Alabama named nation’s most stressed state in recent study

Published 5:35 pm Friday, April 7, 2017

Though stress affects everyone, a recent study concluded that Alabama residents are affected more than most.

The Yellowhammer state was found to have the highest level of stress of all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, according to WalletHub’s study of most and least-stressed states.

In order to determine the most and least-stressed states, WalletHub’s analysts compared all 51 areas across four main areas:  work-related stress, money-related stress, family-related stress and health-and-safety-related stress.

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The study then considered 33 different metrics—some of which were weighted differently—to determine the stress levels across the United States, including those relating to work, money, family and health and safety. The exhaustive study includes details as broad as divorce rates, credit rates and job security to those as minute as fewest psychologists per capita and prevalence of binge drinking.

The result? Not good for Alabamians, and Southern states in general.

Alabama recorded the second-lowest average credit score, the fourth-highest percentage of adults in fair/poor health (tied with Louisiana and Oklahoma), the second-fewest psychologists per capita and the fourth-fewest hours of sleep per night on average.

Alabamians also boasted the sixth-highest population living below the poverty line.

Rounding out the top five most-stressed states are Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia and Kentucky.

The disparity between states on each end of the spectrum is startling, in some cases.  The five states with the highest percentage of population living below the poverty line (Mississippi, New Mexico, Louisiana, Arkansas and Kentucky) is three times higher than the five states with the lowest population (New Jersey, Connecticut, Alaska, Maryland and New Hampshire).

Likewise, there are seven-times more psychologists per capita in the five most populated states (Rhode Island, Minnesota, Vermont, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia) versus the five least-populated states (Louisiana, Alabama, Nevada, Maine and Mississippi).

It’s not all bad news, however.  Stress levels in 2016 reached their lowest point in a decade for Americans in general, according to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association.

The data used to create the stress rankings were collected from more than a dozen sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Check out the full WalletHub study for more info.