The Associated Press' Economic Stress Index remains at 10.1 nationwide in October, compared to 6.9 in October 2008.
The index is calculated as a score from 1 to 100 based on foreclosure, bankruptcy, and unemployment. An area is considered stressed when the score exceeds 11. About 37 percent of the nation's 3,141 counties had scores higher than 11 in October.
The five states with the highest overall score in October all experienced severe housing downturns:
- Nevada, 21.95 index score
- Michigan, 17.36
- California, 16.48
- Florida, 15.4
- Arizona, 14.37
The least-stressed states were those that have mostly escaped housing issues:
- North Dakota, 3.89
- South Dakota, 5.14
- Nebraska, 5.51
- Vermont, 6.43
- Montana, 6.64
Source: Associated Press, Mike Schneider and Martin Crutsinger (12/07/2009)