Metro Manila 3rd most stressful area in the world – Germany-based cannabidiol products firm | Global News

Metro Manila 3rd most stressful area in the world – Germany-based cannabidiol products firm

/ 01:28 AM June 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila is the third most stressful metropolitan area in the world, only behind Mumbai in India and Lagos in Nigeria, according to VAAY, a company based in Berlin that sells cosmetic products and health supplements using cannabidiol (CBD) and hemp.

VAAY based its ranking on a study it did involving several criteria grouped into four categories — governance, city quality, finance, and health.


In its chart, every city is rated from 1 to 100 according to each criterion, with the highest score being 100:



  • safety and security
  • socio-political stability
  • gender equality
  • minority equality

City quality

  • population density
  • traffic congestion
  • weather
  • air pollution
  • noise pollution
  • light pollution


  • unemployment rate
  • financial stress
  • social security


  • mental health
  • access to healthcare
  • COVID-19 response stress impact

Metro Manila scored some good points in the following criteria:

  • light pollution – 88.2
  • mental health status – 94.9
  • the COVID-19 response stress impact – 85.6

However, these high scores were pulled down by bad results in the following categories:

  • traffic congestion – 3.3
  • unemployment rate – 8.8
  • noise pollution – 13.6
  • weather – 14.2

Metro Manila did not get a high score in the following categories:

  • socio-political stability – 38.1
  • financial stress – 49.3
  • access to healthcare – 42.4

All in all, Metro Manila got an average score of 29.4 — ranked 98th among 100 cities — which is definitely higher than Mumbai, which got the worst score of 1.00.


But at the same time, Metro Manila strays far from other cities in the Asean: for example, Jakarta was in the 92nd place with a score of 41.8, Bangkok in 87th with a score of 50.0, Kuala Lumpur in 76th with a score of 59.4, and Hanoi in 70th with a  score of 63.7.

Singapore is the highest-ranked ASEAN member-state in the list, scoring 80.8 that put it in 33rd place.

Representatives from the Manila local government earlier asked for clarification after it was reported that the study covered the city of Manila.

In its reply to on Friday, researchers who worked with VAAY confirmed the city officials’ suspicions: that the data was obtained from the National Capital Region, or Metro Manila, and not only the City of Manila.

This means other cities across Metro Manila were included in the study.

“The data points used in this research study refer to the Manila metropolitan area. The same approach was used for the rest of the world (metropolitan statistical areas in the US; commuting areas in Europe and the rest of the world.)” Sweet Spot PR project lead Berta Martín Gómez said in an e-mail.

According to VAAY, it started doing the study on its observation that people do live in stressful times due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns that left people either on their own, without jobs and money, or in unstable mental conditions.

“There’s no doubting that we live in stressful times, dealing with circumstances that are often beyond our control, yet when we think about the sources of our daily stress it’s easy to focus on things that are small and fleeting. Likewise, while we consider the significance of the daily pandemic news cycle, we can lose sight of the ever-present elements that surround us and impact our everyday lives,” VAAY said.

“With this question in mind, we carried out some research to determine the most and least stressful cities in the world, based on structural and environmental factors that are often ubiquitous, but sometimes overlooked, and can contribute to a person’s overall level of stress. The result is an index of 100 major global cities comprising over 15 factors, each ranked on a scale from most to least stressful,” it added.

Reykjavik in Iceland topped the list. It was followed by the following cities, which were mostly located in Europe:

  • Bern, Switzerland – 96.6
  • Helsinki, Finland – 95.0
  • Wellington, New Zealand – 95.0
  • Melbourne, Australia – 94.2
  • Oslo, Norway – 94.2
  • Copenhagen, Denmark – 92.6
  • Innsbruck, Austria – 92.2
  • Hannover, Germany – 92.0
  • Graz, Austria – 90.0

Earlier, a separate study done by American asset management firm Mercer ranked Metro Manila as 78th worldwide among the most expensive cities for foreign workers, increasing by two steps from its previous 80th spot.

READ: Metro Manila is 78th most expensive city in the world for foreign workers 

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TAGS: Manila, most stressful cities worldwide, Vaay
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