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The Most and Least Stressed Cities in the World

To most people living abroad is the dream – a stress-free life and never-ending holiday. However, from finding a job to organising international health insurance, moving abroad can be a source of anxiety. Experiencing some level of stress when you are relocating is totally normal, but the COVID-19 pandemic has created a much more worrying environment than usual. Mental health problems have got worse across all age-groups in the past year.

Whether you’re already an expat or only thinking of embracing moving abroad, there are places in the world that are less stressful for living and working. That’s why we ranked 73 cities and 38 countries to find the most and least stressful in the world. We also compared the 50 US states to reveal which states are the most and least stressed in the country. Our ranking is based on cleanliness, financial stress, LGBTQ+ safety and suicide rates and we hope it will help you decide where to find your next big – and stress-free – challenge.

This article covers


  • The most and least stressed cities in the world
  • The most and least stressed countries in the OECD
  • The most and least stressed states in the USA
  • Tips for coping with expat stress
Delhi, India is the second most stressed city in the world / GETTY IMAGES

Where are the most stressed cities in the world?

The following cities rank as the most stressed in the world, based on factors like air pollution levels, green spaces and LGBTQ+ safety rating.

The results show that geography may have an impact on stress levels, with 8 of the top-10 cities located in the Asian continent.

Most stressed cities in the world, Cairo, Delhi and Karachi

1/ Cairo, Egypt

Score: 7.67

  • Cairo is one of the busiest cities on Earth, and the second-largest in Africa. Based on the factors used, Cairo is the most stressed city.
  • Cairo has the second-lowest cleanliness rating of all cities on the list at 17.22! The only city with a lower rating is Marseille in France.
  • In Cairo, the LGBTQ+ safety rating is also one of the lowest in the world at -96. The only city rated less safe for members of the LGBTQ+ community is Tehran in Iran.
  • Despite this, Cairo has one of the lowest suicide rates per 100,000 of the population, at just 3.41.

2/ Delhi, India

Score: 6.96

  • Delhi is one of the most stressed cities. Cleaner than Cairo, Delhi has a cleanliness rating of 28.78.
  • Delhi has one of the highest suicide rates per 100,000 people, at 12.91, while the LGBTQ+ safety rating is 65.
  • Although the cost of living in Delhi is just £270 per month for a single person, over 17% of the population lives in poverty.

3/ Karachi, Pakistan

Score: 6.47

  • Pakistan’s largest city is one of the most stressed cities on the list.
  • Karachi has a cleanliness rating of 20.26, and an air pollution level of 290 PM10. The only city with a higher level of air pollution is Delhi.
  • The LGBTQ+ safety rating in Karachi is -89, while the suicide rate is 9.77 per 100,000 people.
  • The cost of living in Karachi is lower than in Delhi, at £230 per month for a single person, while 4.47% of the population lives in poverty.

Where are the least stressed cities in the world?

These cities are the least stressed in the world, based on factors including pollution levels, LGBTQ+ safety, cleanliness and cost of living.

Three of the top-10 least stressed cities in the world are in Australia, with Brisbane ranking highest. All of the top-10 least stressed cities are in the northern hemisphere, except those in Australia.

Least stressed cities in the world, Helsinki, Vienna and Munich

1/ Helsinki, Finland

Score: 2.45

  • Often cited as one of the happiest places in the world, Helsinki in Finland is the least stressed city!
  • The World Bank shows that 0% of people in Helsinki live in poverty, while the monthly cost of living for a single person is £700 without rent. Only 20 cities on the list have a higher cost of living than Helsinki!
  • Helsinki has the lowest pollution index at just 13.65 and a noise and light pollution level of just 25.21.

2/ Vienna, Austria

Score: 2.49

  • Vienna is one of the least stressed cities in the world. In Austria’s capital city, just 1% of the population lives in poverty on $5.50 a day.
  • Alongside low poverty rates, the cost of living in Vienna is more affordable than most. A single person would spend £660 per month on living costs without rent.
  • Vienna’s LGBTQ+ safety rating is 300, higher than most cities on the list and has the third-highest cleanliness rating of any city at 83.57.

3/ Munich, Germany

Score: 2.59

  • Munich ranks as one of the least stressed cities – the Bavarian capital has just 1% of the population living in poverty. The cost of living in Munich is £750 per month for a single person.
  • Munich is the best city for the quality of green areas and parks. It has a green area quality rating of 85.6 which is the highest on the list! The German capital Berlin also scores highly with a green area rating of 83.38.
  • The cleanliness rating of Munich shows that it’s the fifth-cleanest city on the list, with a score of 82.42.

The most and least stressed cities in the world

Rank City, Country LGBTQ+ Safety Rating Suicide Rates per 100,000 Est Monthly Cost of Living Cleanliness & Tidiness of City /100 Poverty Headcount (% living on <$5.50 a day) Stress Score /10
1 Cairo, Egypt -96 3.41 £313 17.22 73 7.67
2 Delhi, India 65 12.91 £275 28.78 87 6.96
3 Karachi, Pakistan -89 9.77 £227 20.26 76 6.47
4 Mumbai, India 65 12.91 £292 24.38 87 6.28
5 Baghdad, Iraq -37 4.74 £388 20.37 52 6.08
6 Manila, Philippines 44 2.54 £420 21.49 47 5.92
7 Kolkata, India 65 12.91 £250 33.41 87 5.84
8 São Paulo, Brazil 307 6.41 £363 28.04 20 5.81
9 Bangalore, India 65 12.91 £270 27.8 87 5.69
10 Beijing, China 15 6.67 £475 40.03 24 5.65
11 Tianjin, China 15 6.67 £435 40.48 24 5.52
12 Shanghai, China 15 6.67 £552 53.43 24 5.48
13 Jakarta, Indonesia 1 2.55 £404 31.83 52 5.42
14 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 307 6.41 £352 30.56 20 5.34
15 Athens, Greece 175 3.62 £541 33.39 3 5.1
16 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 54 7.22 £359 22.4 22 5.1
17 Lahore, Pakistan -89 9.77 £236 43.69 76 5.02
18 Belo Horizonte, Brazil 307 6.41 £303 41.95 20 5
19 Nicosia, Cyprus 188 3.18 £627 41.67 0 4.91
20 Guangzhou, China 15 6.67 £425 43.37 24 4.91
21 Lima, Peru 211 2.73 £337 28.35 21 4.9
22 Tehran, Iran -104 5.13 £286 41.11 14 4.7
23 Bogotá, Colombia 273 3.74 £302 34.57 29 4.63
24 Mexico City, Mexico 225 5.29 £364 31.47 23 4.62
25 Rome, Italy 170 4.33 £687 18.93 3 4.59
26 Istanbul, Turkey 48 2.34 £268 42.98 10 4.58
27 Shenzhen, China 15 6.67 £515 56.16 24 4.45
28 Buenos Aires, Argentina 274 8.14 £333 42.71 14 4.36
29 Tokyo, Japan 83 12.24 £880 72.86 1 4.34
30 New York, United States 276 14.51 £1,015 33.93 2 4.3
30 Santiago, Chile 255 8.04 £480 53.89 4 4.3
32 Marseille, France 339 9.65 £691 13.69 0 4.19
33 Bangkok, Thailand 130 7.95 £445 35.37 6 4.13
34 Los Angeles, United States 276 14.51 £790 38.59 2 4.11
35 Osaka, Japan 83 12.24 £766 67.86 1 3.99
36 Barcelona, Spain 343 5.28 £592 53.51 2 3.97
37 Zurich, Switzerland 270 9.83 £1,224 86.88 0 3.92
38 Guadalajara, Mexico 225 5.29 £329 42.8 23 3.9
39 Johannesburg, South Africa 275 23.49 £467 31.85 57 3.89
40 Lisbon, Portugal 359 7.22 £493 57.99 2 3.81
41 Manchester, United Kingdom 346 6.88 £700 36.98 1 3.8
42 Nagoya, Japan 83 12.24 £829 75 1 3.79
43 Paris, France 339 9.65 £803 40.08 0 3.72
44 Philadelphia, United States 276 14.51 £772 30.3 2 3.7
45 Birmingham, United Kingdom 346 6.88 £629 41.25 1 3.58
45 Brussels, Belgium 351 13.93 £682 37.39 0 3.58
45 London, United Kingdom 346 6.88 £862 51.63 1 3.58
48 Madrid, Spain 343 5.28 £566 54.3 2 3.56
49 Budapest, Hungary 131 11.77 £438 47.54 2 3.43
49 Warsaw, Poland 61 9.3 £522 64 1 3.43
Where are the best countries for green living for expats?
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The most stressed countries in the OECD

Each OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) country was compared based on factors including air quality, noise pollution and health expenditure per capita.

The following countries placed as the most stressed in the world, according to the factors that were analysed.

Most stressed countries in the OECD: South Korea, Chile and USA

1/ South Korea

Score: 6.74

  • The whole world has felt a rise in stress and anxiety resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, yet South Korea stands out as the most stressed country in the OECD.
  • Mental illness in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is prevalent, and while economic growth has boomed in recent decades, mental health services remain largely underfunded.
  • The suicide rate in South Korea is the highest out of all OECD countries, and suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in the country.
  • South Korea ranks in the five worst countries for LGBTQ+ safety and air pollution index, thanks to the rapid industrialisation in many cities including Seoul.

2/ Chile

Score: 6.61

  • Chile is one of the most stressed countries in the OECD.
  • Chile’s level of air pollution has been an issue of concern for years – in 2017 the government implemented a wide-scale initiative to reduce fumes from wood burning. However, today Chile has the highest air pollution index of all OECD countries, at 78.59.
  • Further impacting its score, Chile has one of the lowest scores for green spaces and parks out of all countries and ranks as the worst country for noise and light pollution.

3/ USA

Score: 5.96

  • Last year most Americans experienced an increase in stress and burnout, and the United States ranks as one of the OECD’s most stressed countries.
  • The United States ranks higher than most countries for noise and light pollution and estimated cost of living.
  • Out of all OECD countries, the United States has the highest health expenditure per capita at £8,004.
  • The most stressed countries are from different geographical regions, including Asia, Latin America and North America. Despite the United States ranking 3rd overall for stress, its neighbouring country Canada ranks 26th overall.

Read on to find out which US states are the most stressed in the country.

The least stressed countries in the OECD

These are the least stressed countries in the OECD. With Helsinki ranking as the least stressed city in the world, it’s no surprise to see that Finland comes in first place as the world’s most relaxed country.

Least stressed countries in the OECD: Finland, Sweden and Australia

1/ Finland

Score: 3.21

  • Not only is Finland’s capital, Helsinki, the least stressed city in the world but the country ranks as the least stressed overall in the OECD.
  • Studies have shown that increased levels of noise and light are one of the biggest impacting factors on stress levels. Known for being one of the happiest countries in the world, Finland is one of the best countries for low levels of noise and light pollution.
  • Breathing dirty air or particulate matter can be linked to increased levels of stress and health complications. Finland has the lowest air pollution index of all OECD countries, at just 12.07.

2/ Sweden

Score: 3.38

  • Nordic countries often rank as some of the least stressed in the world, and Sweden is no exception. Sweden ranks among the best 5 countries for air pollution, with an air pollution index of 18.43.
  • Sweden ranks as one of the safest OECD countries for the LGBTQ+ community – same-sex marriage has been legal since 2009 and lesbian couples have had equal access to IVF since 2005.

3/ Australia

Score: 3.4

  • Research has linked nature to happiness for years, suggesting that exposure to natural green spaces positively impacts both emotional mood and physical health – Australia has the highest rating for quality of green spaces and parks out of all OECD countries, at 87.88.
  • Australia also has one of the lowest noise and light pollution levels of all OECD countries, which has been said to impact sleep disturbance and anxiety.

The most and least stressed countries in the OECD

Rank Country LGBTQ+ Safety Rating Suicide Rates per 100,000 Est Monthly Cost of Living Cleanliness & Tidiness of City /100 Air Pollution Index Noise & Light Pollution /100 Stress Score /10
1 Korea 93 21.16 £735 61.94 62.38 50.48 6.74
2 Chile 255 8.04 £456 34.27 78.59 61.61 6.61
3 United States 276 14.51 £703 58.44 39.95 48.65 5.96
4 Belgium 351 13.93 £683 46.17 50.12 54.80 5.84
5 Italy 170 4.33 £635 44.53 54.16 49.77 5.79
6 Poland 61 9.3 £439 56.49 62.55 51.11 5.77
6 Greece 175 3.62 £532 40.32 52.02 47.03 5.77
8 Turkey 48 2.34 £216 50.15 65.35 54.18 5.69
9 Israel 219 5.15 £832 50 57.86 50.47 5.65
10 Japan 83 12.24 £800 74.58 38.9 44.68 5.53
11 Hungary 131 11.77 £401 51.01 48.03 45.04 5.37
12 France 339 9.65 £692 49.87 42.02 52.42 5.35
13 Costa Rica 215 7.62 £477 43.44 44.66 47.95 5.05
14 Slovak Republic 171 9.31 £541 55.13 55.13 42.31 5.03
15 Mexico 225 5.29 £334 44.82 58.57 47.45 4.95
16 Colombia 273 3.74 £280 45.53 62.98 56.32 4.92
17 Ireland 296 8.9 £720 52.11 34.12 38.69 4.75
18 Switzerland 270 9.83 £1,177 84.21 19.76 33.31 4.65
19 United Kingdom 346 6.88 £653 53.96 40.15 46.50 4.48
20 Czech Republic 159 9.48 £469 64.3 35.89 46.29 4.44
21 Latvia 98 16.06 £508 70.72 33.07 39.36 4.4
22 Spain 343 5.28 £518 59.89 39.95 53.77 4.35
23 Germany 254 8.27 £658 66.99 27.76 42.66 4.28
24 Lithuania 138 20.15 £459 74.65 26.91 28.62 4.03
25 Norway 340 9.91 £907 75.72 17.91 28.95 3.94
26 Canada 384 10.34 £663 67.32 28.8 40.48 3.92
27 Iceland 330 11.15 £898 74.04 15.83 22.57 3.83
28 Luxembourg 269 8.62 £789 80 23.54 29.54 3.77
29 Denmark 312 7.63 £794 74.31 21.26 30.43 3.68
30 Netherlands 377 9.27 £726 74.4 25.04 35.87 3.63
31 Estonia 197 11.96 £548 78.04 19.8 35.51 3.59
31 New Zealand 303 10.3 £687 73.48 23.71 34.60 3.59
33 Austria 300 10.4 £717 83.57 17.29 36.01 3.48
34 Portugal 359 7.22 £451 64.8 30.53 38.27 3.46
35 Slovenia 243 13.97 £558 85.92 22.67 37.77 3.43
36 Australia 309 11.25 £713 75.49 23.89 24.74 3.41
37 Sweden 377 12.37 £691 74.71 18.43 27.29 3.38
38 Finland 296 13.43 £689 81.98 12.07 23.62 3.21
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The most stressed states in the USA

Each US state was analysed based on factors like air quality, suicide rates, LGBT population density and cost of living.

Although overcrowding is usually considered a cause of significant stress, population density may have little impact on the stress level of each state.

Montana and New Mexico place in the top-3, however are among the US’ most sparsely populated states.

Most stressed states in the USA: Texas, Montana and New Mexico - William Russell

1/ Texas

Score: 5.56

  • The Lone Star state, one of the biggest in the country, ranks as the most stressed state in the USA.
  • One of the biggest contributing factors to stress in the US is air pollution, which varies considerably by state. Texas ranks in the worst five states for average air quality index, with a daily level of 23.7.
  • Texas also has significantly higher reported levels of CO2 emissions from large facilities than any other state. In 2020 there were 290 million metric tons of CO2 emissions from large facilities in Texas.

2/ Montana

Score: 5.34

  • The northwestern state of Montana is one of the country’s most stressed locations, based on cleanliness, financial stress, LGBTQ+ population density and cost of living.
  • Mental health has a huge impact on stress, with emotional pressure affecting your mood and the ability to complete daily activities; Montana is one of the worst states for mental health, with a suicide rate of 26.2 per 100,000 of the population.
  • Montana has one of the lowest LGBTQ+ population densities of all states at just 2.9%.

3/ New Mexico

Score: 5.21

  • New Mexico is one of the country’s most stressed states overall.
  • Lacking significant green spaces, just 0.18% of New Mexico’s land is made up of state parks and national parks.
  • Affected by mental health problems, New Mexico also has one of the country’s highest suicide rates, at 24 per 100,000 people.

The least stressed states in the USA

These are the least stressed states in the USA, based on factors like air quality, suicide rates, LGBT population density and cost of living.

The top-2 states are in the American Northeast, which is often referred to as the country’s most economically developed and densely populated region.

Least stressed states in the USA: Delaware, Vermont and Washington - William Russell

1/ Delaware

Score: 3.46

  • Delaware ranks as the country’s least stressed state overall.
  • Delaware has the cleanest air in the US. Delaware’s air quality index is 3.6, as recorded on the easternmost part of the state, which is largely unaffected by air pollution travelling downwards from other New England states.
  • Although Oregon has the country’s highest LGBTQ+ population density at 5.6%, Delaware’s LGBTQ+ community makes up 4.5% of the state’s residents.

2/ Vermont

Score: 3.62

  • Vermont is normally known for being a farming state, with open green spaces and a shared importance on using local produce.
  • Vermont has the lowest level of CO2 emissions from large facilities out of all states in the US, making it one of the best states for cleanliness.

3/ Washington

Score: 3.64

  • Washington is one of the least stressed states in the country.
  • With 3.93% of the state’s land made up of national parks and state parks, there’s no shortage of open, natural spaces in the state.
  • Washington’s LGBTQ+ community makes up 5.2% of the state’s population, making it one of the safest states in the US for these often marginalised groups.

The most and least stressed states in the US

Rank State LGBTQ+ Safety Rating Suicide Rates per 100,000 Cost of Living Index Score CO2 Gas Emissions* (metric tons) Avg Air Quality Index % Land Area State/ National Parks Stress Score /10
1 Texas 4.10% 13.4 93 290.0m 23.7 0.95% 7.67
2 Montana 2.90% 26.2 101 11.9m 14.6 1.2% 6.96
3 New Mexico 4.50% 24 91 23.2m 31.6 0.18% 6.47
4 Idaho 2.80% 20.4 97 4.2m 17.9 0.16% 6.28
5 Missouri 3.80% 18.2 91 55.5m 21.5 0.34% 6.08
6 Utah 3.70% 21.2 102 29.4m 23.7 1.8% 5.92
7 North Dakota 2.70% 18.1 98 34.1m 15.6 0.21% 5.84
8 Iowa 3.60% 16.7 90 32.8m 24.8 0.21% 5.81
9 Tennessee 3.50% 17.2 90 28.8m 16.3 1.68% 5.69
10 New Hampshire 4.70% 17.5 113 1.8m 11.5 1.35% 5.65
10 South Dakota 3.00% 20.9 96 4.2m 16.7 0.77% 5.52
12 Kansas 3.30% 18.2 87 25.2m 17.7 0.06% 5.42
13 Illinois 4.30% 10.9 91 63.2m 30.9 1.39% 5.05
14 Wyoming 3.30% 29.3 94 46.3m 12.8 4.09% 5.34
15 Oklahoma 3.80% 20.5 88 37.1m 17.4 0.13% 5.11
16 Alabama 3.10% 16.3 89 13.4m 16.7 0.14% 5.1
17 Indiana 4.50% 14.2 91 91.1m 18.8 0.81% 5.02
17 Arkansas 3.30% 18 92 28.0m 15.1 0.81% 5
19 Ohio 4.30% 15.1 93 87.1m 18.1 0.77% 4.97
20 Maryland 4.20% 10.3 121 12.1m 10.0 1.28% 4.91
20 Louisiana 3.90% 15 93 97.0m 15.4 0.1% 4.9
22 South Carolina 3.50% 16.2 95 26.9m 13.9 0.53% 4.7
22 Arizona 4.50% 18.7 107 38.1m 26.3 2.16% 4.63
24 Pennsylvania 4.10% 14.1 101 86.9m 16.1 1.02% 4.62
24 Colorado 4.60% 22.1 106 33.5m 19.8 1.02% 4.59
26 Kentucky 3.40% 16.5 94 55.7m 15.9 1.72% 4.58
27 Nebraska 3.80% 16.1 94 24.4m 20.4 0.31% 4.45
28 Rhode Island 4.50% 10.7 116 3.5m 10.9 0.84% 4.36
29 Mississippi 3.50% 14.4 85 34.5m 17.5 0.07% 4.34
30 West Virginia 4.00% 18.5 90 53.6m 14.4 0.95% 4.3
31 Michigan 4.00% 14.3 91 55.7m 19.6 2.23% 4.3
32 Minnesota 4.10% 14.4 100 28.0m 19.0 0.9% 4.19
33 North Carolina 4.00% 12.5 96 40.9m 12.4 1.45% 4.13
34 Virginia 3.90% 12.8 98 35.1m 11.9 0.98% 4.11
35 Wisconsin 3.80% 14 96 38.0m 15.6 1.95% 3.99
35 Alaska 3.70% 28.5 126 56.9m 11.3 9.1% 3.97
37 Nevada 5.50% 19.8 103 15.4m 22.9 0.3% 3.92
38 Massachusetts 5.40% 8.7 133 8.3m 13.1 4.23% 3.9
39 Connecticut 3.90% 11.4 120 10.6m 13.1 7.41% 3.89
40 Georgia 4.50% 14.6 90 45.3m 14.1 0.23% 3.81
41 Oregon 5.60% 20.4 128 11.1m 15.2 0.46% 3.8
42 New York 5.10% 8.3 144 30.8m 12.7 1.09% 3.79
43 Hawaii 4.60% 15.5 186 6.7m 10.3 9.41% 3.72
44 California 5.30% 10.7 147 60.7m 22.8 7.49% 3.7
45 New Jersey 4.10% 8 118 17.4m 14.9 7.28% 3.58
46 Florida 4.60% 14.5 102 99.4m 16.5 6.63% 3.58
47 Maine 4.90% 19.4 111 2.2m 13.6 3.58% 3.58
48 Washington 5.20% 15.9 113 18.0m 17.3 3.93% 3.56
49 Vermont 5.20% 16 115 125.1m 8.1 0.84% 3.43
50 Delaware 4.50% 11.3 107 3.9m 3.6 1.69% 3.43

*from large facilities

What is culture shock and how does it affect expats?
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Tips for coping with expat stress

One of the biggest changes you can make in your life is picking up your life and moving abroad. So it’s no wonder that stress is one of the most common expat concerns.

It isn’t easy to call another country home, especially if you’re moving away from a stable income and the foods you love.

5 tips to help you deal with stress as an expat

  1. Explore the area

    A common expat concern is homesickness. Many miss walking the streets of their home city or visiting their local supermarket. Although the culture shock of moving abroad can be scary at times, your new city has landmarks, shops and sights that are just as beautiful as the ones back home. Try to look online for a running route, or go out of your home and choose a direction to explore. Your new favourite cafe or bookstore is out there just waiting for you to find it.

  2. Try starting a hobby

    It can be hard to make new friends as an expat, and limited social interactions could be getting you down. The best way to meet new people in an unfamiliar city is to join a club or social event. Whether you’re living in a big city like Tokyo or in a small French town, there are often language courses for expats or Facebook groups for like-minded people. If you find yourself struggling with a language barrier, workout and sports groups are the answer. Little verbal communication is needed, and you’ll pick up new words to use in everyday life.

  3. Bring some home comforts

    Despite wanting to immerse in the culture of your new home it can be tempting to enjoy home comforts, like dishes and snacks from your home country. Sometimes other cuisines take time to adapt to, but it’s important to get enough nutrition after moving abroad. In some places, you can easily find international foods in big supermarkets. However, if you’re not so lucky and living in a more remote city with no access to home foods, you could ask friends and family at home to mail you a food package.

  4. Learn a new language

    The easiest way to learn a new language is to be surrounded by it at all times. And what better opportunity to learn a language than when living abroad with native speakers. Language classes are widely available and can be a great way to meet new international people in the same boat as you. When dealing with expat stress, it can be vital to have someone who’s in the same situation to share your worries with. If there aren’t any language classes in your area, there are plenty of resources online for learning languages. Use websites and apps to pick up words and phrases that you can use in daily life.

  5. Call your friends and family at home

    Even though moving abroad is exciting, many people experience feelings of missing home. When these feelings come up, video call your friends and family at home. Keeping in touch with loved ones is just as important as settling into your new home, and can help battle feelings of loneliness.

  6. Take care of yourself and stay fit

    If you are working full time, it can be hard to find time and fit in exercise in your routine. However, even small steps can make a difference in your mental and physical health. Staying fit when working full time is important to feel less stress abroad.

Wherever you move, go with total peace of mind

At William Russell, we have nearly 30 years of helping expatriates finding best places in the world to move abroad and settle into their new lives overseas by providing world-class international health insurance. Plus, we produce lots of expert material to help you and your family adapt to life abroad.

Making the move to another country can be challenging. But no matter where you go, you can take one thing off your mind. William Russell offers international health insurance that covers you for everything from minor injuries to long hospital stays, and we can even offer medical evacuations to patients who require treatment in other countries.

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Methodology

Cities

The ranking is based on cleanliness, financial stress, LGBTQ+ safety and suicide rates. Cleanliness includes air pollution, noise pollution, cleanliness rating and quality of green spaces rating.

Financial stress is considered by the % of the population spending greater than 10% of the household income on health costs, the % of the population living in poverty and the estimated monthly cost of living for a single person.

Data on pollution, air pollution, noise and light pollution, quality of green spaces and parks, cleanliness and the estimated monthly living cost of a single person without rent were obtained from Numbeo.

Information on suicide rates per 100,000 was taken from the World Health Organisation.

LGBTQ+ safety ratings were taken from AsherFergusson and The World Bank was used for data on the poverty headcount ratio for each city.

We gave each location a normalised score out of ten for each of these factors, before taking an average across all of the factors to reach our overall stress score out of ten.

Countries

The ranking is based on cleanliness, current health expenditure per capita, cost of living, LGBTQ+ safety and suicide rates. Cleanliness includes air pollution index, noise pollution, cleanliness rating and quality of green spaces rating.

Data on pollution, air pollution, noise and light pollution, quality of green spaces and parks, cleanliness and the estimated monthly living cost of a single person without rent were obtained from Numbeo.

Information on suicide rates per 100,000 was taken from the World Health Organization.

LGBTQ+ safety ratings were taken from AsherFergusson. The current health expenditure per capita was sourced from the World Health Organization.

We gave each location a normalised score out of ten for each of these factors, before taking an average across all of the factors to reach our overall stress score out of ten.

States

The ranking is based on cleanliness, % of land made up of by state or national parks, cost of living index, LGBTQ+ population density and suicide rates. Cleanliness includes average air quality index, CO2 emissions and the number of landfills per 1,000 sq miles.

To find the average daily air quality index, the average daily AQI across all monitoring sites in each state during 2021 was taken from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

The % of land comprising state or national parks was sourced from PlaygroundEquipment.

The number of landfills in each state was sourced from the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the land area of each state was obtained from Wikipedia.

Information on suicide rates per 100,000 was taken from the National Center for Health Statistics.

The cost of living index for each state was sourced from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center.

The LGBT population density in each state was sourced from the Movement Advancement Project.

The amount of CO2 gas emissions from large facilities in metric tons was sourced from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

We gave each location a normalised score out of ten for each of these factors, before taking an average across all of the factors to reach our overall stress score out of ten.