Hawaii Least Stressed State for Third Straight Year; Stressed States Clustered in West, Northeast

In 2010, Hawaiian residents were the least likely to report having been stressed the previous day, according to Gallup daily surveys that encompassed over 350,000 interviews. Only 30.2% said they experienced stress, as compared with the 45.1% of residents in Utah, the most stressed state this past year. 2010 marked the third consecutive year that Hawaiian residents were the least stressed; Utah and Kentucky have scored in the top two most stressed states the past three years.

States with over 40% of their residents reporting stress--what Gallup designates as the "higher" range for states--were mostly in the West and Northeast, although Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky were also within the higher range.

States that scored in the lower range--with under 38% of their residents reporting stress--were "primarily located in parts of the Midwest." Overall, 39.4% of Americans said they were stressed, similar to the percentages in 2009 (39.9%) and 2008 (38.8%).

Results suggest that stress is a "complex emotion" and that there is not a single factor--such as economic standing--that determines how stressed an individual, or a state as a whole, is. Writes Gallup: "That stress levels did not increase much during the recession provides additional evidence that Americans' definition of stress goes beyond economic experiences." Some of the most stressed states have relatively high income levels and health, and three high-stress states--Connecticut, Utah and Massachusetts--rate their lives highly.

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