Stressed Much? It Could Depend on Where You Live

May 23, 2017
Kerry Lengyel

Stress — everyone feels it. But how much stress you’re under may depend less on your state of mind and more on the state you live in. Where does your state rank on the stress-o-meter?

WalletHub, a website that offers free credit scores and reports, looked at all 50 states and the District of Columbia to find out which residents are the most and least stressed out.

Researchers used 33 key indicators of stress in four stress categories:

  • Work (e.g., length of commute, job security)
  • Money (e.g., income, credit score, housing affordability)
  • Family (e.g., divorce rate, child care costs)
  • Health (e.g., mental and physical health, suicide rates)

Each of the 33 indicators was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 being the highest stress level possible. They then calculated the overall score for each state based on its weighted average across all metrics. The resulting scores were used to determine the final ranking.

It turns out that stress levels are not based on geography; Alabama and Louisiana residents are among the most stressed in the country, while those living in Wisconsin and Colorado have less stress in their lives. Here are the 10 most and least stressed-out states this year. Where does your state rank?

Source: WalletHub

Continue to find out the top 10 most stressed out states of 2017.

10 Most Stressed States

  • Score: 56.91
  • Alabama has the highest percentages of adults living with fair or poor health and the fewest number of psychologists per capita.

2. Louisiana

  • Score: 56.22
  • People in Louisiana have some of the lowest credit scores nationwide, and the state has one of the highest crime rates per capita.

3. Mississippi

  • Score: 55.62
  • A high percentage of people in Mississippi are living below the poverty line, and the state has one of the highest divorce rates in the country.

4. West Virginia

  • Score: 55.43
  • A high percentage of adults in West Virginia are living in fair or poor health, and the state is among the lowest in the country when it comes to job security.

5. Kentucky

  • Score: 56.22
  • People in Kentucky also have lower job security compared with people in other states, and Kentuckians are more likely to get fewer hours of sleep than average.

6. New Mexico

  • Score: 53.76
  • New Mexico has one of the highest rates of crime per capita, and a large proportion of the state’s residents are living below the poverty line.

7. Nevada

  • Score: 52.74
  • Nevada’s divorce rate is higher than that in many other states, and there are fewer psychologists per capita.

8. Georgia

  • Score: 52.10
  • Georgia residents typically have lower credit scores compared with people living in other states, and Georgians get fewer hours of sleep on average than those living elsewhere.

9. Tennessee

  • Score: 51.93

10. Arkansas

  • Score: 51.17
  • A high percentage of people in Arkansas are in fair or poor health, and the state has one of the higher crimes in the country.

Continue to find out the 10 least stressed states of 2017.

10 Least Stressed States

  • Score: 38.41
  • Madison boasts the fewest average hours worked each week and the most psychologists per capita.

9. Colorado

  • Score: 37.28
  • Colorado earned high marks for its residents getting the most average hours of sleep a person.

8. Vermont

  • Score: 36.27
  • Compared with people living in other states, those in Vermont tend to work less.

7. New Hampshire

  • Score: 35.83
  • New Hampshire residents enjoy a high standard of living — the state has one of the lowest percentages of people living below the poverty line — and its residents are in realtively good health overall.

6. Nebraska

  • Score: 35.51
  • Residents here tend to have higher average credit scores than those in other states, and Nebraska boasts some of the most affordable housing in the country.

5. Utah

  • Score: 34.71
  • The state has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country, and people here work less than people in other states.

4. South Dakota

  • Score: 34.41
  • Residents of South Dakota enjoy some of the most affordable housing in America, and they tend to get more sleep than those in other states.

3. Iowa

  • Score: 33.66
  • Iowa has one of the lowest percentages of adults with fair or poor health, plus they have access to more affordable housing.

2. North Dakota

  • Score: 33.16
  • North Dakota boasts more affordable housing options than other states, and its divorce rate is among the lowest in the country.

1. Minnesota

  • Score: 31.07
  • People living here enjoy one of the highest rates of job security nationwide, and they also have some of the highest credit scores.