Feeling stressed? You're not alone, demographically. Maryland and Virginia are two of the most-stressed states.

I hope that when you've found the time to read this article, you have a moment to breathe, have a nice snack, and maybe listen to some lo-fi beats. You might not internalize it all, but modern life comes with a slew of circumstances that threaten to stress out even the most tranquil among us. The job we work, where we live, and how well our ends meet all factor into the pressure we feel.

Those outside stressors were what job site Zippia used to determine which, of all 50, were the most stressed-out states. Spoiler: Maryland ranked 5th and Virginia ranked 8th most-stressed (Washington, D.C., wasn't included). Zippia used the latest census data and measured each state based on a set of six criteria:

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

The higher any of these was, the more stressed the residents were, according to Zippia. Each state got a 1-to-50 rank in each category, and then those ranks were averaged into a single score.

The Results

Here are the top 10 stressed-out states:

  1. Florida
  2. New Jersey
  3. Texas
  4. California
  5. Maryland
  6. Georgia
  7. Delaware
  8. Virginia
  9. Illinois
  10. Mississippi

Is any of that surprising to you? 

Maryland and Virginia both have extremely high average commute times coupled with more expensive housing, and tend towards longer workdays than other parts of the country. What's more, the D.C. area has a fairly high population density, meaning more traffic and more people in the cashier line at the store.

And where's the least stress?

Iowa ranked lowest on the stress scale, followed by North Dakota, Minnesota, Utah, and Montana. Residents of those states commute less, work more manageable hours, and have cheaper housing on average. They also have more corn than the D.C. area, but that might be correlation and not causation.

If you want to check out the full state-stress report, you can scroll through it here.

stacked rocks

Some people find stacked rocks to be relaxing. 

In case all this stressed you out, note that the factors used to measure stress and create this list were all external. Even if your work-life balance seems challenging on paper, there are strategies to manage stress and mitigate its effects on your health.

Share with us in the comments how you relax and deal with the stress of balancing life and work. And take care of yourself today!