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.

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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.

Rank Country Score UR (%) LE (Yrs)
1 Nigeria 70.1 23.9 53
2 South Africa 70.0 25.7 58
3 El Salvador 57.6 5.7 72
4 Mongolia 55.4 6.1 68
5 Guatemala 55.1 4.1 69
6 Colombia 53.6 10.3 78
7 Pakistan 52.7 9.2 67
8 Jamaica 52.3 13.0 75
9 Macedonia 52.0 30.0 75
10 Bolivia 51.5 5.4 67
11 Iran 51.4 13.4 73
12 Venezuela 51.1 7.8 75
13 Bosnia and He… 50.2 27.0 76
14 India 48.9 9.9 65
15 Egypt 46.4 13.6 73
16 Mexico 46.3 4.8 75
17 Brazil 45.3 6.0 74
18 Philippines 45.2 7.0 69
19 Bangladesh 45.0 5.0 70
19 Ecuador 45.0 5.8 76
21 Tunisia 44.8 16.7 76
22 Panama 44.3 4.2 77
23 Bulgaria 44.2 12.4 74
23 Peru 44.2 6.8 77
25 Indonesia 43.8 6.1 69
25 Russia 43.8 5.5 69
27 Sri Lanka 43.4 4.9 75
28 Serbia 42.7 23.0 74
29 China 42.3 4.1 76
30 Greece 41.8 27.0 81
31 Argentina 40.1 7.1 76
32 Turkey 38.5 9.4 76
33 Costa Rica 37.8 6.5 79
34 Latvia 37.5 13.3 74
35 Thailand 37.1 0.7 74
36 Croatia 36.1 15.2 77
37 South Korea 35.9 3.3 69
38 Lithuania 35.8 12.0 74
39 Romania 35.6 7.0 74
40 Chile 34.4 6.5 79
41 Belarus 34.1 0.6 71
42 Mauritius 33.9 8.0 74
43 Portugal 33.8 18.3 80
44 Spain 33.1 27.0 82
44 Slovakia 33.1 14.3 76
46 Poland 32.8 11.0 76
47 Uruguay 32.4 6.5 77
48 Italy 30.4 12.0 82
49 Czech Republic 30.3 8.1 78
50 Hungary 30.0 10.5 75
51 Israel 28.6 7.0 82
52 Estonia 28.1 7.8 76
53 Cyprus 27.3 12.1 81
54 United States 25.7 7.7 79
55 Malta 25.4 6.4 80
56 Slovenia 24.6 9.8 80
56 United Kingdom 24.6 7.8 80
58 Ireland 24.3 14.2 81
59 France 22.8 11.2 82
60 Japan 19.9 4.1 83
61 Belgium 19.4 8.0 80
62 Singapore 19.2 2.0 82
63 Austria 17.1 4.6 81
64 Netherlands 16.9 6.3 81
65 Canada 16.6 7.3 82
65 Germany 16.6 5.7 81
67 Iceland 15.4 5.0 82
68 Finland 14.9 8.1 81
69 Denmark 13.8 7.6 79
70 Australia 12.2 5.3 82
71 Sweden 12.1 8.1 82
72 Switzerland 9.2.0 3.2 83
73 Luxembourg 7.1.0 6.3 82
74 Norway 5.4.0 3.1 81

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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