICAJR.com

A look down Jefferson Avenue in downtown Detroit.

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

A look at some of the skyscrapers in downtown Los Angeles.

NEW YORK -- Portfolio.com - the national business news site for small and mid-sized business (SMB) executives - today revealed its latest U.S. Uncovered study, ranking the "Most Stressful Place in America." Looking at the nation's 50 largest metropolitan areas, Detroit ranked at the top of the list while Salt Lake City came out as the least stressful area.

A variety of factors were used to determine the rankings including local unemployment rates, personal financial data, environmental factors, health risks, crime rates and living standards. These data points were collected from government agencies and private firms as part of Portfolio.com's analysis.

"It's no secret that living in a big city can add some serious stress to your life. But that doesn't you have to be truly stressed out just by being in one of the nation's population hubs. This study shows that a healthy and relatively low stress life can be achieved in at least a few urban areas," said J. Jennings Moss, editor of Portfolio.com.

Detroit is the most stressful metropolitan area in America, largely due to its steep unemployment rate (14.3%), high percentage of families living in poverty (9.9%), high numbers of both murders and robberies, and a lack of sunshine. Coming in at #2 is Los Angeles, which has the most expensive housing rates, significant levels of air pollution, and a high unemployment rate. Cleveland ranked at #3, with the most robberies per 100,000 residents, as well as an increased number of deaths caused by heart failure, hypertension and stroke. Rounding out the top ten were Riverside, Calif. (#4), St. Louis (#5), New York City (#6), New Orleans (#7), Chicago (#8), Birmingham (#9) and Miami-Fort Lauderdale (#10).

 

Most Stressed Cities

  • Detroit Mich.
  • Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Riverside, Calif.
  • St. Louis, Mo.
  • New York, N.Y.
  • New Orleans, La.
  • Chicago, Ill.
  • Birmingham, Ala.
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Least Stressed Cities

  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Virginia Beach-Norfolk, Va.
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
  • Raleigh, N.C.
  • Austin, Texas
  • Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Denver, Colo.
  • San Antonio, Texas
  • Kansas City, Mo.
  • Phoenix, Ariz.


"Stress is clearly a factor in many adults' lives, but it's interesting to see how the root cause of stress can differ from city to city," said G. Scott Thomas, a nationally-recognized demographer who creates the analyses for Portfolio.com. "While the top ten most stressed cities consistently ranked higher in most categories than their less-stressed counterparts, you can see that it was rarely a clean sweep across all other factors. For example, Riverside, which ranked #4, has the lowest level of crime, including murders among the group."

Salt Lake City ranking as the city with the least stressed residents was thanks to low levels of crime, easy commutes, high employment and good health standing. Oklahoma City, which boasts the lowest commute time, ranked as #45, while Phoenix, the city with the most amount of sunshine, ranked as #41. Other cities with a low amount of stress include Kansas City (#42), San Antonio (#43), Denver (#44), Austin (#46), Raleigh (#47), Minneapolis-St. Paul (#48) and Virginia Beach-Norfolk (#49).

The factors that distinguished the most stressed cities from the least stressed were population (an average of 6.3 million to 2.1 million), robberies per 100,000 residents (479 vs. 237) and deaths per 100,000 residents from circulatory-system disease (323 vs. 204).

The U.S. Uncovered series - new this year to Portfolio.com - provides original, insightful analysis of the American lifestyle and business trends of interest to the highly lucrative market of small- and mid-sized business executives, who will fuel the country's economic recovery over the next five years. Most recently, the U.S. Uncovered revealed the "Best Mid-size Places to Live" ranking Boulder, CO as the small city with the highest quality of life. U.S. Uncovered also disclosed the rankings of "Best Big Places to Live," ranking Raleigh; "Best Cities to have fun," ranking New York City as #1; "Top U.S. Wealth Centers," naming Newport Beach as #1; "Small Business Vitality," naming Texas the best state and Austin the top city for small business; and "Best Places for Young Adults," naming the Southwestern region the new frontier for young Americans with Austin as #1.

Source: Portfolio.com

 

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