Depression Statistics Everyone Should Know (2023)

Depression affects people from all walks of life, no matter their background. It can affect people of all ages as well. Unfortunately, there’s still a stigma that surrounds mental health issues,and some people view disorders like depression as a weakness. But, similar to the way anyone can develop certain physical health issues, mental health issues aren’t always preventable.

Understanding the latest depression statistics could increase awareness about mental health, and recognizing how widespread it is could also help reduce the stigma—which might encourage more people to seek treatment.

Major Depressive Episodes

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) defines a major depressive episode as at least two weeks of a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities, as well as at least five other symptoms, such as:

  • Sleep issues on an almost daily basis (either difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much)
  • Changes in appetite and weight (change of more than 5% body weight in a month) or a decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day
  • Decreased energy or fatigue almost every day
  • Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and thinking clearly
  • Psychomotor agitation or retardation that is observable by others (slow physical movements or unintentional or purposeless motions)
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, a suicide attempt, or a specific plan for suicide

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

The symptoms must cause significant distress or impairment in a person’s social, occupational, or educational functioning.

There’s no single cause of depression, according to research. Brain chemistry, hormones, genetics, life experiences, and physical health can all play a role.


Depression can begin at any age and it can affect people of all races and across all socioeconomic statuses. Here are some of the statistics on the demographics of people with depression:

  • The median age of depression onset is 32.5 years old.
  • The prevalence of adults with a major depressive episode is highest among individuals between 18 and 25.
  • 11.3% of adults who report two or more races have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year.
  • 8.7% of women have depression.
  • 5.3% of men have depression.

A survey conducted by the CDC found that the prevalence of depression decreases among adults as family income levels increase.

While they don't speculate as to the cause, it may be that increased income results in less money-related stress and improved access to mental health services.

The survey also revealed that prevalence rates among men and women have been fairly consistent over the last decade.

Research has shown that women experience depression at roughly twice the rate as men. While the exact causes of this gender disparity are unclear, this increased prevalence in women is often linked to factors such as hormones, life circumstances, and stress.

Why Some People Are More Prone to Depression

(Video) Depression Statistics Everyone Should Know


While anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., depression isn’t far behind. The most recent depression statistics include:

  • As of 2017, 300 million people around the world have depression, according to the World Health Organization.
  • According to data from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health,17.3 million adults in the United States—equaling 7.1% of all adults in the country—have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year.
  • 11 million U.S. adults experienced an episode that resulted in severe impairment in the past year.
  • Nearly 50% of all people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.

It’s estimated that 15% of the adult population will experience depression at some point in their lifetime.

Seasonal Depression

Depressive disorder with seasonal pattern (formerly known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD) is a pattern of depressive episodes that occur in line with seasonal changes. Most commonly, it is diagnosed in winter in people who live in colder climates. Summer-type seasonal pattern, while possible, is less often diagnosed.

Here are the latest statistics on depressive disorders with seasonal patterns:

  • Approximately 5% of the U.S. population experiences seasonal depression in any given year.
  • Four out of five people with seasonal depression are women.
  • The average age of onset is between 20 and 30 years old.

Postpartum Depression

It’s common for women to experience stress, sadness, loneliness, and exhaustion after giving birth. But some women experience postpartum depression that makes it difficult for them to care for themselves or their babies after giving birth. Here are the statistics on postpartum depression:

  • One in seven women experiences postpartum depression.
  • Half of all women diagnosed with postpartum depression have never had an episode of depression before.
  • About half of all women who are eventually diagnosed with postpartum depression began experiencing symptoms during pregnancy.

Suicide and Self-Harm

Untreated depression increases a person's risk of suicide. Here are the latest statistics on suicide:

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • It’s the second leading cause of death among people ages 10–34.
  • Over 47,000 Americans die by suicide each year.
  • 40% of all people who complete suicide have made at least one previous attempt.
  • Individuals with substance abuse disorders are six times more likely to complete suicide than people who don’t have drug or alcohol problems.
  • Eight out of 10 people considering suicide give some signs of their intentions.
  • Women attempt suicide more than twice as often as men.
  • Men are four times as likely to die by suicide.
  • Firearms account for 51% of all suicide deaths
  • 492,037 individuals visited hospitals in the United States due to self-harm in 2017.

U.S. Suicide Rates and Statistics

Rates in Children and Adolescents

Depression can begin during childhood or during the teenage years. Similar to the prevalence rates in adults, girls are more likely to experience depression than boys. There’s a sharp increase in depression in girls just after puberty.

Although there has been a rise in teenage depression, according to a 2016American Academy of Pediatrics study, there has not been a corresponding increase in treatment for teenagers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends regular depression screening for all adolescents 12 and over, given that the symptoms of depressionare often missed by adults such as parents, teachers, and even doctors.

Here are the most recent depression statistics in children and adolescents:

  • 3.1 million young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have experienced at least one major depressive episode in the past year in the United States.
  • 2% to 3% of children ages 6 to 12 may have serious depression.
  • 20% of adolescent girls have experienced a major depressive episode.
  • 6.8% of adolescent boys have experienced a major depressive episode.
  • 71% of adolescents who experienced a major depressive episode in the past yearexperienced a severe impairment.
  • 60% of children and adolescents with depression are not getting any type of treatment.
  • 19% of children with depression saw a health care professional for treatment.

The Consequences of Untreated Depression in Children

Economic Impact

Depression takes an economic toll on individuals, families, organizations, and society as a whole. It can lead to reduced educational attainment, lower earning potential, and higher rates of unemployment:

(Video) Why Depression Is So Common in Younger Generations [Gen Z]

  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.
  • The total economic burden of depression is estimated to be $210.5 billion per year.
  • 48% to 50% of the economic costs are attributed to absences from work as well as decreased productivity caused by depression.
  • 45% to 47% of the costs are due to medical expenses, such as outpatient and inpatient treatment or the costs of medication.

Treatment Effectiveness

Depression is very treatable. But, only about half of all Americans who are diagnosed with depression in a given year get treatment. Those who do seek treatment wait months or years to get help.

Many individuals with depression who seek treatment are under-treated. Studies consistently show a combination of talk therapy and medication can be most effective in treating depression.

Here are the latest statistics on depression treatment:

  • Only 1 in 5 people receive treatment consistent with current practice guidelines.
  • 35% of adults with depression receive no treatment at all.

Talk to a Professional Online About Your Condition


If you have symptoms of depression, there are resources available that can help:

If you or a loved one are struggling with depression, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

A Word From Verywell

If you suspect you have depression, talk to your healthcare provider. A physician can assess your symptoms and can provide you with a referral to a specialist if necessary. You can also contact a mental health professional directly to discuss treatment options.

If you suspect someone you know has depression, address your concerns. They may be willing to seek treatment if you bring up the subject. And treatment could save someone’s life.

4 Sources

(Video) What Anyone Who Hasn't Had Depression Should Know | MedCircle

Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

  2. Dragisic T, Dickov A, Dickov V, Mijatovic V. Drug addiction as risk for suicide attempts. Mater Sociomed. 2015;27(3):188-91. doi:10.5455/msm.2015.27.188-191

  3. Mojtabai R, Olfson M, Han B. National trends in the prevalence and treatment of depression in adolescents and young adults. Pediatrics. 2016;138(6). doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1878

  4. Greenberg PE, Fournier AA, Sisitsky T, Pike CT, Kessler RC. The economic burden of adults with major depressive disorder in the United States (2005 and 2010). J Clin Psychiatry. 2015;76(2):155-62. doi:10.4088/JCP.14m09298

Additional Reading

Depression Statistics Everyone Should Know (1)

By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk, "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.

(Video) What is depression? - Helen M. Farrell

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What should everyone know about depression? ›

Depression is a condition characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and often worthlessness, accompanied by both physical and mental symptoms. Depression can best be described as sadness that can take over your life and impact your daily activities, causing you to not function as you normally would.

What does statistics say about depression? ›

According to 2021 research, depression with psychotic features affects: about 4 in every 1,000 adults. between 14 and 30 adults over age 60.

What percentage of people will suffer from depression? ›

Approximately 9.5% of American adults ages 18 and over, will suffer from a depressive illness (major depression, bipolar disorder, or dysthymia) each year. Women are nearly twice as likely to suffer from major depression than men. However, men and women are equally likely to develop bipolar disorder.

What percentage of people in the world are depressed? ›

It's estimated that one-in-three women and one-in-five men have an episode of major depression by the age of 65. Depression is one of the most common health conditions globally. It's estimated that between two to six percent of people in the world have experienced depression in the past year.

What are 5 facts about depression? ›

5 Facts About Depression
  • Depression comes in many forms. ...
  • Depression is treatable. ...
  • There are a lot of myths about antidepressants. ...
  • There's a stigma with depression — as with every mental illness. ...
  • Remission is possible.
Mar 28, 2022

What are 2 facts about depression? ›

Key facts
  • Depression is a common mental disorder. ...
  • Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
  • More women are affected by depression than men.
  • Depression can lead to suicide.
Sep 13, 2021

What are the top 3 causes of depression? ›

Causes - Clinical depression
  • Stressful events. Most people take time to come to terms with stressful events, such as bereavement or a relationship breakdown. ...
  • Personality. ...
  • Family history. ...
  • Giving birth. ...
  • Loneliness. ...
  • Alcohol and drugs. ...
  • Illness.

What percentage of depressed people recover? ›

You need to know that you're not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 19 million Americans are living with depression right now. And treatment works. The National Mental Health Association says that more than 80% of people who get treatment say it helps.

Who is most at risk for depression? ›

It's mainly found in those with low self-esteem, who have a poor outlook, or who feel overwhelmed by stress. Depression is also more common in people with anxiety or other mental health problems. Teens who have tried to self-harm by the age of 16 have a higher risk of having depression by the time they're young adults.

Why should we be more aware of depression? ›

Raising awareness about depression is vital for ending stigmas surrounding it and other mental health disorders. Depression awareness also helps people understand that they are not alone and that many support systems are available to help them tackle this disease.

Why do we need to talk about depression? ›

But talking about depression can be a key step in the recovery process. Most people feel better after talking to someone who cares about them. And it can also be the catalyst for a significant shift in how society views and addresses depression.

Why is it important to study depression? ›

The study of depression focuses on neuroscience, reflecting the essential characteristics of depression as a category of mental illness and better reflecting the fact that depression is an important link in the human public health care.

What is the importance of depression? ›

Depression and associated mental disorders can have a profound effect on all aspects of life, including performance at school, productivity at work, relationships with family and friends, and ability to participate in the community.


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