Most Stressed U.S. Cities: Cleveland, Detroit top the list in 2023

WASHINGTON — Stress can come in many forms, from your wallet to your place of work. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview mirror, Americans are now dealing with constant concerns about inflation and violent crime. In some major cities, a new survey finds that unhealthy stress is reaching a breaking point.

A team from WalletHub finds that a staggering 83 percent of Americans currently feel stressed out about inflation. As homicide rates spike throughout the nation, another three in four people admit that violence and crime in their neighborhoods are also stressing them out.

Although studies have shown that a little bit of stress can actually be very beneficial to both body and brain, dealing with it all the time can have a devastating impact on your health.

To find out who is currently dealing with crippling amounts of stress, the WalletHub team compared more than 180 cities across 39 key metrics, looking at everything from unemployment rates and household income to health and divorce rates.

Cleveland hits rock bottom

Their findings reveal that Americans living in Cleveland, Ohio are the most stressed in the entire country. Overall, Cleveland was far and away the leader in terms of stress, ranking first in financial stress, second in health and safety stress, and third in family stress. According to the 2023 study, Cleveland has the nation’s second-highest poverty rate (behind Detroit) and the highest divorce rate. Residents also get the second-fewest hours of sleep each night, again only behind Detroit.

white and blue concrete building under blue sky during daytime
Cleveland, Ohio (Photo by DJ Johnson)

Detroit (2nd), Baltimore (3rd), Birmingham, Alabama (4th), and Philadelphia (5th) round out the top five in terms of most stressed-out cities. While many might wonder what America’s politicians are doing all day, it turns out that Washington, DC (31st overall) ranks at the top in terms of work stress.

A tale of two cities

While South Burlington, Vermont has the lowest unemployment rate (1.50%), Stockton, California’s jobless rate is more than eight times higher, at 7.40 percent. Portland, Maine, has the lowest share of adults in fair or poor health (10%), according to the new poll. Unfortunately, that’s two-and-a-half times lower than the rate in Huntington, West Virginia, the city with the highest percentage of people in poor health (25.4%).

Columbia, Maryland, enjoys the highest median annual household income (adjusted by cost of living) at $104,886. That’s over three times higher than the typical income in Detroit, which carries the nation’s lowest average income at just $33,329.

Can Americans afford a stress-free life?

If you’re wondering why New York City ranks 38th on the new list, look no further than the cost of the average stress-out New Yorker’s rent or mortgage. New York City ranks last in terms of affordable housing, followed by Los Angeles and Glendale, California.

WalletHub researchers also asked a panel of experts about what Americans can do to relieve their stress, no matter where they live. One theme continued to be a part of the conversation: spend within your means.

“I think that part of being able to relax well, period, is doing so beneath (or certainly not beyond) your means. If eating well is an important part of relaxation, I would say learn to cook some of your favorite foods. Cooking can be relaxing in itself, but the efficacy of being able to really satisfy your appetite and feel like you have had a treat without blowing your budget is a very nice feeling. If you like dinner parties, then this multiplies. Other than that, many forms of exercise are free or low cost, such as running, walking, and cycling. Another suggestion is to go back a generation or two in technology and enjoy what is still some very good entertainment at a much lower cost. For example, I still enjoy playing the Wii, on my own, and with my young daughter,” says Marcus Fila, Ph.D., an associate professor at Hope College and a speaker on reducing work stress and unwanted employee turnover, in a statement.

Most & Least Stressed Cities in America

Overall Rank*  City Total Score  Work Stress  Financial Stress  Family Stress  Health & Safety Stress 
1 Cleveland, OH 62.62 47 1 3 2
2 Detroit, MI 57.75 50 2 29 1
3 Baltimore, MD 57.43 4 5 9 44
4 Birmingham, AL 57.11 23 20 4 5
5 Philadelphia, PA 55.29 8 9 50 11
6 Shreveport, LA 54.11 64 3 67 6
7 Memphis, TN 53.81 30 11 39 12
8 Fayetteville, NC 53.53 45 17 6 36
9 St. Louis, MO 53.30 48 8 31 17
10 Augusta, GA 52.74 33 24 21 23
11 Montgomery, AL 52.62 60 15 35 7
12 Gulfport, MS 52.39 15 10 85 20
13 New Orleans, LA 52.38 24 4 100 25
14 Houston, TX 52.09 7 70 17 14
15 Akron, OH 51.80 66 13 49 10
16 Toledo, OH 51.52 86 6 62 21
17 Jackson, MS 51.48 44 14 48 26
18 North Las Vegas, NV 51.31 104 31 2 54
19 Milwaukee, WI 51.00 28 39 12 40
20 Huntington, WV 50.97 130 12 104 3
21 Las Vegas, NV 50.83 29 45 13 32
22 San Bernardino, CA 50.71 131 35 5 46
23 Cincinnati, OH 50.53 52 22 41 24
24 San Antonio, TX 50.14 51 52 15 16
25 Newark, NJ 49.93 43 21 14 86
26 Indianapolis, IN 49.84 32 19 74 34
27 Columbus, GA 49.56 147 7 68 29
28 Newport News, VA 49.10 95 34 7 75
29 Fresno, CA 49.03 153 44 1 97
30 Mobile, AL 48.77 69 18 94 19
31 Washington, DC 47.90 1 121 18 119
32 Chicago, IL 47.68 2 30 102 125
33 Dover, DE 47.52 67 23 96 41
34 Baton Rouge, LA 47.20 99 26 112 22
35 Dallas, TX 47.11 21 97 42 42
36 Atlanta, GA 47.10 19 63 53 60
37 Rochester, NY 46.90 109 42 19 73
38 New York, NY 46.85 3 55 65 132
39 Hialeah, FL 46.81 173 27 11 115
40 New Haven, CT 46.56 76 72 22 66
41 Tucson, AZ 46.49 135 62 20 53
42 Buffalo, NY 46.43 57 77 24 65
43 Wilmington, DE 46.43 38 36 90 58
44 Moreno Valley, CA 46.27 59 47 10 113
45 Modesto, CA 46.03 75 122 8 74
46 Little Rock, AR 45.94 159 16 87 51
47 Brownsville, TX 45.73 166 33 32 62
48 Los Angeles, CA 45.70 34 54 34 117
49 Norfolk, VA 45.66 113 32 46 85
50 Miami, FL 45.60 118 25 61 83
51 Bridgeport, CT 45.50 6 49 82 145
52 Columbus, OH 45.49 55 80 70 37
53 Oklahoma City, OK 45.23 92 68 51 47
54 Charleston, WV 45.22 78 117 114 4
55 Henderson, NV 45.09 71 67 28 110
56 Richmond, VA 45.03 49 40 73 92
57 Corpus Christi, TX 45.00 139 79 83 13
58 Long Beach, CA 44.94 46 56 30 141
59 Chattanooga, TN 44.84 123 37 117 31
60 Springfield, MO 44.81 127 43 134 9
61 Knoxville, TN 44.59 134 71 81 28
62 Phoenix, AZ 44.59 85 73 55 56
63 Columbia, SC 44.59 77 28 135 49
64 El Paso, TX 44.55 148 48 40 72
65 Vancouver, WA 44.51 39 95 47 69
66 Fort Smith, AR 44.46 174 41 121 8
67 Tulsa, OK 44.39 145 50 110 18
68 Spokane, WA 44.28 138 123 23 57
69 Jacksonville, FL 43.87 137 38 89 59
70 Fort Wayne, IN 43.76 126 61 56 67
71 Winston-Salem, NC 43.75 108 78 33 112
72 Tacoma, WA 43.72 72 133 25 76
73 Louisville, KY 43.59 22 53 158 48
74 Denver, CO 43.44 5 139 105 98
75 Bakersfield, CA 43.35 119 51 59 103
76 Laredo, TX 43.35 181 64 37 50
77 Fort Worth, TX 43.33 94 96 64 63
78 Worcester, MA 43.29 53 151 16 126
79 Ontario, CA 43.27 150 66 27 122
80 Salem, OR 43.18 101 127 76 38
81 Glendale, AZ 43.06 125 46 72 96
82 Garland, TX 42.98 97 88 69 68
83 Albuquerque, NM 42.87 93 75 75 81
84 Nashville, TN 42.70 20 91 126 87
85 Reno, NV 42.60 154 146 43 43
86 Arlington, TX 42.58 87 89 98 61
87 Kansas City, MO 42.58 91 83 150 15
88 Portland, OR 42.55 12 134 78 134
89 Stockton, CA 42.50 98 92 54 108
90 Greensboro, NC 42.46 88 82 79 89
91 Aurora, CO 42.36 41 93 77 101
92 Las Cruces, NM 42.22 168 29 95 111
93 Riverside, CA 42.19 146 69 52 104
94 Amarillo, TX 41.76 159 86 113 35
95 Oakland, CA 41.53 13 153 45 151
96 Santa Clarita, CA 41.36 31 76 66 170
97 Sacramento, CA 41.26 90 100 37 154
98 Grand Prairie, TX 41.18 144 126 57 64
99 Lubbock, TX 40.99 164 59 141 39
100 Glendale, CA 40.99 26 84 80 164
101 Pittsburgh, PA 40.97 79 58 146 82
102 Fontana, CA 40.84 167 106 44 99
103 Fort Lauderdale, FL 40.69 35 74 148 94
104 Wichita, KS 40.68 151 57 151 52
105 Providence, RI 40.66 82 85 93 136
106 Garden Grove, CA 40.43 128 99 36 159
107 Colorado Springs, CO 40.13 157 104 71 109
108 Mesa, AZ 40.07 129 90 99 118
109 Tampa, FL 39.92 106 115 88 120
110 Casper, WY 39.82 122 135 145 33
111 West Valley City, UT 39.82 182 118 26 90
112 Oceanside, CA 39.65 58 113 109 143
113 Orlando, FL 39.63 178 65 92 93
114 Cape Coral, FL 39.42 81 87 142 107
115 Oxnard, CA 39.35 140 141 63 138
116 Tallahassee, FL 39.27 180 60 123 80
117 Durham, NC 39.24 116 161 58 123
118 Charlotte, NC 39.21 25 147 111 155
119 Santa Ana, CA 39.11 169 108 60 137
120 Honolulu, HI 38.88 83 103 84 173
121 Boston, MA 38.79 18 124 153 150
122 Port St. Lucie, FL 38.78 158 119 143 55
123 Tempe, AZ 38.71 170 107 86 128
124 Yonkers, NY 38.61 11 98 136 172
125 Nampa, ID 38.61 141 102 124 124
126 Des Moines, IA 38.37 136 81 154 91
127 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 38.36 100 130 106 142
128 Peoria, AZ 38.34 63 114 133 139
129 Huntsville, AL 38.33 175 138 147 30
130 Santa Rosa, CA 38.29 54 145 118 148
131 St. Paul, MN 38.28 74 140 132 106
132 Manchester, NH 38.20 111 157 120 84
133 Lewiston, ME 38.06 143 94 167 27
134 Irving, TX 37.84 162 149 116 79
135 Austin, TX 37.72 27 168 140 133
136 Salt Lake City, UT 37.48 133 131 122 135
137 San Diego, CA 37.45 89 112 119 168
138 Raleigh, NC 37.44 42 170 91 160
139 Jersey City, NJ 37.42 56 120 101 175
140 St. Petersburg, FL 37.42 142 132 149 78
141 Pearl City, HI 37.28 9 152 128 176
142 Anchorage, AK 37.16 102 162 115 127
143 Grand Rapids, MI 36.82 120 109 161 95
144 Anaheim, CA 36.76 132 110 108 165
145 Chula Vista, CA 36.65 124 129 125 162
146 Chesapeake, VA 36.36 121 137 130 147
147 Aurora, IL 36.26 40 101 159 163
148 Cheyenne, WY 36.03 62 166 156 100
149 San Francisco, CA 35.94 14 172 131 179
150 Lexington-Fayette, KY 35.82 65 111 174 71
151 Omaha, NE 35.69 117 105 164 130
152 Minneapolis, MN 35.56 107 160 155 105
153 Pembroke Pines, FL 35.51 61 116 163 146
154 Virginia Beach, VA 35.28 103 155 139 153
155 Juneau, AK 35.25 37 177 157 88
156 Huntington Beach, CA 35.21 80 163 107 171
157 Chandler, AZ 35.15 161 144 127 156
158 Seattle, WA 34.98 96 178 97 157
159 Warwick, RI 34.94 16 165 166 140
160 Billings, MT 34.76 112 158 171 45
161 Columbia, MD 34.53 10 164 138 180
162 Scottsdale, AZ 34.30 68 154 152 167
163 Boise, ID 33.94 156 171 129 144
164 Charleston, SC 32.61 152 159 169 102
165 Missoula, MT 32.51 171 136 173 77
166 Gilbert, AZ 32.44 172 128 162 161
167 San Jose, CA 32.44 115 180 103 178
168 Cedar Rapids, IA 31.98 149 150 172 129
169 Portland, ME 31.87 105 156 175 131
170 Irvine, CA 31.81 84 169 137 181
171 Madison, WI 31.76 155 174 144 169
172 Plano, TX 31.75 114 176 160 152
173 Nashua, NH 31.44 73 173 170 121
174 Rapid City, SD 31.04 176 125 180 70
175 Bismarck, ND 31.02 36 179 178 114
176 Burlington, VT 29.69 179 148 168 158
177 Lincoln, NE 29.64 165 142 177 149
178 Fargo, ND 28.60 177 167 179 116
179 Overland Park, KS 27.83 70 175 176 174
180 Sioux Falls, SD 27.53 163 143 181 166
181 Fremont, CA 27.04 17 181 165 182
182 South Burlington, VT 23.43 110 182 182 177

*1=Most Stressed
Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that city, where a rank of 1 represents the worst conditions for that metric category.

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

The contents of this website do not constitute advice and are provided for informational purposes only. See our full disclaimer

Comments

  1. All Democrat filled, Democrat managed crime riddled cesspools. If you’re surprised by that, you’re an ignorant fool.

  2. You forgot to mention most of them are Blue Cities run by progressives as is our present government.

  3. Study Finds is accurate/entertaining, yet the fact the majority are run by progressive liberal Democrats, shows that reality, once again, gets swept under the rug.

  4. Any city with a majority of blacks in it will make this list. No exceptions.

  5. Show me a city under Democrat’s control that functions? Show me a city under Democrat’s control where the Ghettos have not gotten worse? Show me a city under Democrat’s control from which the people have not fled . Alternately asking, show me a city that has prospered under the Democrats? Show me a city which did not go down and down after the Democrats took charge of it.

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