Las Vegas Sun

November 26, 2014

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Report: Las Vegas tops list of nation’s most stressful cities

Forbes' 'Most Stressful' List

  • 1. Las Vegas
  • 2. Los Angeles
  • 3. Houston
  • 4. Tampa, Fla.
  • 5. Riverside, Calif.
  • 6. Miami
  • 7. Dallas
  • 8. New York
  • 9. Chicago
  • 10. Detroit

It's no secret that the Great Recession has hit Las Vegas hard: the unemployment rate is in the double digits, foreclosure rates are sky high and tourism has dropped.

The resulting frayed nerves across the valley led Forbes magazine to dub Las Vegas as the No. 1 most stressful city in the country, according to a ranking released Monday.

The magazine said it evaluated the country's major metropolitan areas on six metrics it believed to be stressors: high unemployment, long work hours, limited access to health care, poor physical health, lack of exercise and long commute times.

After Las Vegas, Los Angeles ranks No. 2 most stressful; Houston ranks No. 3.

Last month, state officials estimated that 141,500 people in Las Vegas were unemployed. The valley's 14.5 percent unemployment rate was the highest of any city the survey looked at, Forbes said.

Las Vegas also ranked highest among the cities evaluated for residents' exercise habits; it was ranked second for poor physical health and third for limited access to health care, which it defined as those who did not have health care coverage. It came in sixth for long working hours.

A bright spot was in the area of commuting: Las Vegas was 32nd of the 40 major metropolitan areas Forbes looked at to compile the list.

The ranking is based on June unemployment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The other metrics were calculated based on 2008 data -- the most recent year for which data were available -- from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the magazine said.

Earlier this month, Clark County was ranked No. 9 on the Associated Press's list of the 20 most economically stressed counties. The AP ranked Lyon County in western Nevada at No. 3 and neighboring Nye County at No. 4.

That index calculates a score based on a county's unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates. A higher score indicates more stress and a county generally is considered to be stressed when its score exceeds 11.

Lyon County scored 26.81; Nye, 24.78; Clark, 23.36.

Eighteen of the 20 most stressed counties are in Nevada, California and Arizona.

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