The UK's most stressed cities revealed

Where are you most likely to suffer stress? There’s bad news for Londoners and Brummies

The UK's most stressed cities

If you're feeling that life has got on top of you recently, then it might simply be a product of your environment. A new study addressed the things that cause the most stress in our lives - from commuting to debt, and job prospects to crime - and ranked UK cities for each of these factors. It identified the cities where we're having the toughest times.

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In the study, London emerged as the most stressed city in the UK. It was particularly affected by long average commute times, the cost of housing, and the nature of work - where overtime has become the norm.

Birmingham was in second place. Major stresses include a stagnant jobs market - with just 0.2% growth, some of the highest unemployment levels, and average overtime of nine hours a week.

Ipswich came in third. The cost of living was one area where it scored particularly badly - plus the length of commutes in the city, and the density of the population.

Dundee was named as Scotland's most stressed city - and 4th overall. Debt causes serious stress in the city - with the second lowest credit eligibility scores in the country. It's also the fifth-highest ranking city for unemployment benefits claimants.

Worthing was 5th, largely due to the fact that housing is so expensive and people live cheek-by-jowl. Couple this with sluggish jobs growth, and it makes life difficult for anyone trying to make ends meet.

Newport emerged as Wales's most stressed city - and 12th in the UK. The fact there's no jobs growth at all is part of the problem - along with the issues people in the city are suffering with debt.

Top 10 most stressed cities
1. London
2. Birmingham
3. Ipswich
4. Dundee
5. Worthing
6. Manchester
7. Liverpool
8. Newcastle
9. Luton
10. Slough

At the other end of the spectrum, Doncaster was named as the least stressed place. It scored very high for wellbeing, as well as being home to the third lowest cost of living and comparatively affordable housing.

Ten least stressed cities
1. Doncaster
2. York
3. Oxford
4. Milton Keynes
5. Wigan
6. Leicester
7. Cardiff
8. Swindon
9. Reading
10. Warrington

The fact that the least stressed cities are so geographically spread gives us hope. If, for example, you are living in London and the stress is getting too much for you then Oxford, Milton Keynes or Reading offer useful alternatives. Likewise if you are living in Manchester, then a commute from Warrington could save your stress levels.

But what do you think? Does your city fare well in stress terms? And would you consider a move for an easier life? Let us know in the comments.

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