With April being Stress Awareness Month, WalletHub took a close look at factors that contribute to high levels of stress. The report covered everything from average hours worked per week to personal bankruptcy rate to the share of adults who don't get enough sleep.
A new report from the personal-finance website WalletHub ranks Louisiana as the most stressed state for 2018. The findings show that Louisianans deal with more work-, health-, and family-related stressors than any other state in the country.
With April being Stress Awareness Month, WalletHub took a close look at factors that contribute to high levels of stress. The report covered everything from average hours worked per week to personal bankruptcy rate to the share of adults who don't get enough sleep. WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzales said the Bayou State didn't do well in many categories.
"Louisiana ranked poorly across the board when it comes to stress-related factors," said Gonzales. "In terms of work-related stress, it has the 5th highest unemployment rate in the country at 5.1 percent and the 3rd lowest income growth rate at 1.3 percent."
Louisiana ranked fifth for the average number of hours worked each week, and the state came in at number 12 for job security. Gonzales said many people in Louisiana are also stressed about money.
"Nearly 38 percent of Louisiana's residents worried about money in the past week, 5th highest percentage," said Gonzales. "The majority of the state's residents, specifically 70 percent (2nd highest), are unable to save for their children's college education and nearly 20 percent are living below the poverty line."
The state was third for the percentage of the population living below the poverty line. Louisiana is also third for median credit scores. Health-related stress was another problem for people in Louisiana.
"In terms of health, doctor visits are quite unaffordable since 18 percent of the state's residents have reported not seeing a doctor in the past year due to costs, the third highest percentage in the country," said Gonzales.
Louisianans were sixth for the percentage of adults in fair or poor health, with the same ranking for the share of people getting inadequate sleep. Gonzales noted that these factors can contribute to a person's level of stress.
"According to the American Psychological Association, the majority of Americans (60 percent) report that health-related problems represent a significant source of stress," said Gonzales.
Other areas in which Louisiana underperformed were the divorce rate, coming in at number three, and the crime rate per capita at number four. But Gonzales said there were some areas of the report in which Louisiana did well.
"Louisiana has the second lowest childcare costs in the country, equating to just 9 percent of the median household income," said Gonzales. "The state also has the 11th lowest hate-crime incident rate at 0.58 per 100,000 residents."
Gonzales said there are plenty of things that can be done at both the state- and local-level that could reduce our stress levels.
"The first step is for local authorities to start improving the state's economic environment so that work- and money-related stress levels can improve," said Gonzales. "The state should also start investing in its education and healthcare programs in order to help its residents lead healthier lifestyles."
Check out the full report from WalletHub here.
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