Mental illnesses are among the most common health conditions in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But for many people, the stigma that surrounds these disorders can lead to loneliness and isolation.
That's where mental health statistics come in. Taking in the data about mental illness can help us better understand who is affected by these conditions and just how common they are.
Read on to learn more mental health facts and stats.
What Causes Mental Illness?
There’s no one cause of mental illness — rather, there are many factors that can increase a person’s risk for developing one, according to the CDC. These risk factors include:
- A traumatic event that occurred early in a person’s life (such as abuse or witnessing violence)
- Chemical imbalances in the brain
- Having a chronic medical condition like cancer
- Using alcohol or drugs
- Feeling alone
Mental Health Statistics Worldwide
Mental illnesses are common conditions, both in the U.S. and worldwide. Nearly 1 billion people have a mental health condition, according to a November 2018 systematic analysis in The Lancet, with anxiety and depression being the most prevalent.
According to a January 2014 study in Depression and Anxiety, the rates of these conditions have remained relatively constant since the 1990s.
Here's a closer look, broken down by people assigned female at birth (AFAB) and people assigned male at birth (AMAB):
- Worldwide, anxiety disorders affect about 5.2% of people AFAB and 2.8% of those AMAB.
- Major depressive disorder affects about 5.5% of people AFAB and 3.3% of those AMAB.
Anxiety Disorder Statistics in People AFAB by Region
Here are the percentages of people assigned female at birth who have anxiety disorders around the world:
- Asia: 2.7% to 6.1% (rates are higher in Central Asia than East Asia)
- Australasia: 7.1%
- Caribbean: 6.4%
- Europe: 4.1% to 7% (rates are higher in Central Europe than Eastern Europe)
- Latin America: 5.5% to 7.1% (rates are higher in Southern Latin America than Central Latin America)
- North Africa/Middle East: 8.1%
- North America: 7.5%
- Oceania: 5.3%
- Sub-Saharan Africa: 5.2% to 7% (rates are higher in East Africa than South or West Africa)
Anxiety Disorder Statistics in People AMAB by Region
Here's a look at how many people assigned male at birth have anxiety disorders around the world:
- Asia: 1.5% to 3.9% (rates are higher in Central Asia than East Asia)
- Australasia: 3.7%
- Caribbean: 4.1%
- Europe: 2.3% to 4.1% (rates are higher in Central Europe than Eastern Europe)
- Latin America: 3.1% to 4.7% (rates are higher in the Andean region of Latin America than Central Latin America)
- North Africa/Middle East: 4.1%
- North America: 4%
- Oceania: 3.4%
- Sub-Saharan Africa: 2.8% to 4.7% (rates are higher in Central Africa than South or West Africa)
Depression Statistics in People AFAB by Region
Here's a breakdown of how common depression is around the world among people assigned female at birth:
- Asia: 3.2% to 6.2% (rates are higher in Southeast and Central Asia than Pacific Asia)
- Australasia: 4.2%
- Caribbean: 6.5%
- Europe: 5.1% to 7.2% (rates are higher in Eastern Europe than Central Europe)
- Latin America: 5.5% to 6.8% (rates are higher in Central Latin America than Tropical Latin America)
- North Africa/Middle East: 9.2%
- North America: 5.6%
- Oceania: 5.9%
- Sub-Saharan Africa: 5.3% to 7.1% (rates are higher in Western Africa than Central Africa)
Depression Statistics in People AMAB by Region
Here's a snapshot of how many people assigned male at birth have depression worldwide:
- Asia: 1.9% to 3.6% (rates are higher in Central and Southeast Asia than Pacific Asia)
- Australasia: 2.5%
- Caribbean: 3.8%
- Europe: 3.1% to 4.3% (rates are higher in Eastern Europe than Central Europe)
- Latin America: 3.3% to 4.1% (rates are higher in Tropical Latin America than Central Latin America)
- North Africa/Middle East: 5.6%
- North America: 3.3%
- Oceania: 3.5%
- Sub-Saharan Africa: 3.1% to 4.2% (rates are higher in Central Africa than West Africa)
Worldwide Mortality Rate of Mental Illness
People with mental illnesses may be at risk of dying by suicide. Here are some statistics about suicide around the world, from the World Health Organization:
- About 800,000 people die due to suicide every year.
- A person dies by suicide every 40 seconds.
- For every 1 adult who dies by suicide, an estimated 20 people attempt suicide.
- 79% of suicides occurred in low- and middle-income countries in 2016.
- 1.4% of all deaths worldwide in 2016 were attributable to suicide.
- Globally, suicide was the 18th leading cause of death in 2016.
Mental Health Statistics for the United States
Nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. — or an estimated 51.5 million people — has a mental illness. Here's a look at who is most vulnerable to mental disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH):
Stats by Sex
Mental illness affects:
- 24.5% of people AFAB
- 16.3% of people AMAB
Stats by Race
In the U.S., mental illness affects the following racial and ethnic groups:
- 18% of Hispanic or Latino/as
- 22.2% of whites
- 17.3% of Black or African Americans
- 14.4% of Asian Americans
- 16.6% of Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders
- 18.7% of American Indians/Alaskan Natives
- 31.7% of non-Hispanic mixed/multiracial Americans
Stats by Age
In the U.S., mental illness affects:
- 29.4% of people ages 18 to 25
- 25% of people ages 26 to 49
- 14% of people ages 50 and older
Stats by Sexual Orientation
Mental illness also affects the LGBTQ community. According to a 2018 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), mental illness affects:
- 5.7 million LGB adults ages 18 and older (about 44.1% of the population)
Mental Health Statistics by State and Territory
Here's a breakdown by state*, according to 2017 to 2018 statistics from the Kaiser Family Foundation, of the percentage of adults who reported having a mental illness in the past year:
- Alaska: 20.5%
- Arizona: 19.2%
- Arkansas: 20.3%
- California: 18.5%
- Colorado: 21.5%
- Connecticut: 19%
- Delaware: 20%
- District of Columbia: 22.2%
- Florida: 17.4%
- Georgia: 18.1%
- Hawaii: 17.6%
- Idaho: 24.5%
- Illinois: 18.1%
- Indiana: 22.5%
- Iowa: 19.9%
- Kansas: 19.6%
- Kentucky: 22.1%
- Louisiana: 20.6%
- Maine: 20.8%
- Maryland: 17%
- Massachusetts: 21.2%
- Michigan: 19.2%
- Minnesota: 19.3%
- Mississippi: 19.5%
- Missouri: 21.4%
- Montana: 20%
- Nebraska: 18.1%
- Nevada: 20.7%
- New Hampshire: 20.6%
- New Jersey: 16.1%
- New Mexico: 19.1%
- New York: 18.3%
- North Carolina: 18.8%
- North Dakota: 19.1%
- Ohio: 21.4%
- Oklahoma: 20.4%
- Oregon: 22.5%
- Pennsylvania: 18.2%
- Rhode Island: 21.3%
- South Carolina: 18.3%
- South Dakota: 17.5%
- Tennessee: 18.3%
- Texas: 16.2%
- Utah: 25.3%
- Vermont: 20.7%
- Virginia: 17.4%
- Washington: 22.2%
- West Virginia: 23.8%
- Wisconsin: 19.3%
- Wyoming: 20.3%
*Data available for 50 states
U.S. Mortality Rate of Mental Illness
Suicide is a major public health concern, according to the NIMH, and is on the rise in certain groups. Here is what this looks like in the U.S., according to the CDC.
- About 47,511 people died by suicide in the U.S. in 2019.
- Suicide was the second leading cause of death in 2013 among teenagers and young adults ages 15 to 24.
- People AMAB ages 18 to 24 were more likely than their AFAB counterparts to die by suicide.
- People AMAB and American Indian/Alaskan Native were more than twice as likely to kill themselves as people of other races, ethnicities and sexes.
- About 12 million people ages 18 or older reported having serious suicidal thoughts in the past year, according to a 2019 SAMHSA report.
- About 40% of transgender people have attempted suicide in their lifetime, according to a 2015 report by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Prevalence of Mental Illness by Occupation
People with mental illnesses can have difficulty finding — and staying in — jobs. Here's how a person's mental health status can affect their work, according to an October 2014 paper in Psychiatric Services:
- About 38.1% of people who had a serious mental illness were employed full-time from 2009 to 2010. About 61.7% of people without a mental illness were employed full-time. (People with and without mental illnesses were equally likely to be employed part-time.)
- Adults with serious mental illnesses were about twice as likely to be out of the labor force.
- About 38.5% of people with moderate or serious mental illnesses earned less than $10,000 in income; 23.1% of people without mental illnesses earned less than $10,000.
- 40.7% of people with serious mental illnesses reported missing or skipping a day of work; only 21.5% of people without mental illnesses reported doing the same.
Mental Health Data by Condition
Mental illness can range in severity from mild to severe and includes conditions such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD and substance use disorder. Here are some facts about these conditions in the U.S.
Anxiety disorders — including general anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder and panic disorder — are the most prevalent mental illnesses in the U.S., according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Here's what this looks like in more detail:
- An estimated 19.1% of adults in the U.S. had an anxiety disorder in the past year, according to data from 2001 to 2003.
- People AFAB were more likely to have anxiety than people AMAB (23.4% compared to 14.3%).
- About 31.1% of U.S. adults will have anxiety at some point in their lifetime.
Depression — also called major depression — is one of the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., according to the NIMH. People who experience depression tend to have a loss of interest in daily activities or have trouble sleeping, eating or concentrating for at least two weeks.
Here's a breakdown of who tends to develop depression, and how it's treated in the U.S.:
- An estimated 19.4 million adults in the U.S. (about 7.8% of the population) had depression in 2019, according to the 2019 SAMHSA report.
- People AFAB (8.7%) were more likely to have depression than those AMAB (5.3%) in 2017, according to the NIMH.
- An estimated 65% of adults who had depression received treatment for their condition in 2017; about 35% did not.
- Of the people who received treatment in 2017, 44% of them were treated by a health professional and took medication; 6% of them just received medication; and 15% just spoke to a health professional.
Schizophrenia is a disorder in which a person experiences symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions and unusual thoughts. Left untreated, schizophrenia can be severe and potentially disabling.
Here are a few facts about the disorder, according to the NIMH.
- Schizophrenia and other related psychotic disorders affect between 0.25% and 0.64% of U.S. adults.
- People with schizophrenia live, on average, an estimated 28.5 years less than people without the disorder.
- About 4.9% of people with schizophrenia commit suicide each year.
- About 1 in 2 people who have schizophrenia also have another mental or behavioral disorder.
Bipolar Disorder Statistics
Also known as manic-depressive disorder, bipolar disorder is characterized by pendulum-like shifts in mood and energy levels. Here are a few facts about the condition, from the NIMH:
- An estimated 4.4% of adults in the U.S. experience bipolar disorder at some point in their lives.
- Among adults with bipolar disorder, approximately 82.9% of them had a serious impairment in the past year, according to stats from 2001 to 2003.
- About 2.9% of children ages 13 to 18 had bipolar disorder, according to stats from 2001 to 2003.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after experiencing a traumatic event, such as an assault, natural disaster or other type of violent encounter. People who have PTSD may feel detached, or be easily startled, and can have trouble functioning in society, according to the NIMH.
Here are some statistics about PTSD:
- An estimated 3.6% of adults in the U.S. had PTSD in the past year, according to stats from 2001 to 2003. Of these individuals, an estimated 36.6% had a serious impairment.
- An estimated 5% of children ages 13 to 18 had PTSD, with 1.5% of them having a severe impairment. Young people AFAB were more likely to have PTSD (8%) than those AMAB (2.3%).
Substance Use Disorder Statistics
Adults who are coping with a mental illness — especially a serious one — are more likely to misuse drugs such as marijuana and opioids than people without a mental illness, according to the 2019 report from SAMHSA.
Here are some of the substances that people with mental illnesses turned to in the past year:
- 32.5% used marijuana
- 8.8% misused opioids (i.e., heroin or prescription pain killers)
- 30.9% binged alcohol
- 27.2% smoked cigarettes
In 2019, 4.2 million people ages 12 and older received treatment for substance use; 2.6 million received treatment at a specialty facility.
Is This an Emergency?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Learn About Mental Health"
- Depression and Anxiety: "Challenging the Myth of an 'Epidemic' of Common Mental Disorders: Trends in the Global Prevalence of Anxiety and Depression Between 1990 and 2010"
- World Health Organization: "Mental Health and Substance Use: Suicide Data"
- National Institute of Mental Health: "Mental Illness"
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: "2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual (LGB) Adults"
- Kaiser Family Foundation: "Mental Health and Substance Use State Fact Sheet"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Racial and Gender Disparities in Suicide Among Young Adults Aged 18-24: United States, 2009-2013"
- National Center for Transgender Equality: "The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey"
- Psychiatric Services: "The Employment Status of People With Mental Illness: National Survey Data From 2009 and 2010"
- National Alliance on Mental Illness: "Anxiety Disorders"
- National Institute of Mental Health: "Any Anxiety Disorder"
- National Institute of Mental Health: "Major Depression"
- National Institute of Mental Health: "Schizophrenia"
- National Institute of Mental Health: "Bipolar Disorder"
- National Institute of Mental Health: "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder"
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: "Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results From the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health"
- The Lancet: "Global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and years lived with disability for 354 diseases and injuries for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2017: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017"