Most Stressed City in Maine is Revealed in the Latest Survey

Maine is a state with stunning natural beauty, a rich history, and friendly residents. However, it is also a stressful state, according to a recent Zippia study.

The survey rated Maine’s 66 cities with populations above 2,000 using six criteria that reflect the fundamental causes of stress for most people: commute time, unemployment rate, hours worked, population density, rent-to-income ratio, and health insurance coverage.

What was the result? The most stressed city in Maine is Berwick, a little town in York County on the New Hampshire border.

Why is Berwick so stressed?

Berwick scored high on practically every stress index, particularly the rent-to-income ratio and travel duration. According to the survey, 94.4% of Berwick residents pay more than 30% of their income on rent, the highest rate in the state. This implies that most Berwick residents are struggling to pay their housing bills and have little money left over for other obligations or savings.

Furthermore, 31% of Berwick residents had a travel duration of more than 30 minutes, the highest rate in the state. This means that most Berwick residents devote a significant amount of time and money to transportation, leaving little time for leisure or family activities.

Most Stressed City in Maine is Revealed in the Latest Survey

Berwick also has a comparatively high unemployment rate of 8.1%, which exceeds the state average of 6.7%. This means that many Berwick residents are looking for work or are concerned about losing their current positions.

Berwick also has a low ratio of married couples (26%) and households with children (25.57%), which could imply a lack of social support or community involvement. Finally, Berwick has a moderate percentage of uninsured residents (8.1%), which may limit access to health care or their ability to deal with medical problems.

How is Berwick Compared to the Other Cities in Maine?

Berwick is not the only city in Maine that experiences stress. The study also discovered nine other cities that rank high on the stress scale, which are:

  • Richmond, a town in Sagadahoc County, has a high commute time (63.9%) and a high number of uninsured residents (12.7%).
  • South Paris is a census-designated place in Oxford County with a high rent-to-income ratio (57.9%) and a lengthy commute (51.6%).
  • Ellsworth, a city in Hancock County, has a high rent-to-income ratio (64%) and a high percentage of uninsured residents (15.2%).
  • Fairfield, a town in Somerset County, has a high rent-to-income ratio (51%), but a low percentage of married households (22%).
  • Farmington, a municipality in Franklin County, has a high rent-to-income ratio (64%) and a low proportion of married households (22%).
  • Old Orchard Beach, a town in York County, has a high population density (1,045 persons per square mile) and a long commute (34.7%).
  • Lewiston, a city in Androscoggin County, has a high poverty rate (16.3%) and rent-to-income ratio (49.7%).
  • Lisbon Falls, a census-designated place in Androscoggin County, has a 9.5% unemployment rate and a 48.9% rent-to-income ratio.
  • Waterville, a city in Kennebec County, has a high poverty rate (23.1%) and a low proportion of married households (22%).

These cities have some of the same stressors that Berwick faces, such as high housing costs, long commutes, low incomes, and inadequate health insurance. They also face certain particular obstacles, like high crime rates, low educational attainment, and environmental concerns.

Most Stressed City in Maine is Revealed in the Latest Survey

What Can You Do to Reduce Stress in Maine?

Stress is a severe issue that can have a negative impact on both physical and mental health, as well as social and economic well-being. As a result, in Maine and elsewhere, it is critical to address stress-causing elements while also promoting stress-reducing factors. Some of the possible answers are:

  • Improving housing availability and affordability by expanding the supply of low-income and subsidized homes, offering rental assistance and eviction prevention services, and enforcing fair housing regulations.
  • Increasing the accessibility and quality of transportation by increasing and upgrading public transit alternatives, constructing bike lanes and walkways, and reducing traffic congestion and pollution.
  • Increasing employment prospects and security by creating more jobs, raising the minimum wage, offering job training and placement services, and advocating for workers’ rights and benefits.
  • Expanding Medicaid eligibility, subsidizing health insurance premiums, and offering free or low-cost health treatments and screenings all contribute to increased access and affordability of health care.
  • Strengthening social and community support includes promoting family and marriage connections, encouraging civic engagement and volunteerism, and offering counseling and mental health services.

These solutions necessitate the engagement and cooperation of a variety of stakeholders, including the government, the corporate sector, the non-profit sector, and the public. They also demand people’s knowledge and participation, so that they can take action to lessen their own stress levels and support others who are anxious.


Maine is a stressful state, with Berwick ranking as the most stressed city in the state. Berwick is plagued by high housing expenses, long commutes, low earnings, and inadequate health insurance, among other issues. There are answers to stress, but they require the dedication and collaboration of all actors and sectors. Maine can and should be a place of tranquility and joy, not worry and unhappiness.


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