How stressed is your city?

Atlanta Atlanta

On a 10-point scale – where 1 is “little or no stress” and 10 is “a great deal of stress” – residents of Atlanta report an average stress level of 5. In general, people living in Atlanta report that money, work and the economy are the most common sources of stress. In fact, more Atlantans report work as a very or somewhat significant source of stress (73%) than adults nationwide (65%).

Chicago Chicago

Chicagoans report an average stress level of 4.7 on the 10-point scale. And while the most common sources of stress for Chicagoans are the same as adults everywhere (money, work and the economy), significantly more people living in Chicago report relationships (64%) and job stability (57%) as sources of stress. The percentage of Chicago residents who cite job stability as a source of stress is at its highest point in recent years (55% in 2011, 52% in 2009 and 42% in 2008).

Denver Denver

Stress levels in Denver jumped this year, unlike in other places where stress appears to be on the decline. Denver residents report their average stress level is 5.5, compared to 4.6 in 2011. Thirty-five percent of Denver residents think discussing stress management with health care providers is extremely or very important, yet only 21% say they have this discussion often or always.

Detroit Detroit

People living in Detroit report an average stress level of 5.1. And while fewer people in Detroit reported extreme stress (an 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale) this year, 35% say their stress increased over the past year. More Detroit residents this year (78%) said that work was a significant source of stress than in past years (73% in 2011 and 69% in 2010).

Los Angeles Los Angeles

L.A. residents report lower average stress levels (5.0) compared to last year (5.3) but 37% of adults in L.A. report that their stress has increased in the past year. Twenty percent say they experience extreme stress. Concerns over health appear to be more apparent in Los Angeles: 61% of residents say personal health concerns are a significant source of stress, compared to 51% of Americans overall.

New York New York

New Yorkers report an average stress level of 5.2. Comparatively, this is higher than the level of stress they define as healthy: 4.0. What’s more, 22% of New York City residents report experiencing extreme stress and 35% say their stress has increased in the past year. In addition, more New Yorkers than Americans overall report stress related to health concerns, specifically health problems affecting their families (62%) and personal health issues (66%).

Seattle Seattle

Since 2008, people living in Seattle have consistently reported declining average stress levels each year. In 2012, the average stress level was 4.7. In Seattle, almost half of adults (47%) give their physical health care an “A” grade, compared to 35% of adults nationwide. Only 36% of Seattle residents say the same about their mental health care.

Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.

The most common stressors for D.C.-area residents are work (73%), money (68%) and the economy (57%). Thirty-seven percent of D.C.-area adults say their stress has increased in the past year. D.C. residents are more likely than Americans overall to say they are in excellent or very good health (44% vs. 40%). More than half (56%) of D.C.-area residents visit a health care provider three or more times a year, compared to 41% of Americans overall.

Regardless of where in the country they live, Americans have one thing in common when it comes to stress – they consistently report experiencing more stress than they believe to be healthy. They also report work as one of the top stressors in their lives. Here’s how stress levels vary in major cities across the country, according to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America report.
[Photos: Thinkstock]

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