Boulder ranks first for the lowest stress levels among 500 U.S. cities, according to SmartAssets 2016 analysis of factors that typically affect stress levels in 500 cities.
That’s a move up from last year’s No. 4 position in the first-ever stress ranking of cities by SmarAssets, which gives the city a consistent record of being in the top five.
Why is Boulder so stress-free?
The 34.7-hour work-week, 15-minute average commute, low rates of bankruptcy and divorce – 0.14 and 7.9 percent, respectively – and a healthful 7.12 hours of sleep nightly are high-ranking factors for the city.
But Boulder did not take the No. 1 position by coming out on top on any single factor ranked in the report. It was the city’s overall performance that won, bolstered by a strong showing in the rate of physical activity, the number of entertainment establishments per 1,000 businesses, housing as a percentage of income and number of hours slept per night.
Boulder just barely edged out Iowa City, IA – last year’s No. 1 least-stressed city. Iowa City topped Boulder in several categories this year including a shorter workweek and average commute time, and lower rates of unemployment, bankruptcy and divorce.
Wisconsin was the only state with two cities in the top 10 for 2016 – Madison and Eau Claire are among the top five. Last year Colorado had two cities in the top 10, but this year Fort Collins slid from No. 7 to No. 14.
New Jersey and Florida did not fare well. Each had a number of cities in the bottom ten, which are the most stressed cities. Miami, Miami Gardens, Pompano Beach and Hialeah all ranked in the bottom ten from Florida, while New Jersey’s Newark and Union City also made the list.
Here’s a look at the rankings of the top 10:
To determine the least-stressed cities, SmartAssets measured a combination of positive and negative factors and ranked cities in the U.S. with a population of 67,500 or higher.
Positive factors included a high rate of physical activity, a high number of entertainment establishments per 1,000 businesses and a high average number of hours of sleep per night. Negative factors examined were hours of work per week, length of commute to work in minutes, the unemployment rate, the bankruptcy rate, the ratio of housing costs to median income and the divorce rate.
For the full report, visit https://smartasset.com/mortgage/the-least-stressed-cities-in-america-2016-edition
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RE/MAX of Boulder