The 10 most stressed cities in the US don't include New York City or San Francisco

A distraught man holding his head standing in front of the modern city on a fresh early morning.
 Yiu Yu Hoi | Getty

Feeling like everyone in your city seems stressed out? They just might be.

A new study from personal finance website WalletHub reveals the most stressed cities in the U.S., and they may come as a surprise. In fact, seemingly stressful cities like New York City and San Francisco didn’t even crack the top 10.

For its study, WalletHub analyzed over 180 cities based on 37 factors — including average weekly working hours, job security, poverty rates, credit scores and even divorce rates — across four key dimensions: work stress, financial stress, family stress, and health and safety stress. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with 100 being the most stressed.

It turns out the most stressed city in America is Detroit, Michigan, according to WalletHub. Detroit tops the list due to its first-place ranking in health and safety stress (it claimed the top spot for the lowest average hours of sleep per night, one of the key metrics in this category), as well as its No. 3 ranking in the financial stress category, followed by its No. 4 ranking in the family stress category.

Newark, New Jersey, follows Detroit on the list due to its first-place ranking in both the work stress and family stress categories (however, it did rank at No. 45 for health and safety stress). Cleveland, Ohio, is the study’s third most stressed city, with a second-place ranking in the financial stress category and sixth-place ranking in the family stress category.

On the flip side, the least-stressed city goes to Fremont, California, followed by Bismarck, North Dakota, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Overall, these are the 10 most stressed cities, according to WalletHub:

1. Detroit, Michigan

2. Newark, New Jersey

3. Cleveland, Ohio

4. Birmingham, Alabama

5. Toledo, Ohio

6. Baltimore, Maryland

7. Wilmington, Delaware

8. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

9. Gulfport, Mississippi

10. St. Louis, Missouri

These are the least stressed cities, according to WalletHub:

1. Fremont, California

2. Bismarck, North Dakota

3. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

4. Overland Park, Kansas

5. South Burlington, Vermont

6. Scottsdale, Arizona

7. Irvine, California

8. San Jose, California

9. Madison, Wisconsin

10. Lincoln, Nebraska

A number of cities that fell in the middle of the pack on WalletHub’s overall ranking, though, didn’t fare so well in specific key metrics, indicating high levels of stress for certain circumstances. For example, Casper, Wyoming, had the lowest job security, but ranked overall at No. 125 (out of 182).

Meanwhile, El Paso, Texas, had the highest percentage of adults in fair or poor health, but ranked No. 54 in overall stress. And Anchorage, Alaska, had the highest average of weekly work hours out of any city on the list, but it still ranked No. 113 in overall stress.

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