2.  Detroit

stressed cities
  • Population: 1.8 million
  • Zen factor: Short commutes
  • Stress factor: High crime

Detroit's historic bankruptcy isn't the only thing stressing Motor City's residents out.

Murder and property crime are prevalent in this troubled city, which has had its police force slashed in the past decade.

Many residents are also struggling to make ends meet. The metro division's unemployment rate is hovering around 9%, several percentage points higher than the national average. Meanwhile, more than a quarter of Detroit's residents live below the poverty line.

Related: 10 Least Stressed Out Cities

Some bright spots: It's pretty cheap to live in most parts of the city, though downtown prices have been climbing, and shorter work hours and better commuting conditions make for a less stressful work life.

Related: Detroit's stress: Crime & money

Plus, while city workers and retirees are bracing for benefit cuts, many residents are optimistic that the city's bankruptcy will help improve city services and strengthen the local economy, said Sandy Baruah, chief executive officer of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

"I think the bankruptcy is fairly widely viewed as a tool to resolve problems," he said.

First published July 15, 2014: 8:35 AM ET
Source: See sourcing and methodology here.
Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, MI Metro Division; (part of Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI Metro Area)

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