The Maine City With The Highest Stress Level Has Been Found

The Maine City With The Highest Stress Level Has Been Found

Rich in natural beauty, history, and hospitable citizens, Maine is a great state. But a recent study by Zippia also found that it is a state of stress. Based on six factors—commute time, unemployment rate, hours worked, population density, rent to income ratio, and health insurance coverage—that represent the main sources of stress for the majority of individuals, the study ranked the 66 locations in Maine with a population of more than 2,000. What was the outcome? The most anxious city in Maine is Berwick, a tiny town in York County close to the border with New Hampshire.

Why Does Berwick Feel Like This?

Nearly all of the stress indicators were high for Berwick, with the rent-to-income ratio and travel time receiving particular attention. The study found that Berwick had the largest number of renters in the state—94.4%—who pay more than 30% of their income on rent. This indicates that the majority of Berwick residents have little money left over for savings or other needs and struggle to pay their housing bills. Additionally, 31% of Berwick’s population commutes for more than 30 minutes, making it the state’s highest percentage. This indicates that the majority of Berwick residents have little time for leisure or family and spend a lot of time and money on transportation.

In addition, Berwick’s unemployment rate, at 8.1%, is higher than the state average of 6.7%. This indicates that a large number of Berwick residents are either jobless or actively seeking employment. Furthermore, the low ratio of married families (26%) and homes with children (25.57%) in Berwick may be a sign of a lack of social support or interest in the community. Lastly, 8.1 percent of Berwick residents do not have health insurance, which may limit their access to care or their capacity to handle medical emergencies.

What Is the Difference Between Berwick and Other Maine Cities?

There are other cities in Maine that experience stress than Berwick. Nine additional cities that scored highly on the stress scale were also identified by the study, and they are:

  1. Richmond, a town in Sagadahoc County, has a high number of residents without health insurance (12.7%) and a high travel time (63.9%).
  2. South Paris is an Oxford County census-designated place with a high travel time (51.6%) and a high rent-to-income ratio (57.9%).
    Ellsworth, a Hancock County city, has a high percentage of residents without health insurance (15.2%) and a high rent-to-income ratio (64%).
  3. Fairfield is a Somerset County village with a low percentage of married households (22%) and a high rent-to-income ratio (51%).
  4. Farmington, a municipality in Franklin County, has a low percentage of married households (22%) and a high rent-to-income ratio (64%).
  5. The municipality of Old Orchard Beach in York County has a high commute time of 34.7% and a high population density of 1,045 persons per square mile.
  6. Lewiston is a city in Androscoggin County that has a high rent-to-income ratio (49.7%) and a high poverty rate (16.3%).
  7. Lisbon Falls, an Androscoggin County census-designated place, with a high rent-to-income ratio (48.9%) and a high unemployment rate (9.5%).
  8. Kennebec County’s Waterville has a low number of married households (22%), and a high poverty rate (23.1%).

Some of the similar stressors that Berwick faces, such as expensive housing, lengthy commutes, low incomes, and inadequate health insurance, are also present in these cities. In addition, they deal with particular difficulties like high rates of crime, poor levels of education, and environmental problems.

What Steps Can Maine Take to Lessen Stress?

Stress is a major issue that can harm one’s bodily and emotional well-being as well as one’s social and financial stability. Thus, in Maine as elsewhere, it is critical to address the causes of stress and to advance the variables that mitigate it. Among the potential fixes are the following:

  • Expanding the supply of affordable and subsidized housing, offering rental assistance and eviction prevention programs, and upholding fair housing rules are some ways to improve the availability and affordability of housing.
  • Enhancing the quality and accessibility of transportation by building bike lanes and walkways, enhancing public transportation options, and lowering pollution and traffic.
  • Increasing job prospects and job security through increasing employment numbers, increasing the minimum wage, offering job placement and training services, and defending the rights and benefits of employees.
  • By extending Medicaid eligibility, lowering health insurance premiums, and offering free or inexpensive health services and screenings, we can improve access to and the affordability of health care.
  • Enhancing family and marital ties, promoting volunteerism and civic involvement, and offering mental health and counseling services are all ways to strengthen the support that the community and society have to offer.

A variety of parties, including the public, the non-profit sector, the commercial sector, and the government, must work together to implement these ideas. In order to help others who are worried and to lower their own stress levels, they also need people’s knowledge and engagement.

In Summary

According to a new Zippia study, Berwick is the most stressed-out city in Maine. The state as a whole is under stress. Among other things, Berwick is plagued by high housing expenses, lengthy commutes, low earnings, and inadequate health coverage. Nine other cities in Maine have high-stress levels and deal with comparable or distinct issues, so Berwick is not the only one. Stress is a severe issue that requires immediate and all-encompassing attention because it can impair people’s health and happiness as well as the state’s. Stress management strategies are not impossible to implement, but they do demand the dedication and collaboration of all stakeholders. Instead of worry and suffering, Maine can and should be a condition of joy and tranquility.

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