Anyone who has ever driven on Houston’s freeways, endured its erratic weather, or dealt with fluctuating oil prices understands the meaning of stress. Living in a large, diverse, spread-out city can be highly stressful, and Houston’s unique elements often only add to that stress. But how can anyone measure which city is the “most stressful”?
Researchers at WalletHub, a financial advice website, commissioned a study that examined 30 criteria across four major categories and measured those stressors in 150 major metropolitan areas across the U.S. The results showed what most Houstonians know from personal experience: Houston takes the title as the Lone Star State’s most stressed-out city.
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The study measured stress across four categories: work-related (job security, commuter stress, average commute times, etc.), financial stress (income, credit score, poverty rate, etc.), family stress (divorce rate, single parent households, marriage duration, etc.), and health stress (binge drinking, suicide rates, crime rate, etc.).
The results showed that Houston ranked No. 31 out of the 150 cities measured and the highest of the 16 Texas cities surveyed. Houston also ranked in the top 20 in the “work stress” (No. 11) and “family stress” (No. 16) categories, as well as in the top half of the “health stress” (No. 70) category.
The next-closest Texas city in the survey was Corpus Christi at No. 62. The coastal town ranked in the top five in sectors such as “highest average weekly work hours” and “lowest job security,” and hit the top of the charts in “highest percentage of adults in fair or poor health.”
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The least stressful city in Texas, and the second-least stressful in the entire survey, was Plano. The posh Dallas suburb was rated 149 out of 150, with only Fremont, California, rating as a less stressful place to live. Plano ranked in the top five in “highest job security,” “lowest poverty rate,” “most affordable housing,” and “lowest divorce rate.”
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