People in many parts of the country continue to be stressed over the lousy economy and foreclosures, according to the Associated Press' monthly analysis of economic stress in more than 3,100 U.S. counties.

The hardest hit counties are in the Industrial Midwest, the Southwest, and the Southeast. In the North, where the economy wasn't hit as hard by the housing bust, economic stress levels are lower.

Housing still is at the epicenter of this crisis, said Sean Snaith, an economist at the University of Central Florida.

The highest stress levels were in states that had the worst housing meltdown:

  1. Nevada, 21.95
  2. Michigan, 17.75
  3. California, 16.2
  4. Florida, 15.4
  5. Arizona, 14.26

States with the lowest stress scores were:

  1. North Dakota, 4.07
  2. South Dakota, 5.01
  3. Nebraska, 5.71
  4. Montana, 6.6
  5. Wyoming, 6.9

Source: Associated Press, Mike Schneider and Christopher S. Rugaber (11/12/2009)