Cleveland, Ohio, has now been rated the most stressed-out city in America three years in a row.
The personal finance company WalletHub compared 182 cities across what it called “four key dimensions” of stress: work stress, financial stress, family stress and health and safety stress. The five most stressed-out cities in America, WalletHub concluded, are Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Birmingham Alabama, and Philadelphia. And the least stressed cities are South Burlington Vermont, Fremont California, Sioux Falls South Dakota, Overland Park Kansas, and Fargo North Dakota.
What differentiates the high stress cities from the low? Poverty. The five highest stress cities all have poverty rates above 20%. The five lowest all have poverty half that—poverty rates below 11%.
Which means that the WalletHub study makes something you and I already know clear. Money counts.
When you barely have enough money for rent and food, arguments often destroy your relationship with your spouse and turn your home into a hell.
For example, Cleveland is the most stressed city in America. And says one report on the WalletHub survey, “Cleveland has the nation’s second-highest poverty rate (behind Detroit) and the highest divorce rate.”
Radical insecurity leads to radical stress. Stress that threatens your health. Says the report on the WalletHub results, Cleveland’s “Residents also get the second-fewest hours of sleep each night, again only behind Detroit.”
Meanwhile, the American Psychological Association and the Harris Poll recently published a survey on stress in America in 2022. That report helps explain the levels of stress in the high-stress cities. The survey’s results were nightmarish. Says the American Psychological Association,
· “Around a quarter of adults (25%) reported that…they…often felt difficulties were piling up so high that they could not overcome them.”
· “Around a fifth of adults also reported experiencing forgetfulness (21%), an inability to concentrate (20%), and difficulty making decisions (17%).”
· And “Nearly two in five adults (37%) reported that when they are stressed, they can’t bring themselves to do anything.”
Then there are the stressors of our current politics. One report sums up the American Psychological Association survey like this: “a majority of adults are disheartened by government and political divisiveness, daunted by historic inflation levels, and dismayed by widespread violence.”
Which means that negative headlines, battles between politicians, plus mass shootings and gun violence are taking their toll. Continues the American Psychological Association,
· “Seventy percent of adults reported they do not think people in the government care about them and 64% said they feel their rights are under attack.”
· “Nearly half of adults (45%) said they do not feel protected by the laws in the United States.”
· “More than three-quarters of adults (76%) said that the future of our nation is a significant source of stress in their lives,”
· “while 68% said this is the lowest point in our nation’s history that they can remember.”
· “Nearly two in five adults (38%) said the state of the nation has made them consider moving to a different country, and a similar proportion of adults (40%) agreed that the political environment in their state has made them consider moving to a different state.”
· “around three in 10 Black adults (31%) reported they are so stressed they feel numb.”
But the American Psychological Association concludes on a hopeful note.
Says the APA,
“Slightly more than seven in 10 (71%) adults reported that they feel hopeful about their future. In fact, a majority of adults (72%) said they can get things done even when they are feeling stressed, and around half of adults (51%) have… often felt confident about their ability to handle personal problems.”
So despite the stress, many of those in stressed-out cities like Cleveland and Detroit feel on top of things. Thank goodness.
Howard Bloom of the Howard Bloom Institute has been called the Einstein, Newton, and Freud of the 21st century by Britain’s Channel 4 TV. One of his seven books–Global Brain—was the subject of a symposium thrown by the Office of the Secretary of Defense including representatives from the State Department, the Energy Department, DARPA, IBM, and MIT. His work has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Psychology Today, and the Scientific American. He does news commentary at 1:06 am Eastern Time every Wednesday night on 545 radio stations on Coast to Coast AM. For more, see http://howardbloom.institute.