In the American Psychological Association’s annual “Stress in America” poll, 83% of adults said the economy and money are a significant source of stress.
Whether it’s the financial burden of living paycheck to paycheck or struggles in your personal relationships, experiencing at least some stress in our day-to-day is inevitable.
Earlier this year, WalletHub released a ranking of the “most and least stressed” states in America. The report compared the 50 states across 41 metrics, including: unemployment rate, income growth, rate of separation and divorce, mental health, and unaffordability of visits to the doctor.
For the final ranking, the cities were scored across four key dimensions:
- Work-related stress
- Money-related stress
- Family-related stress
- Health and safety-related stress
WalletHub also used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more agencies to determine the results.
Some of the most expensive states to live in, New York and California, didn’t even make the top 10 list. New York landed in the 20th spot while California came in 23rd. They did, however, rank in the top 5 for states with the least affordable housing.
The WalletHub study also ranked the highest and lowest states in individual categories like average hours worked per week, average hours of sleep per night, job security, and percentage of the population living in poverty.
On average, residents in Texas, Alaska, North Dakota and Wyoming work the most hours per week.
Folks in Colorado get the most amount of hours of sleep per night, while West Virginians get the least. Connecticut and Florida are the top two states for job security and Iowa offers the most affordable housing.
The most stressed out state in America: Mississippi
Mississippi took the No. 1 on spot on the list of most stressed states, according to the WalletHub report.
In the ranking, the Southern state had the highest rate of money-related stress, landed in fourth place for work-related stress, ninth for family-related stress, and seventh for health-and-safety-related stress. It was also named the state with the lowest credit score, with the average being 680, according to Experian.
Mississippi might offer the lowest cost of living in the nation, but it also has one of America’s least educated and least productive workforces, as well as one of the worst rates of worker migration, according to CNBC. The state’s workforce is one of the nation’s least productive when measured by economic output per job.
In addition to having a weak workforce, Mississippi has the lowest ranking for overall child well-being, economic well-being, health, and family and community, according to the 2023 Kids Count Data Book published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Top 10 most stressed states in America
- New Mexico
- West Virginia
Down from No. 1 last year, Louisiana came in second on the list.
The state had the highest crime rate per capita. It also had the second-highest percentage of its population living in poverty. A 2023 U.S. Department of Commerce report found that 34.1% of Louisiana’s population is under persistent poverty.
According to CNBC’s annual America’s Top States for Business study, Louisiana’s job growth is slowly rising, but its economic growth is still lagging. In the same study, the state ranked as one of the worst for business.
The WalletHub study also found that Louisiana ranked third in work-related and health and safety-related stress, 18th in family-related stress, and fourth in money-related stress.
The third most stressed state on the list is New Mexico.
In the WalletHub study, New Mexico had the highest divorce rate of any state and the second-highest crime rate per capita. It ranked third in money-related issues, first in family-related stress, 17th in health and safety-related stress and 26th in work-related stress.
According to Britannica, New Mexico is a comparatively poor state and ranks among the lowest in the country per capita income. About one-half of its economy is based on the service sector, while most of the other half relies on mining and oil production. Because of that breakdown, New Mexico is subject to the changing demands outside of the state.
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