Louisiana Is the Most Stressed State in America

No, it's not New York.

A lot of things can contribute to our stress levels—bumper-to-bumper traffic, marital problems, conflict with co-workers, and that pile of bills that just keeps growing. But research has also shown that where you live can have a real impact on your stress levels. And according to a new study from personal finance website WalletHub, one particular state is the most stressed out of all.

WalletHub ranked all 50 states on the basis of 40 indicators, including the length of the average commute to work, the amount of leisure time, the unemployment rate, the affordability of housing and healthcare, the poverty index, the divorce rate, the cost of childcare, the crime rate, and the overall emotional and physical health of its residents.

The study determined that Minnesota is the least stressed state in America—and that's not particularly surprising. With an average life expectancy of 80.8 years, it's one of the states where people live the longest, and it's also the state where you're most likely to be healthy well into old age. On top of that, it's one of the states where people have the most free time, which certainly helps decrease stress. One of its Twin Cities, Minneapolis, has also ranked as one of the best cities in which to spend your golden years.

But on the other end of the spectrum, the WalletHub study found that the most stressed state in the U.S. is Louisiana, thanks to high levels of stress related to work, money, family issues, and health and safety concerns.

This is probably due in part to the fact that 19.7 percent of people live below the poverty line in Louisiana. And considering many people cite financial stress as the cause of divorce, it's no surprise that Louisiana also has one of the highest divorce rates in the country, at 20.8 percent. Also, despite of working some of the longest hours in the country, many people in Louisiana still struggle to make ends meet, possibly because the housing isn't as affordable as you might think.

So if you're looking to transition to a more easygoing lifestyle, this Southern gem might not be the best option. And if you are contemplating a big move in search of less stress, check out The 100 Happiest Cities in America.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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