Top 10 Most Stressed States In The US by The WalletHub Report
You know how it feels to be stressed, and you hate it: Having a lot of things to do or seeing a parking ticket on your car can make your body tense up. Your head hurts and your chest feels tight. Your heart beats faster, and so does your breathing. When you feel this, you have to wonder if your stress is the worst that has ever been.
A poll by the American Psychological Association every year called “Stress in America” found that 83% of adults say the economy and money cause a lot of stress.
Everyday life is bound to cause us some stress, whether it’s the stress of living from paycheck to paycheck or problems in our personal relationships.
WalletHub put out a list of the “most and least stressed” states in the US earlier this year. The report compared the 50 states based on 41 factors, such as unemployment rate, income growth, rate of separation and divorce, mental health, and the cost of doctor visits.
Having stress at work
Stress about money
Stress caused by family
Stress about health and safety
The WalletHub report said that Mississippi was the most stressed state.
The southern state had the highest rate of stress related to money. It also had the fourth highest rate of stress related to work, the ninth highest rate of stress related to family, and the seventh highest rate of stress related to health and safety. Experian found that the average credit score in that state was 680, making it the state with the lowest credit scores.
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. When it comes to economic output per job, the state’s workers are some of the least productive in the country.
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.
The state had the most crimes per person. It also had the second-highest percentage of poor people living there. 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 WalletHub study found that New Mexico had the second-highest crime rate per person and the highest divorce rate of any state. 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.
According to the data from the United Health Foundation, 17.5 percent of West Virginians suffer from frequent mental distress, while 15.8 percent of West Virginians suffer from physical distress. Both of these statistics combined gave our Mountain State a stress score of 99.16 out of 100.
In 2021, West Virginia also led in these statistics, with a mental distress score of 19.3 percent, showing that the percentage has gone down in the past years.
With stress coming from issues like COVID, finances, and family, it is enough to cause high levels of stress in community-based areas like West Virginia. And though we are still at the top of the stress ranking, there is a sign of improvement as the years go on.
The study found that Nevada is the most stressed out state in America, with a stress score of 67.42 out of 80. The Silver State has the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 5.4 percent and the second-highest house value loss at -7 percent.
It also ranks twelfth overall for stress-related Google searches, with residents searching for ‘Insomnia’ and ‘Anxiety’ more than any other terms.
Stress Levels in Nevada (1=Most Stressed, 25=Avg.):
• 27th – Avg. Hours Worked per Week
• 18th – Share of Adults Getting Adequate Sleep
• 8th – % of Adults in Fair/Poor Health
• 12th – Median Credit Score
• 9th – Housing Affordability
• 23rd – % of Population Living in Poverty
• 1st – Divorce Rate
• 20th – Crime Rate per Capita
• 4th – Psychologists per Capita
Arkansas had the highest rate of health and safety-related stress, with the third-highest crime rate per capita and the fourth-highest percentage of adults in fair or poor health. Its work-related stress was ranked ninth, money-related stress ranked fifth, and family-related stress ranked 26th.
Not only is Arkansas in the top 10 for highest stress levels, it is also in the top five, at No. 3, for highest percentage of adults in fair or poor health and tied for No. 5 with the lowest credit score
Arkansas’ highest ranking in the study, unfortunately, landed in another category that it does not want to be in— highest crime rate per capita.
Alabama was ranked second in money-related stress, sixth in health and safety-related stress, 15th in family-related stress, and 27th in work-related stress. It was also found to have the third-lowest average hours of sleep per night and the second-fewest psychologists per capita.
According to WalletHub, Alabama is the seventh most stressed state in the U.S.
When broken down, Alabama is number twenty-seven in work-related stress, two in money-related stress, fifteen in family-related stress, and six in health and safety-related stress.
WalletHub also reported Alabama is number three in the states with the fewest average hours of sleep per night, and two in the states with the fewest psychologists.
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The CBD oil products company CBDfx study explored data from the United Health Foundation’s American Health Rankings to see which states had the highest rates of people reporting stress. The CBD oil products company CBDfx study explored data from the United Health Foundation’s American Health Rankings to see which states had the highest rates of people reporting stress.
Benjamin Franklin once famously said, “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Over time, that quote has been altered a bit to suggest those two things are the only guarantees in life. Personally, I think there’s one more thing that could be added to that very short list — stress. Regardless of how great your life is, there are and will be moments when you’ll get overwhelmed, or things won’t play out the way you want them to. For residents of Kentucky, that’s apparently the case more times than not according to a recent study.
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They say everything’s bigger in Texas. That’s mos def true if you’re talking about voter suppression, attacks on Black history and heavy loads of “thoughts and prayers” after mass shootings.
Texas comes second with a stress score of 64.64 out of 80. The Lone Star state, however, was not far behind its westward neighbors. Of Texas’ under-65 population, 20.4% lack any health insurance. That’s one out of five folk from multiple high-employment generations (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z). This ranks the Lone Star State highest in the nation regarding this dubious stat, and surpasses the national average of 9.4%.
Additionally, even though Texas is touted as great for business, Texas recorded a 4.1% unemployment rate, ranking fourth overall and exceeding the national average by 1%.
Other Texas statistics:
• 1st – Avg. hours worked per week
• 23rd – Share of adults getting adequate sleep
• 10th – percent of adults in fair/poor health
• 3rd – Median credit score
• 30th – Housing affordability
• 11th – percent of the population living in poverty
• 11th – Crime rate per capita
Oklahoma was ranked 9th for work-related stress, 17th for money-related stress, 6th for family-related stress, and 8th for health and safety-related stress.
Oklahoma came in tied for 5th in the state with the most average hours worked per week. Oklahoma also came in 4th for the lowest credit score.
The Sooner State also came in 3rd for the fewest psychologists per capita.
3. New Hampshire
4. South Dakota
7. New Jersey
9. North Dakota
To help people cope with negative stressors, WalletHub spoke to several experts about the best ways to reduce stress, particularly when it comes to finances amid rising inflation.
According to Kelly Campbell, interim vice provost for academic affairs and co-chief diversity officer at California State University, San Bernadino, people should “[l]ook at every place they can cut expenses” to address financial stress from inflation.
In particular, Campbell recommended that people “think about necessities first and cut down on the extras.” This could include your cable bill or being more frugal with your meal choices while also trying not to compromise your health.
Separately, Andrew Bennett, an assistant professor in the department of management at Old Dominion University, recommends people focus on what they can control if they are feeling overwhelmed by high costs.
“Some ideas include buying in bulk and sharing with a neighbor, shopping sales, and trying to cut back or focus on what you really need (compared to what you want),” Bennett said. “That is all easier said than done, but feeling like you are in control can help a lot.”
To combat stress without spending money, Bennett suggested finding free activities that align with your interests. For example, if you like being outside, try to find a local park or area to walk or even just sit and read. If you enjoy being creative, try to see when museums are having “free days” or check your local library or community center for classes.
Leah Hibel, a professor of human development and family studies at the University of California, Davis, also emphasized the importance of social support, calling it a “primary buffer” against stress.
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