Ranked: The Least Stressed Cities in America

The cities where you can get out of the rat race while staying in the fast lane.
Ranked: The Least Stressed Cities in America Getty Images

Cities account for only about 3% of America's land area, but they are home to more than 80% of the population. And that figure is still rising. The worldwide trend to urbanization may be driven by any number of local social and economic factors, but it usually comes down to one thing: opportunity.

Whatever you're looking for, whether it's a job or the love of your life, you'll have a greater chance of finding it in a city. You'll also have better access to health care and education, and more opportunities to make—and spend—money.

But urbanization comes with a range of major social, economic and health problems such as poverty, crime and violence. City dwellers soon learn to ignore the big issues and put up with traffic, money worries and a lower standard of living as payment for all the extra opportunities. Until, one day, they wake up and realize their love affair with the city is over and they're ready for suburbia.

The good news is that there are places with all of the opportunities of the bigger cities but less of the crime, pollution and traffic. Personal finance site WalletHub looked at 182 cities across the U.S and ranked them according to four key factors: work stress, financial stress, family stress and health & safety stress.

'Work stress' takes into account factors such as job security, traffic congestion, unemployment rate and income growth. 'Financial stress' includes median income, debt, foreclosure rate and housing affordability. 'Family stress' includes divorce rate and child care costs. And 'health & safety' stress includes smoking, binge drinking and obesity rates, as well as crime data.

In this slideshow, we explore the cities where you can get out of the rat race but stay in the fast lane. See also: The most stressed cities in America.

50. Seattle, WA. Total score: 39.64. Work stress rank (1 is most stressed): 60. Financial stress rank: 172. Family stress rank: 77. Health and safety stress rank: 135. Getty Images