The Hardest-Working Americans Live in These Cities

Hard work is part of American tradition. It’s how we define ourselves and is something people and companies tend to idolize (think about how many companies you know of who brag about their “work hard, play hard” culture). We’ve already tackled which American cities are the most and least stressed. Now let’s take a look at which ones house the hardest workers, according to a recent WalletHub study.

Keep in mind, this isn’t an exact science, so don’t get your feathers ruffled if your city isn’t represented in the top 20. WalletHub focused on “direct” and “indirect” factors when determining how hard a city works.

Direct factors include how many hours are in an average workweek, employment rate for those in the labor force who are 16 or older, and share of engaged workers, among others. Indirect factors include things like the number of people working more than one job, annual volunteer hours per resident, and average leisure time spent per resident per day.

Let’s see if your city made the list of the hardest working cities in America.

1.  Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage, Alaska skyline
Anchorage, Alaska | David Ryder/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It could be because unemployment rates are higher in Alaska than the national average, plus the cost of living is higher than most of the country. Anchorage is a good place to find a job, since it has more job openings compared to other cities in Alaska. If you’re looking to relocate north (way, way north), be ready to put work ahead of downtime.

Next: This one won’t surprise anyone.

2. San Francisco, California

The Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge | Matthew Baker/Getty Images

As a city with one of the highest costs of living in the U.S., it’s probably not a shocker that people who live in San Francisco work harder than most. High housing prices plus the increasingly competitive job market might all be reasons why people who live in San Francisco tend to spend more time at work than playing on the beach.

Next: They say everything’s bigger in Texas, including the work ethic.

3. Irving, Texas

Glass towers
Urban Towers in Irving, Texas | RobertMayne/iStock/Getty Images

You might have never heard of Irving, but you’ve probably heard of Dallas, Texas, which is the metro area where you’ll find Irving. Irving came in as No. 3 overall and No. 1 for having the lowest shares of households with no adults working at 12.4 percent. The city with the highest shares of households with no adults working is Detroit, at a high 42.92 percent.

Next: Living on a beach isn’t all fun and games.

4. Virginia Beach, Virginia

Fishing pier at Virginia Beach
Pier at Virginia Beach | Jeff Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

Virginia Beach has topped the list for at least the last three years when it comes to being one of the top ten hardest-working cities. There’s more to the third-largest city in Virginia than just being a beautiful resort town, there’s about 23,000 acres of farmland in the city making agriculture its third-largest industry. Looks like people are doing more than just taking vacations on the shores of Virginia.

Next: Howdy, y’ all.

5. Plano, Texas

Shops at Plano, Texas
Plano, Texas | Gary Fink/iStock/Getty Images

The second Texas city to top the list of hardest working cities in America, Plano is another suburb of Dallas. It’s no surprise to see it on the list, since Plano’s home to the headquarters of several Fortune 1000 companies, including J.C. Penney, Keurig-Dr. Pepper, Rent-a-Center, and Cinemark Holdings.

Next: A mile-high work ethic.

6. Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado skyline
Denver, Colorado | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The mile high city is home to ski enthusiasts, adventurers, and, it turns out, extremely hard workers. Coming in at No. 6 on the list, Denver, Colorado has a pretty robust economy with companies in a range of industries including aeronautical, tech, and of course, skiing and tourism.

Next: It was a close match…

7. Aurora, Colorado

Denver, Colorado
Aurora is part of the Denver metroplex | RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/iStock?Getty Images

Denver, Colorado just narrowly beat its suburban sister Aurora for the No. 6 spot. Aurora is the third largest city in Colorado and is part of the Denver metroplex and has an industrial history. It used to be home to saw and textile mills, and later to factories that built railroad cars. The Caterpillar plant is still there, along with 150 other manufacturers in the area.

Next: It’s like Dallas for hipsters

8. Austin, Texas

Austin skyline at sunrise
Austin, Texas | RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Don’t let the chill hipster vibe of Austin, Texas fool you. The city is full of hard-working and industrious people, which is why it’s No. 8 on the list. But sometimes too much work comes with a few downsides. As for leisure time, the city ranked low at 44 and came in at No. 50 for average commute time.

Next: Looking to cut down on your commute time?

9. Cheyenne, Wyoming

Downtown Cheyenne
Cheyenne, Wyoming | Dominic Chavez/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Cheyenne, Wyoming came in ninth overall but first for having the shortest commute time of just 14 minutes. It’s only fitting since it’s probably easier to work longer when you don’t have to fight traffic for an hour each way every time you work. It may also be that Cheyenne is a product of the state of Wyoming since the state has maintained one of the highest employment rates over the last decade, according to WalletHub.

Next: This city knows how to attract new employers.

10. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Falls Park
Falls Park in Sioux Falls, South Dakota | Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

Coming in at a respectable tenth place is Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Top industries in the area are biomedical, finance/banking, advanced manufacturing, transportation, data centers, and food processing. The city is appealing to employers since it doesn’t have personal or corporate state income tax, personal property tax, inheritance tax, or inventory tax. ¬†

Next: We’ve already seen two of its suburbs …

11. Dallas, Texas

Downtown Dallas, Texas
Dallas, Texas | Ben Torres/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Coming in behind two of its suburbs, Irving and Plano, is Dallas, Texas. While Dallas ranked No. 9 overall in the direct factors category, it ranked significantly lower (No. 56) in the indirect factors category. Dallas residents spend a little more time commuting than some other cities on this list, which likely affected the indirect factors ranking.

Next: Virginia is for workers.

12. Norfolk, Virginia

Norfolk, Virginia skyline
Norfolk, Virginia | Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

The second city to make the list from Virginia is Norfolk. It has a five percent unemployment rate, which is higher than the national average and might contribute to the work ethic of the 96 percent of the population that is employed. While the average worker in Norfolk has a commute that’s shorter than the national average, 1.41% of workers have a commute longer than 90 minutes (or a “super commute”), according to DataUSA.

Next: Texas coming in strong.

13. Corpus Christi, Texas

Aerial view of Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi, Texas | RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/iStock/Getty Images

Coming in 13th overall and fifth for the great state of Texas is Corpus Christi. The city interestingly enough came in second for average hours in a work week, 51st for share of households where no adults work, and 44th for average leisure time spent per day. Some of the largest industries in Corpus Christi include health care & social assistance, retail, and construction.

Next: An intern’s work is never done.

14. Washington D.C.

Aerial view of Washington DC
Washington, DC | SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

With the number of people who work around the clock on shows like House of Cards, you’d think Washington D.C. would be higher up on the list. But, according to WalletHub, it’s earned the 14th spot on the list of hardest working American cities. The average DC worker has a longer-than-average commute time and a whopping 2.38 percent of the workforce has a super commute of over 90 minutes.

Next: We get it, Texas. You work a lot.

15. Fort Worth, Texas

Fort Worth skyline
Fort Worth, Texas | David Kozlowski/Getty Images

Dallas’s next door neighbor just barely squeezed into the top 15, coming in sixth for the state of Texas. It still beat out Arlington and Garland, which came in Nos. 19 and 20, respectively.

So now that we’ve seen where the hard workers live, where are all the slackers? These are the five American cities that are the least hardworking, according to WalletHub’s research:

5. Newark, New Jersey

Newark skyline
Newark, New Jersey | Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Newark, New Jersey, which came in at No. 112 out of 116, is better at not working too hard than New York City, which came in at No. 73. We assume people in Newark are too busy enjoying the rich cultural offerings the city has to offer to worry about a pesky nuisance like work.

Next: They’re probably too busy listening to rock and roll.

4. Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland skyline
Cleveland, Ohio | Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

Don’t feel too bad about being targeted as the fourth least hardworking city in America, Cleveland. At least you’re No. 5 for nightlife. (Which, come to think of it, might not be a coincidence…)

Next: Snow days for everyone!

3. Buffalo, New York

Buffalo skyline
Buffalo, NY | Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

Although Buffalo, NY has a reputation for being a blue-collar town, the City of Good Neighbors might be spending more time hardly working instead of working hard. Maybe residents are just snowed in too often to work hard in Buffalo, which came in third to last on the list of the most hardworking cities in America.

Next: Those fall leaves are pretty distracting …

2. Burlington, Vermont

Church Street in Burlington, Vermont
Church Street in Burlington, VT | Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

It’s hard to fault the good people of Burlington for not working when they’re so close to Lake Champlain and have such great shops and restaurants. We probably wouldn’t work more than we had to if we lived there either.

Next: You’d better lose yourself …

1. Detroit, Michigan

Detroit skyline
Detroit, Michigan | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

The recession hit Detroit hard, and it’s still bouncing back over a decade later. It’s last on the list overall and is also last for households with no working adults. But hey, Detroit will always have Eminem to get them through the hard times.