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RISMEDIA, September 8, 2010—Portfolio.com, a national business news site for small and mid-sized business executives revealed its latest U.S. Uncovered study, ranking the Most Stressful Place in America. Looking at the nation’s 50 largest metropolitan areas, Detroit ranked at the top of the list while Salt Lake City came out as the least stressful area.

A variety of factors were used to determine the rankings, including local unemployment rates, personal financial data, environmental factors, health risks, crime rates and living standards. These data points were collected from government agencies and private firms as part of Portfolio.com’s analysis.

“It’s no secret that living in a big city can add some serious stress to your life. But that doesn’t mean you have to be truly stressed out just by being in one of the nation’s population hubs. This study shows that a healthy and relatively low stress life can be achieved in at least a few urban areas,” said J. Jennings Moss, editor of Portfolio.com.

Detroit is the most stressful metropolitan area in America, largely due to its steep unemployment rate (14.3%), high percentage of families living in poverty (9.9%), high numbers of crime activity, and a lack of sunshine. Coming in at #2 is Los Angeles, which has the most expensive housing rates, significant levels of air pollution and a high unemployment rate. Cleveland ranked at #3, with the most robberies per 100,000 residents, as well as an increased number of deaths caused by heart failure, hypertension and stroke. Rounding out the top ten were Riverside, Calif. (#4), St. Louis (#5), New York City (#6), New Orleans (#7), Chicago (#8), Birmingham (#9) and Miami-Fort Lauderdale (#10).

Most Stressed Cities
-Detroit Mich.
-Los Angeles, Calif.
-Cleveland, Ohio
-Riverside, Calif.
-St. Louis, Mo.
-New York, N.Y.
-New Orleans, La.
-Chicago, Ill.
-Birmingham, Ala.
-Miami-Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Least Stressed Cities
-Salt Lake City, Utah
-Virginia Beach-Norfolk, Va.
-Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
-Raleigh, N.C.
-Austin, Texas
-Oklahoma City, Okla.
-Denver, Colo.
-San Antonio, Texas
-Kansas City, Mo.
-Phoenix, Ariz.

“Stress is clearly a factor in many adults’ lives, but it’s interesting to see how the root cause of stress can differ from city to city,” said G. Scott Thomas, a nationally-recognized demographer who creates the analyses for Portfolio.com.

“While the top ten most stressed cities consistently ranked higher in most categories than their less-stressed counterparts, you can see that it was rarely a clean sweep across all other factors. For example, Riverside, which ranked #4, has the lowest level of crime, including murders among the group.”

Salt Lake City ranking as the city with the least stressed residents was thanks to low levels of crime, easy commutes, high employment and good health standing. Oklahoma City, which boasts the lowest commute time, ranked as #45, while Phoenix, the city with the most amount of sunshine, ranked as #41. Other cities with a low amount of stress include Kansas City (#42), San Antonio (#43), Denver (#44), Austin (#46), Raleigh (#47), Minneapolis-St. Paul (#48) and Virginia Beach-Norfolk (#49).

The factors that distinguished the most stressed cities from the least stressed were population (an average of 6.3 million to 2.1 million), robberies per 100,000 residents (479 vs. 237) and deaths per 100,000 residents from circulatory-system disease (323 vs. 204).

For more information, visit www.portfolio.com.

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