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Despite COVID, Melbourne Was The Only Aussie City To Make 2021’s Top 10 Least Stressful List

Despite COVID, Melbourne Was The Only Aussie City To Make 2021’s Top 10 Least Stressful List

Ever been so stressed out that you’re ready to pack it all in and start a new life on the other side of the world? The grass always appears greener on the other side, but now we might actually have some reliable data on the most stress-free places to live.

A recent study conducted by VAAY analysed 500 different cities around the world (which was then narrowed down to 100 cities, depending on which ones had reliable data available) based on 15 different factors to narrow down the least and most stressful places to live.

Visual representation of literally all of us in 2021.

Those factors included a “variety of indicators across governance, environment, finance and health” like safety and security, gender and minority equality, social and political stability, pollution levels and more.

“Our objective with this study is to show what cities can achieve for their citizens through effective governance, robust environmental policies and well-resourced social welfare systems,” explained VAAY Co-founder, Finn Age Hänsel, in a statement.

“The aim is not to single out the cities which may lag behind in any of these areas, but rather highlight those which are leading examples of what can be done to improve the wellbeing of their inhabitants”.

And yes, considering it’s 2021 there was indeed a score for “Covid Response Stress Impact” under the citizens’ health category. This is interesting to me, considering Melbourne was the only Australian city to make the top 10 list of least stressful cities, and they were probably hardest hit by Covid lockdowns. In fact, Sydney managed to just squeeze into the top 20 and I’d say it was hit second hardest. Curioser and curioser.

Having just been to Wellington, I’m not at all surprised to see it in fourth place. In fact, my only surprise here is that more of New Zealand didn’t make it in.


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At any rate, if you’re looking to change cities just as soon as you can and lead a calmer life, then these are your top 10 least stressful options:

  1. Reykjavik, Iceland
  2. Bern, Switzerland
  3. Helsinki, Finland
  4. Wellington, New Zealand
  5. Melbourne, Australia
  6. Oslo, Norway
  7. Copenhagen, Denmark
  8. Innsbruck, Austria
  9. Hanover, Germany
  10. Graz, Austria

On the other end of the scale, the top 10 most stressful cities in the world were also listed, so I don’t know, maybe rethink moving there if you have high blood pressure or something? Although to be honest I still want to visit most of these cities, the chaos is part of their charm.

See Also
Immerse Yourself In The Beauty Of Australia's Landscape At The 'Our Country' Exhibition


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A post shared by Mumbai (@streets.of.mumbai)

  1. Mumbai, India
  2. Lagos, Nigeria
  3. Manila, Philippines
  4. New Delhi, India
  5. Baghdad, Iraq
  6. Kabul, Afghanistan
  7. Moscow, Russia
  8. Karachi, Pakistan
  9. Jakarta, Indonesia
  10. Kiev, Ukraine

Of course, seeing as most of us probably can’t just pack up and leave — at least, not yet — there’s always the option to start using your nature walks as free therapy sessions (no really, science backs up the theory).

(Lead image: Unsplash / Benjamin Ashton)

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