In the interests of promoting pseudoscience and questionable generalizations, we’d like to bring your attention to a new study.

“Does it reflect well on Minnesota?” you ask.

Of course. That’s the only kind we favor, since anything that rates us poorly is obviously flawed or the work of Wisconsin bots causing trouble on the internet.

The latest quasi-news: Minnesota is one of the least stressed states in the nation.

What’s more, St. Paul is the least stressed city in the entire country.

No one has more chill. Apparently the entire city sprinkles granulated bear tranquilizer on its morning yogurt.

Does that sound right?


The legislators in the State Capitol walk hand-in-hand with members of the opposing party, chatting about passing that “Whatever, Bro” bill with bipartisan support. No one honks their horn, although after 20 minutes stuck in traffic they might flash their lights.

It’s different in Minneapolis, which is the sixth least stressed city. Of course the Mill City is more stressed. It’s busy. It’s go-go, buy-sell, dog-eat-dog!

Does that sound right?


After all, it’s a survey. And that survey says Minnesota has much less stress than Wisconsin. We’re 48th on the list, while Wisconsin is 24th, meaning we’re twice as relaxed as the Cheesehead-American community.

(I said that just to stress people who understand math, so if we’re 47th next year, I take full responsibility.)

What accounts for the difference between the two Minnesota towns? Seems obvious.

Minneapolis is for people who really care if the new Peruvian-Tibetan fusion restaurant down the street serves sustainably harvested monkfish. St. Paul is for people who can’t stand the sort of people who make a big deal about the monkfish situation.

That’s a ridiculous overgeneralization, but then it’s a ridiculous survey. Stress is hard to define, varies among individuals and is impossible to quantify by borders.

So how did they figure out that St. Paul is the Zen Capital? Simple: It’s based on the tone of people’s tweets. That’s slightly less scientific than interpreting the entrails of ritually sacrificed animals.

The number of people on Twitter is minuscule as a proportion of the population, and the people who tweet a lot shampoo with napalm so they can spend the day acting like their hair is on fire. If 8.48% of Minneapolis tweets seem stressed, it doesn’t mean the entire population of the city spends an hour each day gnawing its fingernails.

On the other hand, St. Paul’s level of stressed tweets is really low. The penultimate city on the list, Glendale, Ariz., has a stressed-tweet percentage of 7.37.

St. Paul’s percentage is 2.56, which is a lower stress level than you’d get when the dentist turns the nitrous knob up to 11.

St. Paulites are so relaxed someone should put a mirror under their nose and see if there’s any fog from respiration.

The No. 1 stressed city, by the way, is Hialeah, Fla., because there are lots of old folks named Leah who keep thinking someone’s saying hello to them. And tweet about it.

And by lots, I mean six.