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A list of America's most and least stressful metro areas

Published: 09/08/2010

Daryl Paranda, Marketplace & PublicRadio.org -- We've heard about stress tests for the nation's big banks. What about for the nation's biggest metropolitan areas?

A new study by Portfolio.com and bizjournals finds that the most stressful metropolitan area in the U.S. is Detroit.

The Motor City topping the list is no surprise: The Detroit metropolitan area has one of the nation's highest unemployment rates at 14.3 percent, ranks highly as one of the places with the most murders and robberies, and even has a lack of sunshine.

In second place was Los Angeles, which has the most expensive housing of all U.S. metropolitan areas and some of the worst air pollution in the nation.

The least stressful metro area to live in? Salt Lake City. Perhaps it's the water out there, or the fact that out of all the major metropolitan areas, is has the lowest murder rate. Plus, it has short commutes, low unemployment and generally a good health standing.

Portfolio and bizjournals used a broad range of factors to determine the level of stress that metro residents experience. Some of the factors it used to gauge stress: unemployment rate, level of income growth, poverty, deaths from circulatory-system diseases, the number of sunny days per year, unhealthy air, robberies, murders, commuting, and health costs.

America's 10 least stressful metropolitan areas:

Salt Lake City
• Virginia Beach-Norfolk
• Minneapolis-St. Paul
• Raleigh
• Austin
• Oklahoma City
• Denver
• San Antonio
• Kansas City
• Phoenix

America's 10 most stressful metropolitan areas:

• Detroit
• Los Angeles
• Cleveland
• California's Riverside metro
• St. Louis
• New York City
• New Orleans
• Chicago
• Birmingham
• Miami-Fort Lauderdale

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