More Americans experienced stress in their daily lives than they did seven years ago, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Forty-two percent said they frequently experienced stress, while only 20 percent said they “never” or “rarely” did, according to the December poll. Thirty-eight percent of Americans said they experienced stress from time to time.

While the number of stressed Americans grew slightly from 1994, when 40 percent reported frequent occurrences of stress, significant trends were found in subgroups of those surveyed.

Younger women were the most stressed group of all, according to Fifty-nine percent of women below age 50 said they experienced stress frequently, compared to 40 percent of men in the same age group.

Overall, 49 percent of women found themselves frequently stressed, compared to 34 percent of men.

The poll revealed that people reporting a higher household income were less likely to be stressed. Forty-seven percent of those with household incomes of $30,000 or less said they experienced stress frequently, while only 33 percent of those with household incomes of $75,000 or more said the same.

Greater stress levels are still linked to having young children. Forty-four percent of those with children under 18 said they often felt stressed, compared to 35 percent of those without younger children.

Rural residents were most likely to be stressed (52 percent), compared to 43 percent of urban residents and 36 percent of those who live in the suburbs.

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