Gallup Ranks Most Stressed Out States
April 25, 2013

West Virginia Ranks As Most Stressed Out State

Lee Rannals for — Your Universe Online

The state with the most tobacco smokers in the US has also polled in as the state with the most people who are stressed out, according to Gallup.

A new poll by Gallup found West Virginia ranked as the state that is most stressed out. The Mountain State is not only home to the highest percentage of adult smokers, 27 percent, but it is also a state where 47.1 percent of its population is stressed out.

Next to West Virginia in the survey was Rhode Island, clocking in not far behind at 46.3 percent of its population admitting to wanting to pull their hair out. Filling out the rest of the top five states are Kentucky, Utah and Massachusetts.

Gallup said the state-level data is based on daily surveys conducted from January through December 2012, including more than 350,000 interviews. It said it has been measuring daily stress in its tracking survey since 2008. Stress levels were statistically unchanged in 2012 compared with 2011, according to the surveyor.

The survey found Hawaii remained the least likely state in the US to have people who say they felt stressed on any given day in 2012. The Aloha State only has 32.1 percent of its population saying they are stressed out on a given day. Next to Hawaii in the survey was Louisiana at 37.6 percent, followed by Mississippi, Iowa and Wyoming.

Gallup pointed out two of the states with the lowest stress levels, Hawaii and Wyoming, also hosted the highest levels of enjoyment in 2012. In Hawaii, 89.7 percent of its residents said they experienced enjoyment the day before the survey and 88.8 percent said the same in Wyoming.

"Rhode Island residents were the least likely to report feeling enjoyment the previous day, at 80.4%, although that is still high on an absolute basis. Residents in other high-stress states, Kentucky and West Virginia, were also among the least likely to experience enjoyment," Gallup said. "Nationally, 84.9% of Americans reported feeling enjoyment "yesterday" in 2012."

The surveyor said states with relatively lower enjoyment levels were primarily clustered in the Northeast and South. The states where enjoyment was higher were those mainly located in the Midwest and West.

Hawaii has dominated the title as the least stressed state for the past five years, while West Virginia, Kentucky and Utah have maintained positions as the most stressed states.

Scientists at the University of Vermont performed a survey using the microblogging service Twitter to determine which were the happiest and saddest cities in the US. The experiment involved 10 million tweets posted from 373 different sites across the country. They found Napa, California was the happiest city in the country, while Beaumont, Texas was the saddest. Critics of this survey pointed out the top cities found to be happy were vacation hot spots, which wasn't factored into the study.