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Tehran Ranked Among Top Five ‘Most Stressful’ Cities


A general view taken from Western Tehran shows a blanket of brown-white smog covering the city as the first of the winter's heavy pollution hit the Iranian capital, November 14, 2016

Zipjet, a European dry-cleaning company, has conducted a study to determine which factors contribute most to stress in various world cities and which urban centers are less stressful.

The study looked at various factors ranging from population density, greenery, public transportation, and the number of sunny days to pollution and mental health.

The study’s results arrived at a list of 150 cities, from the least to most stressful.

Stuttgart, Germany is at the top of the list, with a score of one. Close behind is Luxembourg and Hannover, with Bern, Switzerland, in fourth place and Munich in fifth.

Three of the top five cities are in Germany. The U.S. city of Seattle is the least stressful North American urban center, in 12th place.

Except for Sydney, Australia, nine of the top 10 cities are in Europe.

In terms of the most stressful cities, Baghdad is at the bottom of the list, ranking 150th. Tehran comes in at No. 145, only less stressful than Cairo, Dakar, Lagos, and Kabul, which is 149th.

Tehran scored low in density, greenery, traffic, the perception of security, air pollution, unemployment, debt per capita, household purchasing power, physical health, and gender equality.

Tehran’s stronger scores are in the number of sunny days and social security. The number of sunny days cannot be disputed; it can be easily checked by comparing meteorological data.

Scoring high on social security might seem strange, since the study focused on unemployment insurance, health care, and retirement. Iran is not considered a leading country in any of these areas.

One explanation can be that the study relied on official economic data.

For example, the Iranian government says it has 3.5 million unemployed, but it defines employment as a minimum of one hour of work a week. Thus, the real unemployment figure is much higher than official figures would lead us to believe.

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.

Dhaka, Bangladesh; Karachi, Pakistan; and New Delhi, India; all ranked ahead of Tehran.

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