From the editor: Texas ranks third as most stressed state

Published 11:40 pm Friday, January 31, 2020

Dawn Burleigh, Editor

A tidbit of information came across my desk this week declaring Texas was the third most stressed state. Since we all know Southern charm includes taking the longer route to work or stopping to visit with a friend on the side of the road, I found this information disturbing.

Just how could Texas be one of the most stressed states?

I recall commenting on seeing people talking on the side of the road when I first moved to the area. 

“You might be from Orange if…” came to mind.

Add this to family in New Jersey commenting on my Southern drawl of an accent and you can see why I thought of this area as more relaxed than other areas. After driving in New Jersey and Houston, I can definitely say this area is much more relaxed when behind the wheel of a vehicle. But even with driving in Houston and navigating to an exit while on the 610 Loop, still did not justify in my mind to have Texas number three in the state as most stressed.

So, I read the report by Zippia found at

“In order to measure how stressed out a state is, we chose a set of six criteria that reflect how anxious people are:

  • Long commute times
  • Unemployment
  • Hours worked
  • Population density
  • Home price to income ratio
  • Percent uninsured population

The higher any of these was, the more stressful the people of the state are. Our data is from the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey for 2018 (the latest data). We ranked each state from 1 to 50 (with one being the most stressed out and 50 being the least) in the six individual criteria.

These ranks were then averaged into one stressed out score. The lower the score the more stressed out the state.”

It was then I read the actual top 10 list, although, I did not get past number three.

  1. Florida
  2. New Jersey
  3. Texas

What caught my attention is the fact that I have lived in all three of these states at some point. Florida and Texas are not stressed out places in my opinion, especially not South East Texas.
While many people in Florida are probably on Medicare plans because they are over 65, the rest of the population is struggling without health insurance. Florida is actually ranked fourth in uninsured in America, according to

New Jersey tops the list for the most stressed state in the U.S. People in New Jersey work long hours, have long commutes, and have a high home price to income ratio. If that wasn’t enough, New Jersey is the densest state, so good luck escaping other people to unwind, according to the report.

I always heard New Jersey had the most population per capita than any other state. I see it has not changed.

But Texas? Stressed? No way!

Texans work more hours than almost any other state. After a long, stressful day at work, Texans better drive safely on their long commute home. If Texans get in a car accident they risk more than injury, they risk some serious medical bills.

Texas is, after all, the least insured state in the country. 17% of Texans are uninsured, according to the article.

According to the numbers, Texas is the only state which averages 40 hours worked. 

Hmm, I thought that was the normal workweek. No wonder we get things done!

Despite the news in an attempt to stress me, err… us, out, Texas remains the best place to live, especially in Orange.

Here there are so many opportunities to relax such as going fishing or strolling through the gardens, visiting local museums or winery. 

Find someplace in Orange County which you have always thought about visiting and have yet to go. 

Make time in the coming week to make the time to rediscover the beauty of Orange County.

Forget the reports and enjoy our great state.


Dawn Burleigh is the general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at