So long as there are people, there will be stress. There’s no escaping it. However, it’s true that some people are typically more stressed out than other people, and some places are typically more stressful than other places. The China newbie versus the China hand, perhaps, or the Beijing metro versus the Suzhou metro.
Bloomberg recently published a global rankings table comparing “stress ratings” for 74 different countries. They calculated the ratings using data on environmental factors and living conditions rather than interviews or psychological questionnaires, so the final results are really about “how stressed people in these countries will predictably be,” rather than “how stressed people in these countries claim to be.”
The seven different factors, each equally weighted, are:
GDP per capita (adjusted for purchasing-power parity)
Urban air pollution
Any country that could not provide data on all seven factors was left off the table. Countries were ranked from one to 74, with one being the most stressed and 74 being the least stressed.China placed close to the middle at 29th. The most stressed country was Nigeria. The least stressed country was Norway, with the other Scandinavian states taking spots in the no-stress top ten. Japan placed 60th, the UK 56th, and the USA 54th.