Find the latest episode of "This Is Uncomfortable" here. Listen
News In Brief

A list of America’s most and least stressful metro areas

Daryl Paranada Sep 8, 2010

We’ve heard about stress tests for the nation’s big banks. What about for the nation’s biggest metropolitan areas?

A new study by and bizjournals finds that the most stressful metropolitan area in the U.S. is Detroit.

The Motor City topping the list is no surprise: The Detroit metropolitan area has one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates at 14.3 percent, ranks highly as one of the places with the most murders and robberies, and even has a lack of sunshine.

[RELATED: Slideshow — Detroit officials look to downsize city]

In second place was Los Angeles, which has the most expensive housing of all U.S. metropolitan areas and some of the worst air pollution in the nation.

The least stressful metro area to live in? Salt Lake City. Perhaps it’s the water out there, or the fact that out of all the major metropolitan areas, is has the lowest murder rate. Plus, it has short commutes, low unemployment and generally a good health standing.

[RELATED: Half of world’s top global cities Asian]

Portfolio and bizjournals used a broad range of factors to determine the level of stress that metro residents experience. Some of the factors it used to gauge stress: unemployment rate, level of income growth, poverty, deaths from circulatory-system diseases, the number of sunny days per year, unhealthy air, robberies, murders, commuting, and health costs.

America’s 10 most stressful metropolitan areas:

  • Detroit
  • Los Angeles
  • Cleveland
  • California’s Riverside metro
  • St. Louis
  • New York City
  • New Orleans
  • Chicago
  • Birmingham
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale

America’s 10 least stressful metropolitan areas:

  • Salt Lake City
  • Virginia Beach-Norfolk
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul
  • Raleigh
  • Austin
  • Oklahoma City
  • Denver
  • San Antonio
  • Kansas City
  • Phoenix

And you can see where your city ranks. Here’s the full list of the 50 largest metropolitan areas ranked by stress.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.