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Most Stressful Cities

With common factors such as traffic, crowds, noise, grime, and crime, cities are generally not perceived as oases of calm.

But what makes one city more stressful to live in than the next? In order to gauge the stress of residents in American cities, data cruncher Sperling’s Best Places considered the 50 largest metropolitan areas (which includes suburbs). The team considered the following factors: divorce rate, commute times, unemployment, violent crime, property crime, suicides, alcohol consumption, mental health, sleep troubles, and the annual amount of cloudy days.

There wasn’t a lot of variance in several categories. For alcohol consumption per month, each of the top 10 cities ranged from 8.7 to 14 drinks per month; for days per month with poor mental health, the metro areas ranged from 2.9 to 4.3; and for days per month of poor sleep, the range was 6.9 to 8.2.

The data behind this list does not paint a cheery picture. The Sunshine State, in particular, seems much less sunny — dismal, even. What follows are the 10 metropolitan areas that fared the worst using the above criteria.

By Colleen Kane
Posted 18 January 2012

Don Klumpp | Getty Images