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The 10 Most Stressed Out States in America

Career expert site zippia.com analyzed state data on stressors, compiled from the U.S. Census' American Community Survey, for 2012 through 2016. Here are the worst of the worst.

Jackson, Mississippi, USA skyline over the Capitol Building.Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

10. Mississippi

The birthplace of Elvis has been going through some tough times, according to the Zippia findings. The Magnolia State’s crushing unemployment rate means that rural Mississippi also has a large population living without health insurance. According to CBS News, Mississippi also has the highest poverty rates and lowest credit scores of every state in America.

Richmond, Virginia, USA downtown cityscape over Main Street.ESB Professional/Shutterstock

9. Virginia

Virginia may be for lovers, but if you want to live here, it’s probably going to sting financially. Virginia’s cost of living, especially when it comes to essentials such as housing, are significantly higher than the U.S. average. And, it doesn’t matter if you rent or buy—housing here is going to take a greater chunk out of your wallet than it will almost anyplace else. Learn about the 20 states where your money goes the furthest.

Charlotte, North Carolina, USA uptown skyline.Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

8. North Carolina

Although the cost of living is low in this state, lots of people are out of work and have yet to recover from financial losses experienced during the recession. Despite the North Carolina’s state-of-the-art medical centers in the Research Triangle, too many residents live with the stress of spotty health coverage, reports Zippia. Here are 8 ways to prevent stress and heart disease.

Baltimore, Maryland, USA cityscape at Mt. Vernon and the Washington Monument.Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

7. Maryland

Maryland is filled with people who work in Washington, D.C.—and that can lead to a vicious commute. With hundreds of thousands of people commuting twice daily on packed trains, overfilled buses, and congested roads, it’s not unusual for people living in Maryland to hit the road by 4:30 a.m. in an attempt to get to work by 8:00. Find out which states have the most treacherous commutes.

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA CBD skyline at night.Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

6. Louisiana

This state’s population works more hours per week than their counterparts do in most other states, yet many can’t rise above the poverty line. According to WalletHub rankings (reported by The Advocate), Louisiana also has a high divorce rate, poor health, limited access to psychiatric care, and low credit scores. Learn where to find the state with the most psychopaths.

New York City, USATTstudio/Shutterstock

5. New York

Perhaps the only surprise is that it’s not number one. We know that Manhattanites live like sardines, crushed together in apartment buildings and on mass transit. The subway so many rely on is plagued by horrific delays—New York has the worst commute times in the country. Perhaps the serenity of upstate New York—with its farms, open space, and beautiful mountains—helps balance the stress of that New York City cost of living. This is how much the average home costs in every state.

Twilight view of the city of Riverside, from Mount Rubidoux Park, in Riverside, California.Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

4. California

California is a big state with an uneven quality of life. Known for glamour and mansions the size of city blocks, California also has high gang activity. In fact, the Los Angeles Police Department calls the city the gang capital of the nation. Lots of people here are wealthy, but many others are struggling to rise above the poverty line. So-called food deserts—neighborhoods with no access to grocery stores or healthy food—are surrounded by areas of plenty. All this have-and-have-not creates stress for everyone but especially for children.

Orlando, Florida, USA downtown skyline at Eola Lake.ESB Professional/Shutterstock

3. Florida

Florida’s stressors are financial, but they’re also geographical. Smack in the middle of hurricane alley, Miami has the highest hurricane risk of any city on the Eastern seaboard. And the destruction from Hurricane Michael proves the west coast of Florida is no safer. Every year, Floridians must ready themselves to evacuate at a moment’s notice. Making matters worse, according to Zippia, the state ranks third in terms of residents without health insurance.

AtlantaSean Pavone/Shutterstock

2. Georgia

Long commutes to underpaid jobs and a crushing lack of access to health insurance—these are the realities Georgians face. The political scene has also taken its toll on residents: According to Talbott Recovery, Georgians experience higher-than-average rates of stress stemming from family pressure, work, and politics compared to other states. Find out what every state is best (and worst) at.

Ben Franklin Bridge and Philadelphia skyline by night as viewed from Camden, across the Delaware rivermandritoiu/Shutterstock

1. New Jersey

Let’s start with the fact that New Jersey is the most densely populated state in America, according to World Population Review. Now salt in corrupt politicians, ridiculous commute times, and roads so congested that you can spend the better part of a day trying to get from A to B. However: Your stress levels in this state may depend on where you live. According to a study done at Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, New Jerseyites living in the southern end of the state experience more job and economic stress than their northern counterparts. For more uplifting stats, check out the 17 happiest states in America.

Corey Whelan
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer and reproductive health professional who has worked with infertility patients and adopting parents for over 25 years. Her work has been featured in multiple media outlets, including Reader’s Digest, The Healthy, Healthline, CBS Local, and Berxi. Follow her on Twitter @coreygale.