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Do You Live in a Stressful City?

Forbes is at it again, but this time they are looking at the 10 most stressful cities in America. They constructed their list after looking at the country's 40 largest metropolitan areas and examining quality of life indicators. They looked at the housing market, cost of living, price of gas, environmental factors such as weather and air quality, and lastly, population density.

According to Forbes:

Residents of the cities on our list acutely experience the shifts wrought by global and local economies in turmoil. In fact, it's "bedrock security issues" like housing affordability, job security and cost of living [that] drive anxiety, says Edward Hallowell, M.D., a former professor at Harvard Medical School and founder of the Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health in Sudbury, Mass.

Check out the first five cities on their list below:

  1. Philadelphia, PA
  2. Providence, RI
  3. Salt Lake City, UT
  4. Cleveland, OH
  5. San Diego, CA

Want to see the top five? Just


  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. Los Angeles, CA
  3. Detroit, MI
  4. New York, NY
  5. Chicago, IL

Unfortunately, I live in one of these cities, number five to be exact, but after understanding the terms, I completely see why "the City by the Bay" is considered a stressful place to live. Do you see your city on this list? If not, should yours be on it?


Join The Conversation
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
My city is not stressful at all. Traffic is always stressful no matter what city but mine is pretty good compared to other cities I have been in.
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 8 years
I'm sorry people think it's alright to say a city is or isn't stressful without ever living there. That's completely wrong!
pinky5 pinky5 8 years
I live in San Diego and honestly I do not feel that it is that stressful. The only thing I feel that is stressful is the cost of living. When I was a student at UCSD rent was ridiculous, but you either move up north or south 15 minutes and it gets cheaper. I think what stresses me out most is going downtown during rush hour. But nothing compares to LA. I go and visit my sister who lives downtown and it is horrible! I am soo glad I live in sunny SD and I wouldn't trade it for anything. =]
aburlock aburlock 8 years
I just moved out of Chicago to a smaller college town and I am unbelievably happy. I agree with other posters, the CTA in Chicago is horrible, driving is crazy and crime, to mention a few. I felt like my neighborhood was generally not well-taken care of (plowing in the winter, etc) and was generally very hostile. I'm happy to say I've been out of the city for a month now and my acid reflux has completely disappeared! (Ok, that may just be a coincidence..)
lilCROAT03 lilCROAT03 8 years
ITSME ombejezzus hun you haven't been reading the news the past 2 years about the horrendous state the CTA is in- looks like things are just too nice for you in LA lol! let me do the honors: i mean you can use google yourself's bad.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well i knew that my city would be on the list, but i'm surprised that it's not #1 - i live in NYC and i think that it's VERY stressful. there's a level of what you need to do in order to just get by living there and then there''s the whole extra layer of what you have have and where you have to go to make an image for yourself - and that's an added stress level that most people shouldn't have to deal with in many other parts of the country. i've lived in a lot of places, and by far NYC is the top for me of stress. i love living here and i don't know if i could happily live elsewhere which is why i keep coming back, so the stress is a tradeoff that i'm willing to make i guess.
itsme3683 itsme3683 8 years
Living in Chicago I was NEVER stressed! The traffic was bad but I think that unless you live way out in the boonies then you don't really NEED to drive anywhere. I can't believe that anybody would say the CTA is a wreck!! Now that I live in LA, I'm surprised it's not higher up! You can't NOT drive in LA, and depending on traffic, going 20 miles to anywhere can take 20 minutes or 3 hours!
nicole815 nicole815 8 years
My city's on there! Providence, RI!
Silverlining10 Silverlining10 8 years
Wow...Way to bash California. Living costs here are ridiculous, and that makes it stressful. The over population of people, the crappy public school system, and of course, taking an hour to drive 3 miles all make LA a very frustrating place to live. There is never any place to park in LA, which is why we are forced to pay $3 an hour or more for parking structures, forced to shell out big bucks for valet parking, and spend hours looking for street parking. I even pay extra rent every month to have a parking space in the apartment's garage. Also, people are very rude because they have money; they're just so full of themselves when they're only trust fund kids. Insurance is expensive, cost of higher education is higher than most states with less grants being given out, and it's nearly impossible to find an apartment, even when the rent is thousands a month for a studio half the size of a normal dorm room. Gas prices are high, and so is the cost of a car. I don't ever want to live in LA after college is over.
lilCROAT03 lilCROAT03 8 years
i just would like to add as far as TRAFFIC goes... imagine having to factor in an extra 1.5 hrs into your plans for EVERYTHING. even LSD (lake shore drive) is backed up for a good hour or two just going from one side of the town to the other! people are half retarded when driving and swerve into your lane while shaving their legs while waiting. the CABBIES ARE FREAKS and turn the roads into a bumper car party! but sorry worst of all are the TOURISTS! PUT DOWN YOUR USELESS MAP- VALET YOUR CAR- AND TAKE A CAB to the DAMN MUSEUM! CHI TOWN FO LYFE BYATCHES!
lilCROAT03 lilCROAT03 8 years
let's get this straight- i'm a die hard Chicagoan. all you people saying any city in cali/ is stressful please stop. you don't have temperatures that are sub zero ...EVER. ontop of that horrid factor we have no where to park, our SALT RUSTED cars get plowed in if we DO find a spot. then you get on the CTA wait, get mugged then 2 hrs later get peed on by the weirdo next to you. our weather is extreme, extreme heat, cold, snow and rain...not to mention hail the size of softballs and the worst HUMIDITY POSSIBLE. the people are assholes, the food is fattening, no one knows how to walk on the street so our daily commute looks like a mosh pit. everyone who works in corporate america seems to have a 10 X greater frustration factor so you're always putting up with other people's complexes and rudeness... but i LOVE CHICAGO. i - walk the whole city from corner to illegitimate o'hare corner in heels BLINDFOLDED- love it. it made me be able to withstand anything now that i live in Europe...what people consider stress out here is NOTHING ...even work feels like a vacation for me now. being a Chicagoan is like being part of an elite club of life! from wrigleyville to the loopsters we're all united in our stress! I <3 CHICAGO!!!!! CHI TOWN FO LYFE BYATCHES!!!!!
sw33tlovin sw33tlovin 8 years
haha, i'm surprised L.A. isn't ranked number one. and i agree .. it is stressful. but i really can't imagine having more than two seasons, so i don't see me moving any time soon. i was born and raised here, and although a lot of the times i wish i wasn't, i don't know what i would do without the diversity, the beaches, the bonfires, the long sunsets, the liberalism as a majority. although i think we can be WAY more liberal, many states already think we're psycho :P
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
L.A. drivers aren't crazy. They're just damn stupid. ;) As a side note on drivers, today is the second day in a row where someone has stolen a parking spot I've been patiently waiting for, with blinker on and everything, at Trader Joe's. San Diego drivers aren't great, either.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
I'm not surprised San Francisco is in the top 5. It's quite stressful, with the high cost of living, high gas prices, crazy drivers, etc. I live near SF and I think it's fun to go there for day trips, but I don't think I would live there. It's nice in the suburbs. NatashaAlexis - Yeah drivers are crazy in Sacramento. I honestly think it's worse than LA.
NatashaAlexis NatashaAlexis 8 years
I'm suprised that Sacramento, CA is no where on the list. The worst road rage I've ever seen. The fingure is nothing there, compaired to the amount of times someone almost hit my car or forced me off the road just because they wanted to go one mph faster. In the south Sacramento area people wont even pull over for an emergency vehicle, their actually trying tv adds to get people to pull over. And if you do pull over your lucky if someone lets you back in! I just moved away three weeks ago and already my anxiety levels have gone down so much!
lexichloe lexichloe 8 years
I don't live in a stressful city, although I've wanted to give one a try for a year or two. I see no reason to live in an expensive, stressful city unless you're making big bucks.
sabrinaland sabrinaland 8 years
Vancouver may be pretty, but it's really stressful living here because everyone is always angry for some odd reason. It's not a nice place to live because of that. I loved living in New Orleans, it was so much nicer and relaxing.
MindayH MindayH 8 years
geez, I have lived in 3 of the top 10
jessy777 jessy777 8 years
Nope my city is virtually stress free. Austin, TX is pretty laid back and things move slower around here. The most stress comes from the traffic jams on major roads but after 6 years of living here I know all the great ways to get around it. I haven't been stuck in traffic since my first year. I would vote this city #1 for stress-free living. I am going to miss it when I leave.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 8 years
I'm a bit surprised DC didn't make it. But a friend of mine was visiting the other day and said "wow, barely anyone beeps at you around here". I was like, "are you kidding me??" but I guess it's all relative.
Marni7 Marni7 8 years
I agree Chrstne ..being away from a fast paced city stresses me boyfriend lives in the suburbs and it stresses/freaks me out to be there at night so use to a million noises somehow a quite street scares me!
amybdk amybdk 8 years
Salt Lake City. Really? Wow.... I'm glad to live in a less stressful city than any of these.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
I grew up in the NYC metro, worked there, did everything there. is definitely stressful Everyone is very in your face, very high energy, always moving. I moved farther south, and the slowness is so overwhelming. I realized THIS may be normal...and that area just has a different breed of person -- like me. The vibe in NYC is MUCH different, the people are MUCH different, and while the stress sucks...being away from it makes me crazy. It's weird.
desidesi desidesi 8 years
whenever i get sick of the stress of nyc, i take a short trip to remember what it's like to slow down
Pallas-Athena Pallas-Athena 8 years
New York is pretty stressful, but I wouldn't trade this place for the world!!
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