Health >> Stress >> Race, Ethnicity, Country of Birth, Language

People of color and those born in a country other than the United States feel more stressed than Whites and people born in the U.S.

People experience stress in response to challenges in everyday life. Sometimes stress can help us get things done. But long-term stress can increase the risk of depression, heart disease, and other problems by “turning on” biological stress responses too often and for too long.

Based on their responses to 4 questions about how often they had experienced selected symptoms of stress in the past 30 days, “perceived stress” scores on a scale from 4 (low) to 20 (high) were computed for King County adults. In 2011, King County adults had an average stress score of 8.6.

  • Whites had lower stress scores than people of color.
  • Adults born in the United States reported less stress than those who were foreign-born.
  • Adults whose first language was English reported less stress than those whose first language was not English.