Avoiding stress? Skip these cities

If you're looking to travel to low-stress cities, you may want to consider skipping Chicago.

For the second consecutive year, the Windy City ranks No. 1 in the Forbes.com compilation of America's most stressful cities.

Following in close order:

2. Los Angeles
3. New York
4. Cleveland
5. Providence, RI
6. San Francisco
7. Detroit
8. Boston
9. Washington, DC
10. San Jose, CA

(You can get a slide-show capsule report of the 40 cities studied by going here.)

The study examined the country's 40 largest metropolitan statistical areas, or metros -- geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget for use by federal agencies in collecting, tabulating and publishing federal statistics.

Forbes says it looked at June 2009 unemployment figures provided by the federal Bureau of Labor and Statistics and cost of living figures from the Council for Community and Economic Research. It examined median home-price drops from the first quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of this year as provided by the National Association of Realtors. Population density based on 2008 data from the U.S. Census Bureau and ESRI also factored.

Crowding, poor air quality, a high 11% unemployment rate and free-falling home values went into ascertaining the Chicago stress level.
The full Forbes.com report
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