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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Got Stress? List of Most and Least 'Stressed' Counties Updated -- S.F. Makes Neither.

Posted By on Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Yes, San Francisco's economic 'stress levels' have been worse... - DOROTHEA LANGE
  • Dorothea Lange
  • Yes, San Francisco's economic 'stress levels' have been worse...
If you needed a statistical analysis to back up your gut feeling, here it is: San Francisco ain't such a bad place to be. At least that's what the Associated Press' Economic Stress Index reported on Monday.

The index -- which is also a somewhat addictive statistically based interactive Web site -- is based upon "scores" ranging from 1 to 100 derived by crunching together a county's unemployment, foreclosure, and bankruptcy rates. It's like golf in that lower is better; a score of 11 or more earns a county a "stressed" designation. 

And how is San Francisco County doing? Well, could be better -- has been worse.

Our score is 10.46 as of yesterday -- down 0.46 points (that's good) from a month ago. This score was calculated by multiplying together our 9.4 percent unemployment rate by our 0.68 percent foreclosure rate and 0.49 percent bankruptcy rate. Here's the formula, by the way:

[1-[(1-unemployment rate) X (1-bankruptcy rate) X (1-foreclosure rate)]] X 100
How's that 10.46 score stack up? Better than you thought, worse than you hoped. Here's the list of the 10 most stressed counties in the nation; you may notice that our fair state hosts the majority of them:

1. Imperial County, Calif., 31.57

2. Merced County, Calif., 26.44

3. Lyon County, Nev., 24.93

4. San Benito County, Calif., 24.46

5. Sutter County, Calif., 24.13

6. Yuba County, Calif., 24.11

7. Stanislaus County, Calif., 23.92

8. San Joaquin County, Calif., 23.57

9. Lapeer County, Mich., 23.1

10. Marion County, S.C., 22.93

And not one of the Top-10 least stressed counties are here in California (we don't even make the Top-20):

1. Ellis County, Kan., 3.5
2. Ford County, Kan., 3.78
3. Riley County, Kan., 3.85
4. Buffalo County, Neb., 4.08
5. Brookings County, S.D., 4.09
6. Brown County, S.D., 4.13
7. Finney County, S.D., 4.17
8. Ward County, N.D., 4.44
9. Clay County, Minn., 4.48
10. Grand Forks County, N.D., 4.53
If nothing else, this database gives the good people of Ellis County and Grand Forks a chance to lord it over us. Maybe that'll be a benefit for everyone involved.

Photo   |   Dorothea Lange, White Angel Breadline, San Francisco, 1933

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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