Stress is something everyone deals with. But apparently, some of us are more stressed than others. That is according to WalletHub, which just released a new study in honor of April being Stress Awareness Month, revealing their 2017 list of the most and least stressed states in the country. And the findings may surprise you.
To determine the list, the personal finance website compared the 50 states and Washington, D.C., across four key dimensions: work-related stress, money-related stress, family-related stress and health- and safety-related stress. Then 33 further metrics, like average hours worked per week, median income and cost of childcare, were used to generate a list based on a 100-point scale with a score of 100 being the highest level of stress.
Which state could use a chill pill? Alabama! The Southern state earned a score of 56.91 out of 100, ranking No. 2 for low credit scores, fourth for the highest percentage of adults in fair/poor health, No. 2 for fewest psychologists per capita, and No. 4 for fewest average hours of sleep per night. Two other Southern states, Louisiana and Mississippi, rounded out the top three with scores of 56.22 and 55.62 respectively.
Conversely, Minnesota is the least stressed state with a score of 31.07. It ranked in the top five for highest credit scores, boasted one of the lowest divorce rates, had one of the lowest percentages of adults in fair/poor health, ranked in the top five for number of psychologists per capita, and came in the top three for average number of hours slept.
Incredibly, New York, a state known for stressed-out people, actually came in at 25 on the list. It ranked 36th for median credit score, 23rd for percentage of adults in fair/poor health, and 46th for number of psychologists per capita. Still, New York didn’t do so hot in certain areas like getting adequate sleep (9th) or housing affordability (4th).
Overall, stress levels reached their lowest point in a decade in 2016, but are creeping back up this year. According to WalletHub, Americans cited “money, work and the economy” as their biggest sources of worry, and increased anxiety over the election outcome, current political climate, uncertainty of our nation’s future and fear of violence.
“The best advice I can offer is find one or two things that you enjoy doing, and schedule time to do those things,” Anthony Wheeler, associate dean and professor of human resources management in the College of Business at Bryant University, said in the report. “Those scheduled events will become respites from the stress. You will actually look forward to that scheduled time.”
Check out the top 10 least and most stressed states below.
Most Stressed States
4. West Virginia
6. New Mexico
Least Stressed States
2. North Dakota
4. South Dakota
7. New Hampshire