Can You Guess the Most Stressed State in the US?

Stress can come from many areas of your life — including the place you live. A new study from WalletHub has analyzed the United States using 40 stress indicators to determine which states contribute to a more relaxing lifestyle and which put some extra strain on their residents. It assigned these indicators to four main categories: work stress, money stress, family stress and health/safety stress. Each metric earned the states points, which then determined their overall rank.

According to WalletHub’s results, here are the 10 most stressed states in the country for 2019 — as well as the 10 states with the least stressful environments.

The most stressed states

These 10 states earned the highest overall stress scores, according to WalletHub.

10. Oklahoma

aerial view of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Credit: Majestic_Aerials/Getty Images

Oklahoma’s overall stress score put it in 10th place out of the 50 states. It was in the middle of the pack for the work stress category, finishing 22nd. That category included stress indicators, such as average hours worked per week, commute time, job security and unemployment rate. Plus, Oklahoma took 17th place in both the money stress and family stress categories. But it was its sixth place finish in health/safety stress — which consisted of metrics, such as the share of adults in fair or poor health, mental health and the share of the population with insurance — that helped to bump its overall stress score to the top 10.

9. Alaska

Alaska actually did pretty well for money stress and family stress, taking 48th and 32nd place respectively. And it had one of the lowest percentages of residents living in poverty. It came in 19th for health/safety stress, having the second highest crime rate per capita. But what really increased its overall stress score was its first place finish in the work stress category. Alaska residents worked the most average hours per week out of all the states, and the state had the fourth lowest job security in the country.

8. Nevada

Nevada didn’t do so poorly in the work stress category, finishing 38th. It actually was a state with high job security compared to the rest of the country. It took 20th for money stress, having some of the worst credit scores in the country. And it finished ninth for health/safety, with few psychologists per capita compared to the other states. But its family stress rank topped the rest of the country at No. 1 — with Nevada tallying the highest divorce rate in the country.

7. Alabama

Alabama finished in the middle of the pack for work stress at 27th. But it was in the top 10 for the rest of its category stress rankings. The state took 10th for family stress, seventh for health/safety stress and sixth for money stress. Alabama residents had the third worst credit scores in the country. And the state had the second fewest psychologists per capita.

6. New Mexico

New Mexico’s least stressed category ranking was its 18th place finish in health/safety. It actually had the highest crime rate per capita, but it made up some ground by being one of the states with the most psychologists per capita. And the state didn’t score so well in the other three categories. It finished fourth for work stress, fifth for money stress and fifth for family stress. New Mexico had the second highest percentage of residents living in poverty, and residents there had the fifth highest divorce rate in the country.

5. West Virginia

skyline of Charleston, West VirginiaCredit: DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

West Virginia came in 12th for work stress, second for money stress and 31st for family stress. And its second place finish for health/safety stress had a couple notable points. Residents in West Virginia got the second fewest average hours of sleep per night. And the state had the third highest percentage of adults in fair or poor health.

4. Kentucky

Kentucky’s best showing was its 23rd place finish in the work stress category. But it went downhill from there. The state took ninth for money stress and had the fourth highest percentage of residents living in poverty. And it came in third for family stress, as well as health/safety stress. Kentucky was one of the states where residents got the fewest average hours of sleep per night, and it had the second highest percentage of adults in fair or poor health.

3. Arkansas

Arkansas took 14th for work stress and 12th for family stress. It came in fourth for money stress, with the fifth highest percentage of residents living in poverty. And it topped the rest of the country with its No. 1 finish in health/safety stress. Within that category, Arkansas had the fourth highest percentage of adults in fair or poor health. Plus, it had the fifth fewest psychologists per capita and the fifth highest crime rate per capita.

2. Mississippi

Mississippi had stressful scores across the board. It took fifth in work stress and sixth in family stress, with the fourth highest divorce rate in the country. Plus, it came in fifth for health/safety stress — having the highest percentage of adults in fair or poor health and the fewest psychologists per capita out of all the states. And it led the country in money stress, with the worst credit scores in the country and the highest percentage of residents living in poverty.

1. Louisiana

The French Quarter in New OrleansCredit: f11photo/Getty Images

New Orleans may be “The Big Easy,” but that didn’t save Louisiana from earning the title of most stressed state in the country. It took second place for work stress, with residents working more average hours than most of the country. And it came in third for money stress — having the third highest percentage of residents living in poverty and the second worst credit scores in the U.S. It took seventh for family stress — and within that category had the second highest divorce rate in the country. And it came in fourth for health/safety stress. For that category, Louisiana had the fifth highest percentage of adults in fair or poor health, the third fewest psychologists per capita and the third highest crime rate per capita.

The least stressed states

aerial view of the Minneapolis skylineCredit: Davel5957/Getty Images

These are the 10 states with the lowest overall stress scores, according to WalletHub.

  • 10. Montana
  • 9. Hawaii
  • 8. Wisconsin
  • 7. New Hampshire
  • 6. Iowa
  • 5. South Dakota
  • 4. North Dakota
  • 3. Massachusetts
  • 2. Utah
  • 1. Minnesota

That’s right. Minnesota can claim the title for 2019’s least stressed state in the country, per WalletHub’s results. It ranked 50th in both the money stress and health/safety stress categories. And it came in 42nd for work stress and 47th for family stress.

Several specific stress indicator scores contributed to these 10 states’ strong performances — with a few interesting caveats.

In the work stress category, residents in Massachusetts and Utah worked some of the fewest hours per week on average. On the other hand, North Dakota actually came in second for the most average hours worked per week. Plus, North Dakota and Hawaii had poor job security scores. But residents in Massachusetts enjoyed high job security.

For health/safety stress, South Dakota, New Hampshire and Minnesota had some of the lowest percentages of adults in fair or poor health. Interestingly, Hawaii was the state where residents slept the fewest average hours per night. But North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Montana all were in the top five (along with Colorado) for the most average hours of sleep per night. Plus, Minnesota and Massachusetts had some of the most psychologists per capita. And New Hampshire had one of the lowest crime rates per capita.

In the family stress category, Hawaii, Minnesota, North Dakota and Utah all had low divorce rates. And in the money stress category, Hawaii and New Hampshire had low percentages of their populations living in poverty. Hawaii, South Dakota, North Dakota and Minnesota all had some of the highest credit scores in the country. And though Hawaii and Massachusetts didn’t offer much affordable housing, residents in North Dakota and Iowa enjoyed some of the most affordable housing.

Main image credit: felixmizioznikov/Getty Images

95 comments

Leo C
Leo Custer9 hours ago

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danii p
danii p18 hours ago

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danii p
danii p18 hours ago

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danii p
danii p18 hours ago

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Toni W
Toni W2 days ago

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Toni W
Toni W2 days ago

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Richard B
Richard B5 days ago

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Leo C
Leo Custer5 days ago

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Jeramie D
Jeramie D7 days ago

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Leo C
Leo Custer7 days ago

Thank you for sharing.

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