Location, Location, Location

This year marks my tenth year living in Austin. I’m from upstate New York, a fairly agricultural area with small cities, towns, and farms dotting the lush green land. Unfortunately, it is also a location of economic depression as businesses move south. I left my hometown seeking a better economy, more sunshine, no snow, and greater educational opportunities. My search was rewarded here. I do miss the northeast sometimes, especially during the change of seasons. I also would prefer living in a smaller city with less aggressive traffic. On the whole, however, Austin is the best place for me at this point of my life.

A study has been released by Bert Sperling ranking the most and least stressful cities in America. Some interesting highlights from the study (paraphrased from the Sperling’s BestPlaces report):

Most of the top-ten stress cities deal with high unemployment rates. This creates a ripple effect of reduced tax revenues, which in turn contributes to a situation in which crime rates increase while social services decrease.

Las Vegas: a strong economy, but at what cost? It has the highest suicide rate and the highest percentage of divorced residents.

Miami, despite its #2 ranking as a high stress city, seems to report the lowest rate of poor mental health.

Low stress cities are often centers of government or have a local university, which can provide stability during economic fluctuations.

Honolulu residents seem to get better rest and reported the fewest days of depression, anxiety, or tension.

A strong positive correlation exists between the rates of suicide and divorce. Cities with a high rate of one have a high rate of the other.

Top Five Most Stressful Cities

  • Tacoma, WA
  • Miami, FL
  • New Orleans
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • New York, NY

Top Five Least Stressful Cities

  • Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY
  • Harrisburg-Lebanon-Carlisle, PA
  • Orange County, CA
  • Nassau-Suffolk, NY
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

And Austin? We rank about midway at number 60.

To explore the study in greater detail, visit here. You may also want to peruse the book, Cities Ranked and Rated: More than 400 Metropolitan Areas Evaluated in the U.S. and Canada, which is due for release in March.

Explore posts in the same categories: Regional, Social Science

2 Comments on “Location, Location, Location”

  1. Denny Says:

    I lived in Miami five years ago, and it was so stressful I had to get out of there. I was the victim of theft three times in two years. The traffic was horribly dangerous. It was dirty. You had to watch your back all the time. If you could get used to all that and survive it, yes, there was some cool stuff. I was SO glad to put Miami in my rear view mirror.

  2. Raspil Says:

    I’m moving to Las Vegas this year and I can not wait. Austin was terribly stressful for me, and Salt Lake City is killing me with each second that ticks by that I am still here. I can deal with Vegas stress, whatever that might be. I find it strange that Los Angeles was not named as a stressful city.