In a survey that looked at the 50 states and the District of Columbia, California was ranked 23d most stressful state by WalletHub – but that’s an average of four categories of key indicators. The Golden State grabbed onto the tail of the top-10 list for work-related and money related stress, ranking far more favorably for family-related (41st) and health and safety-related (42nd) stress.
In determining the rankings, WalletHub looked at things like average hours worked per week, personal bankruptcy rates and average hours of sleep per night. Stress levels hit their lowest levels last year, but began to rise again this year as Americans report more anxiety about politics, fear of violence and uncertainty about the future.
Among sub-categories including crime rates, divorce rates, poverty levels, job security and credit scores, California only showed up in one top 10 list, coming third for least affordable housing (first was Hawaii, with Iowa rated the best state for affordable housing).
The top work-related stress state was Alaska, according to the study, with the lowest rates of work-related stress in South Dakota, which ranked 48th in stress overall. Alaska ranked 12th overall for stress.
For money-related stress, Mississippi was first (third overall) and Wyoming ranked last (38th overall).
The District of Columbia came first for family-related stress (18th overall), with North Dakota experiencing the greatest family harmony, as well as ranking 50th in the state for stress.
The most health and safety-related stress went to West Virginia, which ranked fourth overall. Minnesota claimed the least health and safety-related stress as well as being ranked the least stressful state overall.
Alabama was ranked the most stressed state, coming in fifth for both work- and family-related stress, second for money-related stress and sixth for health and safety-related stress.