By Mary Boone
Uptight? Anxious? According to researchers, stress is prevalent among Seattle residents.
According to a 2012 survey conducted by Sperling's BestPlaces, Seattle is the ninth most stressful city in the nation. The study analyzed a variety of factors associated with stress, including unemployment rate, mental health, poor rest, suicide statistics, commute time, divorce rate, property and violent crime statistics, alcohol use and number of cloudy days.
Bert Sperling, lead researcher, called Seattle’s ranking in the survey’s Top 10 a “real surprise.”
“It isn’t a city we normally think of as stressful, but the divorces, suicides and alcohol use are near the 80th percentile for our study, commuting is painful, and crime is surprisingly high,” he said.
According to the report, the average Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area commuter drives 30.3 minutes each way to work. Among the survey’s 10 most stressful cities, only Miami (33.2 minutes) and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., (33 minutes) had longer average commutes.
Seattle was also dinged for its high crime rate. The city reported 3881.7 property crimes per 100,000 residents, the fourth highest rate among the 10 most stressful cities.
Yes, there are frazzled folks in Seattle but the city is considerably less stressful than many other U.S. cities. Tampa, Fla., and Las Vegas took honors as the United States’ first and second-most stressful metro areas.
Other super-stressed cities include Miami (No. 3), Jacksonville (No. 4), Detroit (No. 5), Orlando (No. 6), Riverside, Calif., (No. 7), Sacramento, Calif., (No. 8) and West Palm Beach (No. 10). It’s interesting to note that Florida is home to five of the top 10 metro areas in the Sperling stress study.
The 2012 study also revealed the cities with the least stress. It seems folks in Minneapolis are the most carefree. The other least-stressed cities, from No. 2 to No. 10, are: Long Island, NY; Cambridge, MA; San Jose, CA; Washington, DC; Orange County, CA; Virginia Beach; Pittsburgh; Dallas; and Cleveland.