Twin Cities among least stressed metros, CNN study says

Minnehaha Falls: Who could possibly be stressed in this lovely corner of Minneapolis?
Minnehaha Falls: Who could possibly be stressed in this lovely corner of Minneapolis?

Earlier this month, we told you about a Movoto Real Estate study that ranked Minnesota among the least stressed states. So it probably shouldn't come as a surprise to learn that a new CNNMoney study puts Minneapolis among the least stressed cities.

For the study, which looked at the 55 Americans metros with populations of one million or more, CNNMoney "spoke with experts, including the American Psychological Association, to come up with 15 of the biggest indicators of stress in urban areas," an explanation of the methodology says.

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"Using statistics from government and non-profit sources, CNNMoney then collected data for 55 metro areas and divisions with populations of 1 million or more," the explanation continues. "The factors for each major metro area and division were then broken up into five categories: the economy and money, work, family, lifestyle and crime. All factors were normalized, grouped into categories, weighted and then added together to create an overall ranking." (Read the full explanation here.)

Minneapolis/St. Paul clocked in as the fourth least-stressed metro, only behind third-place Raleigh, Rochester (New York), and Salt Lake City, which ranked as the least stressed major metro.

In its discussion of the Twin Cities, CNNMoney cites our relatively bad traffic as one factor contributing to stress. (Another recent study, however, found that our traffic is relatively free-flowing.)

But on the other side of the equation, "Minneapolis' residents enjoy a quality of life that's hard to beat," CNNMoney writes. (Though CNNMoney consistently refers just to Minneapolis, the study's methodology indicates it actually considers the metro as a whole, not just Minnesota's largest city.)

More from the study:

Less than 11% of the city's residents live below the poverty line, one of the lowest rates of all 55 metro areas that CNNMoney analyzed. Unemployment is also low, due in part to a number of large Fortune 500 companies, ranging from Target (TGT) and Best Buy (BBY) to Hormel Foods (HRL) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH).

"The biggest stress point for someone is, 'Do I have a job?' and here, most people are able to find work," said Todd Klingel, president of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Residents feel pretty great, too. Only 11% of residents surveyed by the Centers for Disease Control said they were in fair or poor health, and smoking is less common than in many other cities.

Here, by contrast, are CNN's 10 most stressed cities:

Twin Cities among least stressed metros, CNN study says

With traffic congestion, binge drinking, and cold winters being cited as three factors that make life in the Twin Cities somewhat stressful, is it fair to infer that MSP's sober winter bikers live one of the most stress-free urban lifestyles imaginable?

Send your story tips to the author, Aaron Rupar. Follow him on Twitter @atrupar.

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