LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — How are you feeling? Is life carefree, or are you stressed about money? If money is a worry, you’re not alone. Among the 20 most economically stressed counties of 25,000 or more in the country, California is home to 15 of them.

If there’s a bright side to this news, its that most of California’s economically stressed counties are in Central and Northern California. The nearest, most economically stressed county is Riverside County which sits at No. 18 with a December 2010 Stress score of 21.03. Nearby Kern County is No. 16 with a stress score of 21.22.

The AP’s index calculates a score from 1 to 100 based onunemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates. A higher score signals more stress. Under a rough rule of thumb, a county is considered stressed when its score exceeds 11.

The ranking also includes a list of least economically stressed counties. Unfortunately, none of them are in California.

Here are the 20 most economically stressed counties with populations of at least 25,000 and their December 2010 Stress scores, according to The Associated Press Economic Stress Index:

  1. Imperial County, Calif., 32.39
  2. Lyon County, Nev., 27.56
  3. Nye County, Nev., 25.91
  4. Merced County, Calif., 25.37
  5. Yuma County, Ariz., 25.34
  6. Sutter County, Calif., 25.24
  7. Yuba County, Calif., 24.93
  8. San Benito County, Calif., 24.42
  9. Clark County, Nev., 24.03
  10. San Joaquin County, Calif., 23.91
  11. Lake County, Calif., 23.72
  12. Stanislaus County, Calif., 23.41
  13. Tulare County, Calif., 21.60
  14. Siskiyou County, Calif., 21.35
  15. Madera County, Calif., 21.23
  16. Kern County, Calif., 21.22
  17. Fresno County, Calif., 21.13
  18. Riverside County, Calif., 21.03
  19. Calaveras County, Calif., 20.91
  20. Flagler County, Fla., 20.7

A list of the 20 least economically stressed counties with populations of at least 25,000 and their December 2010 Stress scores, according to The Associated Press Economic Stress Index:

  1. Ellis County, Kan., 3.48
  2. Buffalo County, Neb., 3.74
  3. Ford County, Kan., 3.95
  4. Ward County, N.D., 4.01
  5. Sioux County, Iowa, 4.12
  6. Grand Forks County, N.D., 4.34
  7. Arlington County, Va., 4.38
  8. Madison County, Neb., 4.42
  9. Riley County, Kan., 4.49
  10. Brown County, S.D., 4.51
  11. Brookings County, 4.51
  12. Albany County, Wyo., 4.53
  13. Burleigh County, N.D., 4.55
  14. Lancaster County, Neb., 4.73
  15. Cass County, N.D., 4.74
  16. Finney County, Kan., 4.79
  17. Platte County, Neb., 4.8
  18. Chittenden County, Vt., 4.86
  19. Adams County, Neb., 4.98
  20. Lincoln County, Neb., 5.01

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (3)
  1. K. Vahn says:

    Um…..isn’t Imperial County (#1 on the list) in So. Cal????

  2. Robert Sugar says:

    Any chance finding out which areas are DEMOCRATIC or REPUBLICAN?

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