Is Your County Stressed Out?

AmericanMonetaryAssociation.orgBack in November 2010, the Associated Press released a list of the 20 most (and least) economically stressed counties in the United States, a listing we found illuminating, though not surprising. If you happen to live in one of the following counties, that stress you’re feeling between your shoulder blades might not be your imagination. As a side note, all 20 of the most economically stressed counties are located in only four states: California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida, with a concentration in the West. Apparently, unlike those thrilling days of yesteryear, these are not good times to go west, young man.

Here’s the list:

1. Imperial County, Calif., 33.15
2. Yuma County, Ariz., 26.91
3. Lyon County, Nev., 26.75
4. Nye County, Nev., 25.21
5. Yuba County, Calif., 24.18
6. Merced County, Calif., 23.98
7. Sutter County, Calif., 23.65
8. San Joaquin County, Calif., 23.46
9. Clark County, Nev., 23.4
10. Lake County, Nev., 23.33
11. Stanislaus County, Calif., 23.06
12. San Benito County, Calif., 22
13. Flagler County, Fla., 21.46
14. Riverside County, Calif., 21.32
15. Hendry County, Fla., 21.18
16. Madera County, Calif., 20.89
17. Fresno County, Calif., 20.86
18. St. Lucie County, Fla., 20.79
19. Santa Cruz County, Ariz., 20.68
20. Osceola County, Fla., 20.65

The number following each county was generated by the AP’s super secret methodology, and indicates the relative economic turmoil in each county; we’ll call it the Stressyitis Score. Fully half of the counties on the list are located in California, with Nevada and Florida tied for second place with four counties, respectively. Arizona contributed two counties to the mix – Yuma and Santa Cruz.

But we don’t want to be accused of completely focusing on the negative. The AP survey also revealed the 20 least stressed counties in the United States, and it looks like the Midwest is the place to be. The Dakotas (North and South) placed nine counties on the good list, with Ward County, ND, leading the way. Nebraska, Kansas, and Iowa also made strong showings.
If you’ve been looking for something to run away from, maybe it’s economic stress, and if you’ve been looking for something to run to, maybe it’s the middle of the country. No oceans, sometimes bitterly cold weather, but they seem to know a thing or two about staying solvent.

The American Monetary Association Team

Flickr / Dave-F

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