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

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!


 Image via iStock.com/@JackF

  • #20: New Orleans, Louisiana

    new orleans
    Image via David Ohmer/Flickr

    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!

  • #19: San Bernardino, California

    san bernardino california
    Image via iStock.com/MCCAIG

    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!

  • #18: Mobile, Alabama

    mobile alabama
    Image via Tim Parker/Flickr

    (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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  • #17: Providence, Rhode Island

    providence rhode island
    Image via Doug Kerr/Flickr

    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!

  • #16: Worcester, Massachusetts

    worcester massachusetts
    Image via cmh2315fl/Flickr

    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.

  • #15: St. Louis, Missouri

    st. louis missouri
    Image via Philip Leara

    Um, maybe don't meet me in St. Louis? The Missouri city actually has the highest crime rate per capita of all the 150 cities featured in the study!

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  • #14: Shreveport, Louisiana

    shreveport louisiana
    Image via Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau/Flickr

    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!

  • #13: Akron, Ohio

    akron ohio
    Image via David Wilson/Flickr

    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. 

  • #12: Cincinnati, Ohio

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    Image via Jeff Kubina/Flickr

    A sobering stat for Cincinnati families: According to US Census data and the Ohio Development Agency's Ohio Poverty Report in 2015, 30.9 percent of Cincinnatians live in poverty (over 86,000 individuals!). 

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  • #11: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

    baton rouge louisiana
    Image via Antrell Williams/Flickr

    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!).

  • #10: Buffalo, New York

    buffalo new york
    Image via David Wilson/Flickr

    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).

  • #9: Rochester, New York

    rochester new york
    Image via J. Stephen Conn/Flickr

    A bad combination: Rochester, New York, had the fifth highest divorce rate and the fourth highest poverty rate of all the cities on the survey.

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  • #8: Baltimore, Maryland

    baltimore, maryland
    Image via Elvert Barnes/Flickr

    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.

  • #7: Toledo, Ohio

    toledo ohio
    Image via Vicki Timman/Flickr

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

  • #6: Birmingham, Alabama

    birmingham alabama
    Image via James Willamor/Flickr

    Among Birmingham's more dubious distinctions: The city was found to have the second highest divorce rate and the third highest crime rate per capita.

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  • #5: Memphis, Tennessee

    memphis tennessee
    Image via Jeremy Sorrells/Flickr

    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.

  • #4: Jackson, Mississippi

    jackson mississippi
    Image via Ken Lund/Flickr

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

  • #3: Newark, New Jersey

    newark new jersey
    Image via Ken Lund/Flickr

    Here's a tiresome fact about Newark: Residents of the New Jersey city get the fourth fewest average hours of sleep per night!

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  • #2: Cleveland, Ohio

    cleveland ohio
    Image via Erik Drost/Flickr

    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.

  • #1: Detroit, Michigan

    Image via Bryan Debus/Flickr

    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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