These are the 10 most-stressed states in America

It’s past five o’clock on a Friday night and you are reading this article as a break from a mountain of work that needs to get done before Monday. You think, well, this is adulting, but at least there is good takeout!

But are most Americans pulling all-nighters after graduating college or sitting in traffic for hours a day to get to their jobs? Actually, are many Americans struggling to even find a job?

Zippia has done it again with their top 10 most stressed states in the U.S. Which states sentence you to a life of long commutes, high unemployment, ridiculous rent prices, and grueling work hours?

Here is a summary of our top 10:

  1. New Jersey
  2. Georgia
  3. Florida
  4. California
  5. New York
  6. Louisiana
  7. Maryland
  8. North Carolina
  9. Virginia
  10. Mississippi

You probably guessed California and New York, but did you think of Georgia or Mississippi? In fact, the south has this list on lock.

If you are searching for your first job, perhaps some of these states may surprise you as most stressed. You may have a nice job title and description, but is it worth the stress?

Read on for a detailed look at the top 10 most stressed states and the top 3 laid back.


In order to measure how stressed out a state is, we chose a set of six criteria that reflect how sleepless people are:

  • Long commute times
  • Unemployment
  • Hours worked
  • Population density
  • Home price to income ratio
  • Percent uninsured population

The higher any of these was, the more stressful the people of the state are. Our data is from the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey for 2012-2016. We ranked each state from 1 to 50 (with one being the most stressed side of the scale) in the six individual criteria.

These ranks were then averaged into one stressed out score. The lower the score the more stressed out state in America.

Below, we’ll take a look at the standout stress stats for each top 10 most stressed state, and wrap the whole thing up with a detailed ranking of all 50 states.


Population: 8,915,456

New Jersey tops our list for the most stressed state in the U.S. People in New Jersey work long hours, have long commutes, and have a high home price to income ratio.

If you’ve ever wondered why it is known as the garden state, perhaps beautiful gardens, fresh food, and diners are part of Jersey’s stress management program.


Population: 10,099,320

Although “Hotlanta” may be a vibrant urban center full of job opportunities, many Georgians must tackle a high unemployment rate, high uninsured rate, and a long commute.

Combine those factors with lower higher education rates and you may soon realize that life may not be as peachy in Georgia as you may think.


Population: 19,934,451

Florida, the place full of sunshine and oranges? You got it! The state that is known for attracting retired families? Definitely. A place to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ocean waves hours a day? Maybe not.

While many people in Florida are probably on Medicare plans because they are over 65, the rest of the population is struggling without health insurance. Florida is actually ranked third in uninsured in America.

If the possibility of going into massive debt after an accident because of not being insured doesn’t cause you to be stressed, what does?


Population: 38,654,206

California is known for Silicon Valley, Trader Joe’s, and good wine. But does the Trader Joe’s epic freezer section and cheap wine make up for the stress level in California?

California ranks second in home price to income ratio in the U.S., so even if you make a lot of money, your rent will eat most of your income, leaving you searching for used iPhones on Craigslist and drinking 2 buck chucks.


Population: 19,697,457

When you take a bite out of the Big Apple, this fruit bites back. New York state is number five on our top 10 most stressed states… and for a good reason.

New Yorkers spend more time on their work commutes than any other state. Even if you leave on time, you could easily be late for work with traffic and packed subways.

Add that to an extremely high cost of living and it’s no wonder why New Yorkers are so stressed.


Population: 4,645,670

Worked an extremely long week and in need of a spicy pick me up? So does most of Louisiana it seems.

Louisiana ranks number six on our list because they ranked as a state with one of the most hours worked per week. So while the rent may be more affordable, you still are working more hours than most.

So if you are in search of some soul food after a brutal week, order in some Creole food or pulled pork this weekend.


Population: 5,959,902

Wondering why Washington, D.C. isn’t on our list? Turns out, most people don’t actually live in D.C., but rather in Maryland and Virginia, another top stressed out state on our list.

It shouldn’t be a shocker than that people in Maryland have the second-longest commutes in the country. If you have to cross state lines just to get to work on a daily basis, you likely would be stressed too.


Population: 9,940,828

North Carolina is known for their beautiful mountains and beaches, but do many people actually have the time, money, and energy to visit them?

Turns out, this southern state is more stressed than you may think. Many North Carolinians are uninsured and with a high unemployment rate, these folks may be too stressed to enjoy the sunshine.


Population: 8,310,301

Virginia is officially known as the birthplace of the nation but can be unofficially known for as the birthplace of stress.

As home to one of the Navy’s fleets, Virginian’s don’t have time to sit around and smell the roses every day. They are stuck in long commutes (think Washington, D.C.) and work long hours.

Hopefully, these folks may be able to sit outside with a bag of peanuts and a glass of wine after a long and stressful week.


Population: 2,989,192

Last but not least comes Mississippi. Mississippi often comes up on our top 10 lists, including most dangerous commutes. So are we surprised it comes up on yet another list? Nope.

So why is Mississippi so stressed? Easy, they are the top-ranked in unemployment in the nation. They also are ranked high for their uninsured rate and when they do have a job, Mississippi residents work long hours.

Maybe it’s time for a move? Definitely not to New Jersey.


So there you have it– our top 10 most stressed-out states. So you read this list and think, well, if those states are crumbling under stress, which states are not panicking 24/7?

The top three least stressed states? Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota.

Yes, the flyover states. Perhaps we don’t hear much or think about these states much because people aren’t complaining about how stressed they are!

So they have a lot of corn (who doesn’t like a good roasted corn) and they have a mountain wall with presidents faces carved into it. What more could you possibly want?

This article first appeared on Zippia.