BREATHE IN, BREATHE OUT
From a global pandemic to rising inflation and interest rates, there are plenty of things to be stressed about in 2023. And when they say everything is bigger in Texas, that includes the stress levels.
Texas was ranked the ninthmost stressed state of 2023, according to the latest report from personal finance website WalletHub. WalletHub compared all 50 states across 41 metrics to determine every state’s worries on certain issues, such as work, money, or family-related stress. The report is timed to April as National Stress Awareness Month, as designated by the National Institutes of Health.
In the overall work-related stress category, the Lone Star State ranked No. 5. Texas employees specifically have the highest stress levels in the nation when it comes to their average hours worked per week. That probably includes Houston, which was named the No. 1 most stressful city to work in. Two fellow Southern states – Mississippi (No. 4) and Louisiana (No. 3) – had higher work-related stress levels, while Wyoming (No. 2), and Alaska (No. 1) earned the top two spots.
Texas also ranked No. 5 in overall family-related stress. The states that have higher family-related stress include North Carolina (No. 4), New York (No. 3), Nevada (No. 2), and New Mexico (No. 1).
In the category of health and safety-related stress, Texas ranked just outside the top 10 at No. 11. Most Texans aren’t quite feeling it when it comes to financial stress, ranking in the middle of the metaphorical stress road at No. 23. However, Houstonites are feeling that financial squeeze if they want to live comfortably in the city.
The good news? Texans aren't quite as stressed as they were in spring of 2021, when the state placed No. 6 in the same study. (At that time, COVID-19 was still raging, and vaccines had just become available.)
Leah C. Hibel, a professor of human development and family studies at the University of California, Davis, says much of the financial stress individuals experience is a result of systemic issues, not because of how an individual lives his or her life.
“[It’s] due to rising housing costs, rising food costs, and stagnant wages,” she explained. “Individuals can try to live in places where the cost of living is lower and wages are higher, or where food, child care, and other expenses are subsidized through state programs. Individuals can take on additional work and cut extra expenses, but sometimes these fixes are beyond what an individual can do.”
The top 10 most stressed states are:
- No. 1 – Mississippi
- No. 2 – Louisiana
- No. 3 – New Mexico
- No. 4 – West Virginia
- No. 5 – Nevada
- No. 6 – Arkansas
- No. 7 – Alabama
- No. 8 – Kentucky
- No. 9 – Texas
- No. 10 – Oklahoma
The full report can be found on wallethub.com.