Beautiful beaches and warm weather in the Sunshine State isn’t enough to lower Florida’s stress level below the rest of the country’s, according to a new state-by-state stress ranking. A new analysis by Movoto Real Estate ranked each state’s stress level according to their population, unemployment rate, hours spent working, income, health insurance, and commute length.
The data was extracted from the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey, which ranked 48 states using the six criteria points to determine each state’s averaged final score. Florida’s high unemployment rate of 11.3 percent combined with the 25.8 percent of residents without health insurance is a recipe for stress, according to the equation.
Movoto Chief Economist and Director of Marketing Chris Kolmar created the content in an organized and user-friendly chart in order for potential home buyers to make more informed decisions. If you’re looking to retire in Florida, for example, the decision could be swayed by the amount of people without health insurance. However, it does rank high in the unemployment rate, which means it might be a nice place to retire for those who’ve decided to live where they vacation.
After Kolmar collected the data and laid it all out for us on a map and chart, he concluded: “Rule of Thumb: The farther from water you are, the more relaxed you get.”
The Top 10 Most-Stressed States:
3. New Jersey
7. New York
9. North Carolina
The parameters for which Kolmar chose to base state-by-state stress levels on may indicate stress, but they could also indicate other typical factors for those living by the shore. New York and New Jersey rank number 7 and number 3, respectively, on the stress chart, which makes sense because they are a couple of the most densely populated states in the country and also have high real estate prices, considering they’re highly sought-after beach homes along Long Island and Jersey’s shores.
Stress can be defined as any type of demand on the brain, which can be triggered by many different factors. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, short or long-term changes can be perceived as stressful such as a long commute from work or school, traveling for a vacation, riding a rollercoaster, or moving into a new home.
Stress isn’t always bad, and it isn’t always a guarantee that a person who doesn’t have a job or someone who works a lot of hours will indefinitely be a stressed out person. All animals have stress responses, which is when a stimulus releases stress-hormone cortisol throughout the body. When you perceive a dangerous situation, your body prepares the flight or fight signal that quickens the pulse, increases breathing, tenses muscles, and increases oxygen levels in the brain.
It was once very useful for when we had to fend off predators thousands of years ago, but it still comes in handy whenever a threat, such as robbery or assault, takes place. Chronic stress is a serious problems in which the body continuously produces stress hormones. The constant flood of hormones can damage the immune, nervous, and reproductive system, and cause other health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, and anxiety disorders.
It’s true that your long commute could be raising your blood pressure, especially when you have to merge over three lanes every single morning before your workday even begins. Of course, you may incur stress if you’ve been unemployed for months on end and can’t seem to land the job you need to pay bills or find personal gratification in.
Kolmar’s data mining is an effective presentation of the possible stress levels each state could be experiencing on a daily basis, but each person’s stress triggers are so emphatically different that it is difficult to apply the same six factors to almost 315 million American citizens.