The country’s five most stressed-out cities are all run by Democrats, according to a new study.
WalletHub used 39 metrics — from the unemployment rate to suicide rates — to compare over 180 cities across the U.S., including the country’s 150 most populated cities, to determine where Americans are the most and least stressed.
According to WalletHub’s findings, Democrat-run blue cities dominated the top of the list for carrying the most stress:
- Cleveland, Ohio
- Detroit, Michigan
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Birmingham, Alabama
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Shreveport, Louisiana
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Fayetteville, North Carolina
- St. Louis, Missouri
- August, Georgia
Each of the top five cities has a Democrat mayor, and only one of the top 10 is headed by a Republican.
Cleveland, which has the country’s second-highest poverty rate of large cities, also struggles with a crime rate that’s 5.5 times above the state average and 4.3 times above the national average.
Democrat Mayor Justin Morris Bibb promised to increase the city’s police force after a mass shooting earlier this month. However, City Council member Michael Polensek said this week at a public meeting that Cleveland is down 313 officers from where it was in 2020, lamenting the state of his city and declaring, ‘I’m not going to live like this.’
Detroit ranked No. 2 in large part because of crime, with recent statistics showing that the city’s residents are about four times more likely to be victims of violent crime than Americans living elsewhere.
Baltimore, Birmingham and Philadelphia are also experiencing high crime and murder rates well above the national average under Democrat mayors.
WalletHub’s study comes in the wake of the COVID pandemic and historically high inflation — which remains elevated for basic consumer items such as groceries — and amid spiking rates in several cities. Inflation especially has been a major source of stress, according to experts.
‘Without a doubt, the top financial stressor in 2023 is inflation,’ Eric Weiser, chair of the Department of Psychology at Curry College, told WalletHub. ‘Recent polls indicate that the majority of Americans believe the nation’s economy is doing poorly, and there is little question that inflation is the primary basis of this perception.’
Weiser noted that the cost of ‘nearly everything,’ particularly in larger U.S. cities, is ‘staggering,’ explaining that even if people spend money responsibly, they still need to buy groceries and gas.
‘Those are the sources of most of the pain,’ he said. ‘Consumers are getting hurt at the supermarket and the gas pump, and it does not appear that this situation will be remedied anytime soon.’
Recent figures from the Department of Labor show that inflation has been progressively dropping from its peak last summer. However, a striking 83% of Americans feel stressed about inflation, and 75% feel stressed about violence and crime, according to a recent survey from the American Psychological Association.
To form its rankings, WalletHub graded each metric on a 100-point scale, weighting them differently based on importance to stress. The study then determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score, considering only each city proper while excluding its metro area.
The study calculated a total score for its ranking by categorizing its metrics under four broad categories: work stress, including metrics such as job security and average commute time; financial stress, including metrics like median credit score and foreclosure rates; family stress, including metrics such as divorce rates and child care costs; and health and safety stress, which included metrics such as mental health stats and crime rate figures.
Washington, D.C., ranked as the country’s most stressful area for work. Cleveland topped the list for financial stress. Fresno, California, ranked at the top for family stress. And WalletHub found Detroit to foster the most stress due to health and safety issues.