The Most Stressed City in Michigan Has Been Revealed

Stress is an inevitable aspect of life that can impact our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Some places experience more stress-inducing factors than others, including high unemployment, lengthy commutes, expensive housing, and limited health insurance.

A recent study conducted by Zippia, a career resource website, has ranked the most stressed cities in each state based on six criteria: unemployment rate, hours worked, commute time, income-to-home-price ratio, percentage of uninsured population, and population density.

Allendale: Michigan’s Stress Epicenter

Allendale, a township in Ottawa County with a population of about 26,000, emerged as the most stressed city in Michigan according to the study. The township scored high on various stress indicators, including long working hours, extended commutes, and a significant portion of income spent on rent.

Unpacking Allendale’s Stress Factors

Allendale is home to Grand Valley State University, a public institution with over 25,000 students. The sizable student population may contribute to stress factors such as high rent, low income, and traffic congestion in the township.

Zippia reports that the average rent in Allendale is $1,015, comprising 49.7% of the median income of $24,518. The average commute time is 40.5 minutes, surpassing the national average of 26.6 minutes, and the average weekly working hours are 37.9, higher than the state average of 36.9.

Additionally, Allendale has a relatively high percentage of uninsured population at 21.4%, compared to the state average of 10.3%. This suggests a potential lack of access to affordable and quality health care, contributing to increased stress levels.

Coping Strategies for Allendale Residents

While some stress factors may be beyond individual control, there are ways for Allendale residents to cope with stress and enhance their well-being:

Seeking professional help: If stress adversely affects daily functioning, mental or physical health, or leads to substance abuse, seeking assistance from licensed therapists, counselors, or psychiatrists can provide support and treatment options.

Practicing self-care: Prioritizing activities like sufficient sleep, a balanced diet, regular exercise, meditation, relaxation, and engaging in hobbies can help reduce stress and improve mood.

Building social support: Establishing a strong network of friends, family, and community members can offer emotional, practical, and informational support during challenging times, reducing feelings of isolation.

Seeking financial assistance: For stress caused by financial difficulties, exploring assistance from government programs, non-profit organizations, or charitable foundations can provide grants, loans, or subsidies to help meet basic needs.

Exploring alternative options: If dissatisfaction with one’s current situation contributes to stress, considering alternative options such as a new job, relocation, or pursuing a different education or career path may be worthwhile.


Allendale, as identified by Zippia’s study, stands out as Michigan’s most stressed city. Factors such as long working hours, extended commutes, high rent, and low health insurance coverage contribute to its elevated stress levels. Despite these challenges, residents can employ coping strategies like seeking professional help, practicing self-care, building social support, seeking financial assistance, and exploring alternative options to enhance their well-being and potentially reduce stress levels.


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