Becoming familiar with statistics on depression can help provide a better understanding of who depression affects and how many people receive treatment for depression, among other things. Major depression affects about 8 percent of the U.S. population ages 18 and older in a given year. It appears to occur at similar rates in large metropolitan areas, small metropolitan areas, and non-metropolitan areas -- but does vary by annual family income. One in four women will experience depression at some point in life.
An Overview of Depression Statistics
- Major depressive disorder (also known as major depression, clinical depression, or unipolar depression)
- Dysthymic disorder
- Bipolar disorder.
A person with any of these mood disorders will have at some point experienced symptoms of depression. In a given year, over 20 million American adults have a mood disorder. The median age of onset for mood disorders is 30 years.
Below are some general statistics from the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) related to these conditions.
- Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people ages 15 to 44.
- Major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.1 million American adults, or about 8 percent of the U.S. population ages 18 and older, in a given year.
- While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32.5.
- Major depressive disorder is about twice as common in women as it is in men (see Depression in Men).