Insight /

Depression Statistics: The State of Mental Health

People from all walks of life and different socioeconomic statuses can be affected by depression. Analyzing and understanding the impact reflected in the most recent depression statistics will help raise mental health awareness and reduce stigmatization.

Major Depressive
Disorders Statistics

  • In the previous year, 11 million adults in the U.S. had a major depressive episode that severely impaired them (National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 2017)
  • Sleep disturbances affect 80% of people with major depressive disorder. (Sciencedirect, 2014)
  • Around 80% of American older adults have at least one chronic condition, whereas 50% have two or more. (CDC, 2021) 
  • Less than 1% to around 5% of older Americans living in the community are depressed. (CDC, 2021) 
  • Depression levels rise to 11.5% among hospitalized elders and 13.5% among those who need home healthcare. (CDC, 2021) 

& Young People

  • Across the world, there are twice as many deaths by suicide than to homicide (Our World in Data)
  • Globally there are more deaths to suicide than to malaria, breast cancer, or war and homicide (WHO

Depression & the Elderly

  • Older adults have a suicide rate that is more than 50% higher than the national average. Untreated or misdiagnosed depression is responsible for up to two-thirds of older adult suicides. (Western Michigan University, 2015)

Women & Depression

Economic Impact

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and contributes significantly to the global disease burden (World Health Organization, 2020)
  • Following only family problems, mental health (depression, grief, and behavioral conduct) is the second most common workplace concern (SHRM, 2019)

Depression & Suicide

  • About two-thirds of the 30,000 suicides recorded each year in the U.S. are due to depression and lack of professional help (, 2000)
  • Depression or bipolar disorder affects 30% to 70% of those who commit suicide (Mental Health America, 2020)
  • Suicidal ideation is on the rise among adults. From 2016-2017 to 2017-2018, the number of adults in the United States with severe suicidal thoughts increased by 0.15% more than the previous year’s data (Mental Health America, 2021)

Economic Impact

  • In recent years, the number of people seeking professional treatment for anxiety and depression has risen dramatically. Between January and September of 2020 315,220 people completed anxiety screening, which is a 93% increase from the previous year. 534,784 people did a depression screening, and there was a 62% improvement over the estimated number of depression screenings in 2019. (Mental Health America, 2021)
  • Before the age of 75, 1 out of every 13 people in the world will have a depressive episode (National Library of Medicine, 2016)
  • Mental disorders became more common among adults even before COVID-19. In 2017-2018, 19% of adults had a mental disorder. That’s a 1.5 million increase from the previous year. (Mental Health America, 2021)
  • Each year, 1.5% of U.S. adults experience persistent feelings of intense sadness and hopelessness, as well as low energy and indecisiveness (National Institute of Mental Health, 2003)
  • 9.3% of people seek help in a physician office with depression indicated on the medical record (National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, 2016)

Behavioral Health Access
and Treatments Vendors

Depression Co-Occurring with Other Medical Conditions

  • Between 10%-20% of adults would visit their primary care physician during a depressive or anxiety disorder episode in any given 12-month span. About half of them suffer from a comorbid, depressive, or anxiety disorder. (Psycom, 2021)

Symptoms & Treatment for Depression

  • Within 4 to 6 weeks after starting psychotherapy, attending support groups, or combining these therapies, up to 80% of people who receive treatment for depression see an improvement in their symptoms (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, 1998)
  • Despite the high success rate of therapy, almost two out of every three people who suffer from depression do not actively pursue or receive treatment (DBSA, 1996)
  • Medical non-compliance is thought to be the cause of half of all failed depression treatments. Patients quit taking their medicine too quickly because of unpleasant side effects, financial constraints, addiction concerns, and/or a temporary change in symptoms, causing them to feel that treatment is no longer required. (National Library of Medicine, 2004)
  • Participating in a DBSA patient-to-patient support group increased treatment adherence by nearly 86% and decreased in-patient hospitalization. Participants in support groups are 86% more likely to get help, take drugs, and deal with side effects. (DBSA, 1999)
  • In the 2017-2018 school year, 60% of youth with severe depression did not undergo mental health treatment. Over 38% of people do not receive the mental health treatment they need. (Mental Health America, 2021)
  • Less than 50% of those suffering from depression in the world receive treatment (World Health Organization, 2020)
  • Antidepressant medications and psychological therapy are the most popular treatment options. After six to eight weeks, 40 to 60 people out of 100 adults with moderate to extreme depression, who took antidepressants, reported improved symptoms. (National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2020)
  • Although there are successful therapies for mental illnesses, between 76% and 85% of people in low- and middle-income countries do not seek help and receive treatment (World Health Organization, 2020)
  • Within 1 to 2 years, about 23 out of 100 people who took an antidepressant relapsed (National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2020)


Survey data and depression statistics help measure the community’s mental health needs, access to care, and outcomes. Providing information and knowledge about inequalities faced by people with mental illnesses is a catalyst for improvement.