Top Stories
Top Stories
Slideshows

Most Stressful Cities

Most Stressful Cities

Cover-Cracked-Glass-Most-Stressful-Cities-CNBC.jpg
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 consumpt
Don Klumpp | Getty Images

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

10. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida.
Getty Images

Population: 1,300,866
Divorced: 10.67%
Commute time – minutes: 27.7
Unemployment: 11.2%
Violent crime per 100,000 population: 540.2
Property crime per 100,000 population: 3,567.5
Suicides per 100,000 population: 13.2
Cloudy days annually: 137

Standout factor: The West Palm Beach metropolitan area is in the 93rd percentile for divorces.

9. Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, Washington

Seattle-Washington-Most-Stressful-Cities-CNBC.jpg
Population: 2,612,052Divorced: 11.3%Commute time – minutes: 30.3Unemployment: 9%Violent crime per 100,000 population: 316.7Property crime per 100,000 population: 38881.7Suicides per 100,000 population: 11.7Cloudy days annually: 229Standout factor: The Seattle metro area is in the 100 percentile for cloudy days.
Stephen Brashear | Getty Images

Population: 2,612,052
Divorced: 11.3%
Commute time – minutes: 30.3
Unemployment: 9%
Violent crime per 100,000 population: 316.7
Property crime per 100,000 population: 3,881.7
Suicides per 100,000 population: 11.7
Cloudy days annually: 229

Standout factor: The Seattle metro area is in the 100th percentile for cloudy days.

8. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, California

Sacramento-California-Most-Stressful-Cities-CNBC.jpg
Population:  2,163,293Divorced: 11.2%Commute time – minutes: 27.9%Unemployment: 12.5%Violent crime per 100,000 population: 478.1Property crime per 100,000 population: 3106.6Suicides per 100,000 population: 11.5Cloudy days annually: 100Standout factor: The Sacramento metro area is in the 87 percentile for unemployment.
Kyle Monk | Getty Images

Population:  2,163,293
Divorced: 11.2%
Commute time – minutes: 27.9%
Unemployment: 12.5%
Violent crime per 100,000 population: 478.1
Property crime per 100,000 population: 3,106.6
Suicides per 100,000 population: 11.5
Cloudy days annually: 100

Standout factor: The Sacramento metro area is in the 87th percentile for unemployment.

7. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California

San-Bernardino-California-Most-Stressful-Cities-CNBC.jpg
Population:  4,251,553Divorced: 9.6%Commute time – minutes: 33Unemployment: 14.7%Violent crime per 100,000 population: 368.5Property crime per 100,000 population: 2694.6Suicides per 100,000 population: 9.5Cloudy days annually: 97Standout factor: This region is in the 100 percentile for poor mental health days, though it’s only in the fourth percentile for cloudy days.
David McNew | Getty Images

Population:  4,251,553
Divorced: 9.6%
Commute time – minutes: 33
Unemployment: 14.7%
Violent crime per 100,000 population: 368.5
Property crime per 100,000 population: 2,694.6
Suicides per 100,000 population: 9.5
Cloudy days annually: 97

Standout factor: This region is in the 100th percentile for poor mental health days, though it’s only in the fourth percentile for cloudy days.

6. Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida

Orlando-Florida-Most-Stressful-Cities-CNBC.jpg
Population: 2,140,540Divorced: 10.7%Commute time – minutes: 29.6Unemployment: 10.4%Violent crime per 100,000 population: 613.7Property crime per 100,000 population: 3594.5Suicides per 100,000 population: 11.3Cloudy days annually: 123Standout factor: Orlando-Kissimmee ranks in the 87th percentile for property crimes.
EPA Smart Growth | Creative Commons

Population: 2,140,540
Divorced: 10.7%
Commute time – minutes: 29.6
Unemployment: 10.4%
Violent crime per 100,000 population: 613.7
Property crime per 100,000 population: 3,594.5
Suicides per 100,000 population: 11.3
Cloudy days annually: 123

Standout factor: The Orlando-Kissimmee area ranks in the 87th percentile for property crimes.

5. Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Michigan

Detroit-Michigan-Most-Stressful-Cities-CNBC.jpg
Population: 1,918,288Divorced: 11.4%Commute time – minutes: 27Unemployment: 15.7%Violent crime per 100,000 population: 1111.2Property crime per 100,000 population: 4152.4Suicides per 100,000 population: 9.6Cloudy days annually: 180Standout factors: The Detroit metropolitan area is in the 100 percentile for violent crime and property crime. It also ranks in the 97th percentile for bad mental health days per month. However, it ranks in the second percentile for alcohol consumption per month.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images

Population: 1,918,288
Divorced: 11.4%
Commute time – minutes: 27
Unemployment: 15.7%
Violent crime per 100,000 population: 1111.2
Property crime per 100,000 population: 4,152.4
Suicides per 100,000 population: 9.6
Cloudy days annually: 180

Standout factors: The Detroit metropolitan area is in the 100th percentile for violent crime and property crime. It also ranks in the 97th percentile for poor mental health days per month, though it is in the second percentile for alcohol consumption per month.

4. Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville-Florida-Most-Stressful-Cities-CNBC.jpg
Population: 1,374,303Divorced: 12.3%Commute time – minutes: 28.0Unemployment: 10.4%Violent crime per 100,000 population: 557Property crime per 100,000 population: 3772.4Suicides per 100,000 population: 13.9Cloudy days annually: 139Standout factor: Jacksonville is in the 95th percentile for divorces.
Don Klumpp | Getty Images

Population: 1,374,303
Divorced: 12.3%
Commute time – minutes: 28.0
Unemployment: 10.4%
Violent crime per 100,000 population: 557
Property crime per 100,000 population: 3,772.4
Suicides per 100,000 population: 13.9
Cloudy days annually: 139

Standout factor: Jacksonville is in the 95th percentile for divorces.

3. Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, Florida

Miami-Florida-Most-Stressful-Cities-CNBC.jpg
Population: 2,472,015Divorced: 11.5%Commute time – minutes: 33.2Unemployment: 12.5%Violent crime per 100,000 population: 733.3Property crime per 100,000 population: 4,678.3Suicides per 100,000 population: 9.3Cloudy days annually: 117Standout factors: Metropolitan Miami is in the 97th percentile for property crime, and 95th percentile for violent crime, but is in the fourth percentile for alcohol consumption.
Hector Herrera | Getty Images

Population: 2,472,015
Divorced: 11.5%
Commute time – minutes: 33.2
Unemployment: 12.5%
Violent crime per 100,000 population: 733.3
Property crime per 100,000 population: 4,678.3
Suicides per 100,000 population: 9.3
Cloudy days annually: 117

Standout factors: Metropolitan Miami is in the 97th percentile for property crime, and 95th percentile for violent crime, but is in the fourth percentile for alcohol consumption.

2. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada

Las-Vegas-Most-Stressful-Cities-CNBC.jpg
Population: 1,908,008Divorced: 13.2%Commute time – minutes: 27Unemployment: 14%Violent crime per 100,000 population: 763.4Property crime per 100,000 population: 2921.9Suicides per 100,000 population: 18Cloudy days annually: 65Standout factors: Las Vegas-Paradise is in the 100 percentile for divorces, but in the 0 percentile for cloudy days, meaning it had the least cloudy days of any city on 50 analyzed.
Ethan Miller | Getty Images

Population: 1,908,008
Divorced: 13.2%
Commute time – minutes: 27
Unemployment: 14%
Violent crime per 100,000 population: 763.4
Property crime per 100,000 population: 2,921.9
Suicides per 100,000 population: 18
Cloudy days annually: 65

Standout factors: Las Vegas-Paradise is in the 100th percentile for divorces, but it had the least cloudy days of any city on 50 cities analyzed.

1. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida

Tampa-Bay-Most-Stressful-Cities-CNBC.jpg
Population: 2,780,818Divorced: 12.3%Commute time – minutes: 28.3Unemployment: 11.2%Violent crime per 100,000 population: 500Property crime per 100,000 population: 3387.2Suicides per 100,000 population: 15.5Cloudy days annually: 127Standout factor: Tampa is in the 97th percentile for suicides.
George Rose | Getty Images

Population: 2,780,818
Divorced: 12.3%
Commute time – minutes: 28.3
Unemployment: 11.2%
Violent crime per 100,000 population: 500
Property crime per 100,000 population: 3,387.2
Suicides per 100,000 population: 15.5
Cloudy days annually: 127

Standout factor: Tampa is in the 97th percentile for suicides.