The UK’s most stressed cities

If you’re looking for a stress-free life, then stay away from Southend-on-Sea. The Essex seaside town is the most stressed place in the UK, according to new research.

Credit comparison site has compiled a list of the most stressed places in the UK, based on criteria such as local unemployment levels, the amount of overtime put in by the average worker each week, and how long the average daily commute is.

The research highlighted the following points:

  • Chatham, Stoke-on-Trent, Slough and Sunderland make up the rest of the top five most stressed places, with London not far behind as the sixth most stressed place in the country.
  • On the other end of the scale, Debry was found to be the least stressed area, with cities such as Leeds, Nottingham and Preston all being found to be relatively stress-free places.
  • People living in London do the most overtime (8.94 hours a week) and by far spend the most time commuting (71 minutes each day). Belfast workers do the second most overtime each week (8.39 hours) and also have the shorted average commute time (42 minutes each day).
  • The people of Cambridge know how to ease the stress by going green. 43.59% of them either walk or cycle to work each day, more than any other place in the UK.
  • People from Sunderland have a right to be stressed – the research showed that on average each person here ends the month with only £20 to spare. People from Debry on the other hand end each month with an average of £1.084.64 in their bank accounts. CEO Alastair Douglas said of the research: ‘Stress can be incredibly damaging to your health and mental wellbeing, and is often closely related to people’s financial situation.

‘Here at we are committed to making the credit market a fairer place, and recognise that poor access to credit can often dramatically increase stress levels.

‘We hope this research shines a light on how damaging stress can be and helps people take steps to reduce their stress.’

To compile this data used the following sources:

Finances (weighting: 35%)

Cost of living/ Money left over – Numbeo

Access to credit – TM cards application data: 200,000 applications

Job market (weighting: 20%)

Job Growth – Centre for Cities

Unemployment – Centre for Cities

Unpaid overtime – OnePoll 2000 UK adults survey of unpaid overtime

Happiness (weighting: 20%)

Worthwhile, anxiety and happiness indexes – ONS

Demographics (weighting: 15%)

Population density – Neighbourhood statistics

Crimes –

Commute (weighting: 10%)

Commute time – Trade union congress

Means of Transport – Centre for Cities

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