Depression Home > Depression Statistics

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

There are three major types of mood disorders:
 
  • 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
 
  • 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).
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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