Ok, so this is a little odd. A UK based company that you’ve probably never heard of, ZipJet, has conducted a study ranking the most and least stressful cities in the world. The methodology for the study appears sound and looks at various factors ranging from population density, public transportation, greenery, transportation, hours of sunshine per day, pollution, race equality, mental health and so on. Suffice it to say, the parameters measured are comprehensive and seemingly thorough. None of this is odd, including the results which I’ll get to in a minute, until you consider that the study was run by – wait for it – a dry cleaning company. WTF? From ZipJet’s website:
Zipjet is an online laundry and dry cleaning service in London. In addition to our premium dry clean and laundry service, we offer an excellent ironing service, wash & fold service and duvet cleaning. We are your personal dry cleaning and laundry collection and delivery service, delivering to your preferred location. Zipjet is the easiest, quickest and most convenient way to do your laundry. All you have to do is tap a button – it takes seconds!
Assuming that you can get over this minor detail, I present you results from the ZipJet study:
The study looked at 150 cities, from the least to most stressful.
Stuttgart, Germany is at the top of the list (least stressful), with a score of one, followed closely by Luxembourg and Hannover, with Bern, Switzerland, in fourth place and Munich in fifth. Three of the top five cities are in Deutschland (Germany).
The study does earn brownie points, and some much needed credibility, by ranking my hometown of Seattle the 12th least stressful North American urban center. Except for Sydney, Australia, nine of the top 10 cities are in Europe.
As for the most stressful cities — and please pardon my foul language — the study basically shits skewers of koobideh on Tehran. Baghdad is at the bottom of the list, ranking 150th. Tehran comes in at #145, only less stressful than Cairo, Dakar, Lagos, and Kabul, which is 149th. But hey, it’s an improvement from a recent European report that ranked Tehran as THE WORST CITY IN THE WORLD.
As expected Tehran scored poorly for greenery, density, traffic, the perception of security, air pollution, unemployment, debt per capita, household purchasing power and physical health. Oh, and surprise, surprise, the city’s gender equality also sucked.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Despite the pollution, Tehran surprisingly achieved a strong score for the number of sunny days. The city also scored well for social security, but they recently stopped paying my aunt her social security checks so I’m a bit skeptical.
Among other Middle Eastern cities, Abu Dhabi ranks 19th, ahead of Melbourne and Dusseldorf. Kuwait City ranks 23rd, ahead of Montreal, and Dubai ranks 32nd, ahead of Frankfurt.
The study has Dhaka, Bangladesh; Karachi, Pakistan; and New Delhi, India ranked ahead of Tehran. And to add salt on the wound, war ravaged Damascus, Syria, even ranked higher than Tehran. (Note to the mullahs, please consider spending a little less on Syria and invest on your own infrastructure and people. Just a thought).
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