They say everything’s bigger in Texas. That’s mos def true if you’re talking about voter suppression, attacks on Black history and heavy loads of “thoughts and prayers” after mass shootings.
Turns out, stress is also bigger in Texas.
Even though the most stressed-out state in these not-so-United States, is Nevada (go figure), Texas came in a close second.
An analysis undertaken by Leafwell took the latest information from the Census Bureau, the BLS, the CDC, Google, HUD and the Federal Reserve to analyze seven key metrics and uncover which state is the most stressed out.
These metrics included Google searches for ‘HELOC’ and common stress-related search terms, such as ‘stress relief’ and ‘stress remedies,’ employment metrics including unemployment rates, commute times, and household incomes, changes to housing prices, and the number of uninsured citizens, and gave a combined maximum stress score of 80.
Nevada’s “winning” stress score was 67.42 out of 80. What helped take Nevada over the top was the fact that the home of “Sin City” has the highest unemployment rate in the nation (5.4%) and the second-highest house value loss at (-7%). That’s a high-stress-inducing combo any day of the week.
And according to the study, Nevadans have been Googling the hell out of “stress-related” searches (i.e. “Insomnia” and “anxiety”), ranking twelfth in that category.
Texas comes second with a stress score of 64.64 out of 80. The Lone Star state, however, was not far behind its westward neighbors. Of Texas’ under-65 population, 20.4% lack any health insurance. That’s one out of five folk from multiple high-employment generations (Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z). This ranks the Lone Star State highest in the nation regarding this dubious stat, and surpasses the national average of 9.4%.
Additionally, even though Texas is touted as great for business, Texas recorded a 4.1% unemployment rate, ranking fourth overall and exceeding the national average by 1%.
Georgia takes the third spot with a stress score of 62.87 out of 80. The Peach State has the second highest stress-related Google searches, with around one in every 100 people searching for terms such as ‘insomnia’ and ‘sleep meditation.’ It also has the fifth-highest percentage of citizens without health insurance, at 14.7%, 56% higher than the national average.
California ranks fourth with a stress score of 62.6 out of 80. The Golden State has the second worst employment rate in America, with 4.6% of its citizens out of work, and every month, 2,791.6 (around 59 school buses of people) search for stress-related Google search terms, placing it fourth highest nationally for this metric.
Arizona receives a stress score of 61.96 out of 80 and rounds off the top five. According to Zillow data, the Copper State has had the third highest drop in housing prices, -6.5% in the past year, equating to a loss of around $30,000. Still, even with this drop in house value, Arizona ranked top 10 for HELOC searches, (a HELOC is a credit line secured by the equity in a homeowner’s property, allowing them to borrow against that equity as needed.)
Florida ranks sixth with a stress score of 60.55 out of a possible 80, ranking third overall for the most people under 65 without health insurance at 15.1%, 5.7% higher than the national average, and North Carolina comes seventh with a score of 59.31. The Old North State ranks ninth overall for stress-related searches, which equates to around 9 in every 100 people searching for terms like ‘depression’ and ‘depression symptoms’ each month.
Washington places eighth with a stress score of 59.06 out of 80 , ranking fifth in the housing metric overall by losing an average -5.4%, around $33,000, on house value in the past 12 months, and New York places ninth with a stress score of 57.48. The Empire State has the highest mean travel time to work in America at 33.3 minutes, and the third highest stress-related Google searches, with around one in 100 people searching for ‘relaxing music’ and ‘stress relievers’ each month.
Colorado received a stress score of 56.92 out of 80 and rounds off the top ten. The Centennial State ranked first for ‘HELOC’ searches in America. A HELOC is like a credit card, but the limit is based on how much your house is worth minus what you owe on it and can be used by people to access cash to overcome financial challenges.
“The results from this study offer revealing insights into how causes of stress can range widely from state to state,” said Mitch Doucette, Ph.D., Director of Research at Leafwell. “For instance, Texans feeling the stress from having the nation’s fourth highest unemployment rate of 4.1% could react to stress differently than a state like Nevada which has seen a drop of 7% on house prices in the previous 12 months.”
“By analyzing metrics ranging from Google search trends to housing and employment statistics, we can see a comprehensive picture of the unique pressures each state grapples with.”