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Raising a Family in America Is Stressful – Especially When Living in These 20 Cities

Stressed familyThere is absolutely no doubt that stress is a major part of modern family life, with more than 100 million Americans feeling strained (that's nearly a third of the population!). Crazy, right? But according to a recent analysis of 150 cities by personal finance website WalletHub, there are actually some locations where households tend to cope better with family-related stress than others. Feeling stressed? Maybe it's time to see where the old hometown ranks ...

To determine the stress level in families in a given city, the study considered a variety of factors including divorce rates, the percentage of single parents, and the general well-being index. (Analysts also looked at overarching trends that can affect how a family feels, such as which cities suffered from the most overall stress, health-related stress, safety-related stress, work-related stress, and money-related stress.)

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Read on to see the top 20 most stressful cities for families in America. For those who look though this list and find the name of a city that they call home and think it might be time for an address change, why not consider moving to California? Besides the sea and the sunny weather, it's home to many of the country's least stressful cities!


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Image via David Ohmer/Flickr

1#20: New Orleans, Louisiana

Apparently The Big Easy (despite being a sought-out vacation destination) isn't all that easy to live in -- at least not if you have a family. Considering New Orleans has a high murder rate and was voted the second dirtiest city in the country by Travel + Leisure, we're not too surprised!

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2#19: San Bernardino, California

San Bernardino looks lovely, but according to WalletHub's survey the city has the fifth highest poverty rate in the country (and also ranks fifth for lowest credit scores). Definitely stressful!

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3#18: Mobile, Alabama

(Not so) fun fact: Mobile, Alabama, has the unpleasant distinction of being the city with the highest percentage of adults in "fair/poor health" in the country. That can't be good news for local families! 

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4#17: Providence, Rhode Island

As of 2013, one out of every five children in the seemingly idyllic city of Providence, Rhode Island, was living in poverty. Considering that statistic, it's pretty amazing the city is only the 17th most stressful for families!

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5#16: Worcester, Massachusetts

Consistently rated one of the most violent cities in Massachusetts by the FBI, Worcester has a reputation for being, well, not exactly the safest place ever to raise a family.

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7#14: Shreveport, Louisiana

Southern city Shreveport was found to have the third highest percentage of adults in fair/poor health and also came in second place for having the fewest psychologists per capita. Sounds like mental and physical well-being are major issues!

Image via David Wilson/Flickr

8#13: Akron, Ohio

As of 2015, homicide rates were on the rise on Akron, Ohio -- a fact that wouldn't make anyone raising a family feel particularly at ease. 

Image via Antrell Williams/Flickr

10#11: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The site of recent protests following the police shooting of Alton Sterling, Baton Rouge has the number one fewest psychologists per capita of all the cities featured (which is a shame, considering that the families there could probably use some help coping!).

Image via David Wilson/Flickr

11#10: Buffalo, New York

Something to consider before you shuffle off to Buffalo: The city had the second highest crime rate of any city in New York in 2013 (coming in first: Niagara Falls).

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13#8: Baltimore, Maryland

Anyone who remembers the violent riots in Baltimore last year (following the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody) won't be surprised, sadly, to find Baltimore on this list.

Image via Vicki Timman/Flickr

14#7: Toledo, Ohio

Holy Toledo: The Ohio city has persistent problems with poverty, particularly among single mothers and families in general. 

Image via Jeremy Sorrells/Flickr

16#5: Memphis, Tennessee

Elvis Presley may have put Memphis on the map (well, and some other stuff, too), but right now the city is unfortunately known for having the second highest crime rate per capita.

Image via Ken Lund/Flickr

17#4: Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson was ranked as having the third lowest credit scores in the country, a fact that surely indicates hard times for families in general.

Image via Erik Drost/Flickr

19#2: Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio, has the number one highest divorce rate in the country -- and the second highest poverty rate. Yikes! Hopefully the recent RNC helped the city rake in some cash.

Image via Bryan Debus/Flickr

20#1: Detroit, Michigan

Not only has the city been plagued with a failing school system in recent times, but Detroit also has the highest poverty rate and third highest divorce rate of all the cities included in the study. (And it's uncomfortably close to the exceedingly troubled city of Flint.)

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