World’s most stressed countries – ranked

It happened on a Wednesday morning. The Sandwich Man – dressed in a red T-shirt with white lettering – rode past me on his bicycle on the same stretch of the same road at the same time as the day before. I watched him roll by in a sobering moment that recalled all the horror of the five-day commute: the cyclical days, the tussling masses, the dull ebbing of a scripted month.

It took great effort to remind myself that my city, London, is in one of the safest countries in the world. More relevantly, it’s also in one of the least stressed countries in the world according to Bloomberg. We take a look at the data below.

Most stressed countries – METHODOLOGY

The first thing to note is that the ranking includes 74 countries only. Comprehensive data could not be found for every country in the world and the ranking is therefore restricted to only those countries that can be fairly compared.

  • Avoid the commute: find remote jobs at companies committed to remote working

Bloomberg’s study uses seven equally weighted variables: homicide rates, GDP per capita (adjusted for purchasing-power parity), income inequality, corruption perception, unemployment, urban air pollution and life expectancy.

most-stressed-countries
Countries were allotted points for each variable based on their relative position in that category’s ranking. The country with the least-stressful measure for each variable received 0 points, while the country with the highest stress level received 100 points. All other countries were scored on a percentile basis depending on their position between the two extremes. Points for the seven variables were averaged for a final score from 0 to 100, a higher score indicating a more stressful living environment. Only countries with data available for all seven variables were included.

Most stressed countries – ranked

UR = Unemployment Rate (%)
LE = Life Expectancy (years at birth)

Editor’s note: Whether it’s Nigeria or Norway you’re heading to next, use our new travel guide to minimise stress and see more of the world.

RankCountryScoreUR (%)LE (Yrs)
1Nigeria70.123.953
2South Africa70.025.758
3El Salvador57.65.772
4Mongolia55.46.168
5Guatemala55.14.169
6Colombia53.610.378
7Pakistan52.79.267
8Jamaica52.313.075
9Macedonia52.030.075
10Bolivia51.55.467
11Iran51.413.473
12Venezuela51.17.875
13Bosnia and He…50.227.076
14India48.99.965
15Egypt46.413.673
16Mexico46.34.875
17Brazil45.36.074
18Philippines45.27.069
19Bangladesh45.05.070
19Ecuador45.05.876
21Tunisia44.816.776
22Panama44.34.277
23Bulgaria44.212.474
23Peru44.26.877
25Indonesia43.86.169
25Russia43.85.569
27Sri Lanka43.44.975
28Serbia42.723.074
29China42.34.176
30Greece41.827.081
31Argentina40.17.176
32Turkey38.59.476
33Costa Rica37.86.579
34Latvia37.513.374
35Thailand37.10.774
36Croatia36.115.277
37South Korea35.93.369
38Lithuania35.812.074
39Romania35.67.074
40Chile34.46.579
41Belarus34.10.671
42Mauritius33.98.074
43Portugal33.818.380
44Spain33.127.082
44Slovakia33.114.376
46Poland32.811.076
47Uruguay32.46.577
48Italy30.412.082
49Czech Republic30.38.178
50Hungary30.010.575
51Israel28.67.082
52Estonia28.17.876
53Cyprus27.312.181
54United States25.77.779
55Malta25.46.480
56Slovenia24.69.880
56United Kingdom24.67.880
58Ireland24.314.281
59France22.811.282
60Japan19.94.183
61Belgium19.48.080
62Singapore19.22.082
63Austria17.14.681
64Netherlands16.96.381
65Canada16.67.382
65Germany16.65.781
67Iceland15.45.082
68Finland14.98.181
69Denmark13.87.679
70Australia12.25.382
71Sweden12.18.182
72Switzerland9.2.03.283
73Luxembourg7.1.06.382
74Norway5.4.03.181

Source: Bloomberg, 2013 (via United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, International Monetary Fund, Central Intelligence Agency World Factbook, Transparency International, World Health Organization)


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