The World’s Most Stressed Out Cities 2020

The World's Most Stressed Out Cities 2020
The World's Most Stressed Out Cities 2020

Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) categorized burnout as an officially diagnosable syndrome stemming from chronic workplace stress. Elevating a condition to a syndrome means it’s been added to the WHO’s official compilation of diseases. But it turns out that burnout is more serious than anyone thought—especially when a 2018 Gallup survey showed that it affects nearly a quarter of the workforce on a regular basis.

Sleep research site Savvy Sleeper recently conducted a study to determine the world’s cities with the highest and lowest levels of workplace burnout. A total of 69 cities from 53 countries were analyzed.

The study looked to key health and work-related categories to standardize the research, including the percentage of the population sleeping less than seven hours a night, percentage of the population working more than 48 hours a week, time spent in traffic, mental health disorders and prevalence, lack of motivation at work, employee “presenteeism” and productivity, lack of vacation days, annual work hours and percentage of stressed-out Glassdoor reviews.

 

Here The World’s Most Stressed Out Cities 2020

 

10. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires
Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, founded in the early 16th century, is the capital and largest city of Argentina. Though the workweek is only 34 hours long, getting to work is a problem. It takes 48 minutes to get to one’s job, one of the longest commutes of the 560-plus cities reviewed for the list.

  • Avg. hours worked per week: 34
  • Avg. one-way commute time: 48 minutes
  • Population with mental health disorder: 17.6% (women), 13.7% (men)
  • Gallup world poll happiness ranking: 57 out of 186
  • Population: 15.1 million

 

9. Los Angeles, United States

Los Angeles
Los Angeles

Los Angeles’ famous traffic snarl is a major reason for America’s second-most populous city ranking on this list. The average one-way commute time is 61 minutes, the fourth longest of any of the 560-plus cities reviewed for the list. L.A. also scores lower among the cities in other traffic categories, including an index of CO2 emissions.

  • Avg. hours worked per week: 38
  • Avg. one-way commute time: 61 minutes
  • Population with mental health disorder: 18.3% (women), 16.3% (men)
  • Gallup world poll happiness ranking: 31 out of 186
  • Population: 4 million

 

8. Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei
Taipei

A combination of a relatively long commute and long workdays contributes to Taipei’s ranking among the world’s most stressed-out cities. Local workers take on average 34 minutes to get to work, which ranks 134th of the 560 cities reviewed.

  • Avg. hours worked per week: 42
  • Avg. one-way commute time: 34 minutes
  • Population with mental health disorder: 11.3% (women), 11.6% (men)
  • Gallup world poll happiness ranking: 47 out of 186
  • Population: 2.7 million

 

7. Nairobi, Kenya

Nairobi
Nairobi

Nairobi, Kenya’s capital and largest city, is known for its Nairobi National Park, famed for its wildlife preserves. Nairobi, an emerging tech hub, is becoming one of Africa’s largest cities, and the U.N. predicts Nairobi will become a megacity – cities with a population of 10 million or more – by 2040.

  • Avg. hours worked per week: 44
  • Avg. one-way commute time: 57 minutes
  • Population with mental health disorder: 12.7% (women), 11.9% (men)
  • Gallup world poll happiness ranking: 139 out of 186
  • Population: 4.7 million

 

6. Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg
Johannesburg

People in Johannesburg, South Africa, work more than 43 hours a week, the 13-highest total on this list of 190 cities reviewed. Nationally, South Africa has a jobless rate of 28.5%, the highest of any country with a city considered for this list.

Crime is front of mind for residents of Johannesburg and other cities in South Africa, and although the crime rate has declined, it remains a source of concern as the nation adapts to the post-apartheid reality.

  • Avg. hours worked per week: 43
  • Avg. one-way commute time: 41 minutes
  • Population with mental health disorder: 12.7% (women), 12.8% (men)
  • Gallup world poll happiness ranking: 120 out of 186
  • Population: 5.8 million

 

5. Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey

Commuting to work in Istanbul, Turkey’s most populous city, is a daily stress factor – the average one-way commute is 53 minutes, the 13th longest of any of the 560-plus cities reviewed for the list. A long work week, the sixth-longest of any of the 190 cities reviewed, at 45 hours, also adds to stress.

  • Avg. hours worked per week: 45
  • Avg. one-way commute time: 53 minutes
  • Population with mental health disorder: 14.4% (women), 14.2% (men)
  • Gallup world poll happiness ranking: 115 out of 186
  • Population: 14.5 million

 

4. Athens, Greece

Athens Greece
Athens, Greece

Greece’s financial crisis led to a succession of bailouts beginning in 2010 by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. The nation’s economy shrank by 9.1% the following year.

While the economy gradually improved, job prospects have not. The nation’s jobless rate of 17.3% is the second-highest of any European country on the list. Many young people in Greece, among them doctors and engineers, are pessimistic about their job futures and have emigrated to other countries.

  • Avg. hours worked per week: 40
  • Avg. one-way commute time: 38 minutes
  • Population with mental health disorder: 16.9% (women), 14% (men)
  • Gallup world poll happiness ranking: 121 out of 186
  • Population: 3.2 million

 

3. Cairo, Egypt

Cairo
Cairo

Cairo, Egypt, one of the oldest cities in the world, is the ninth unhappiest city in the world out of 186 cities polled by Gallup. However, traffic is a stressful fact of life, with the average one-way commute time to work at 51 minutes, one of 23 cities on the list with a travel time of more than 50 minutes.

  • Avg. hours worked per week: 36
  • Avg. one-way commute time: 51 minutes
  • Population with mental health disorder: 14.9% (women), 14.3% (men)
  • Gallup world poll happiness ranking: 177 out of 186
  • Population: 20.9 million

 

2. Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Hong kong
Hong kong

Hong Kong, the tiny economic powerhouse that the British handed back to China in 1997, ranks as the most stressed-out city largely because it is not affordable for many residents. The cost of housing is about 20 times higher than the city’s median household income and the biggest difference of any of the 560+ cities reviewed.

Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997 by the British with the provision that it be supervised as a special administrative region, with some autonomy, and be allowed economic and press freedoms not permitted in communist China.

  • Avg. hours worked per week: 42
  • Avg. one-way commute time: 42 minutes
  • Population with mental health disorder: N/A
  • Gallup world poll happiness ranking: 114 out of 186
  • Population: 7.5 million

 

1. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo has long had a reputation for its brutal office culture, with some young people working themselves to death – not an unusual phenomenon called karoshi. The commute time in Tokyo is also among the longer ones at about 40 minutes one way. And though, officially, the average employee has about 18 days vacation time, few people actually take time off because it is often frowned upon.

  • Avg. hours worked per week: 43
  • Avg. one-way commute time: 40 minutes
  • Population with mental health disorder: 12.1% (women), 12.6% (men)
  • Gallup world poll happiness ranking: 79 out of 186
  • Population: 37.4 million