Forbes has ranked the stress level of the 40 largest metropolitan areas and decided that Austin is the least stressful. Chicago was ranked as the most stressful. Here’s their methodology:
To find the most stressful cities we examined quality of life factors in the country’s 40 largest metropolitan statistical areas, or metros — geographic entities defined by the (OMB) for use by federal agencies in collecting, tabulating and publishing federal statistics. We looked at June 2009 unemployment figures provided by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and cost of living figures from the Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER). We examined median home price drops from Q1 2008 to Q1 2009 that were provided by the National Association of Realtors. Population density based on 2008 data from the U.S. Census Bureau and ESRI also factored. Last, we examined the number of sunny and partly sunny days per year, based on 2007 data from the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, as well as air quality figures, based on 2007 data from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
Feel free to begin the debate of whether or not any of these measures is a good predictor of stress level for an entire city.