Depression is a mental health disorder that is characterised by feelings of sadness, anxiety, hopelessness and many other psychological and physical symptoms. Depression can affect people of all ages, genders and backgrounds.
Part of understanding the realities of depression is to get to terms with some of the research and statistics on the topic, separate from general mental health statistics. To help you develop awareness around depression, we’ve listed some depression facts and figures from leading organisations in mental health and public health.
On this page:
- Approximately 280 million people in the world have depression 
- Globally, it is estimated that 5% of adults suffer from depression 
- 19% of adults reported that they had been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives, including postnatal depression. This was the most frequently reported diagnosis 
- The prevalence of depression in UK adults is estimated to be 4.5% 
- Mild depression accounts for 70% of all cases. Moderate depression accounts for 20% and severe depression, 10% 
- The total number of people living with depression increased by 18.4% between 2005 and 2015 
- Including postnatal depression, 24% of women report having had depression at some stage in their life, compared with 13% of men 
- Depression occurs in 2.1% of young people aged 5-19 
- In 2017, 0.3% of 5-10 year old children met clinical criteria for depression, as did 2.7% of 11-16 year olds and 4.8% of 17-19 year olds 
- Up to 90% of children and young people recover from depression within the first year 
- 7% of adults older than 60 years suffer from depression 
- Depression is responsible for 109 million lost working days every year in England, at a cost of £9 billion to the economy 
- For every £1 spent by employers on mental health interventions, they get £5 back in reduced absence, presenteeism and staff turnover 
- It is estimated that depression is two to three times more common in people with a chronic physical health problem 
- Nearly one-third of patients with major depressive disorder also have substance use disorders 
- Research finds that 32-39% of people with anorexia nervosa, 36-50% of people with bulimia nervosa, and 33% of people with binge eating disorder (BED) are also diagnosed with major depressive disorder 
- Around 1 in 5 (21%) adults experienced some form of depression in early 2021 (27th January to 7th March); this is an increase since November 2020 (19%) and more than double that observed before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (10%) 
- Younger adults and women were more likely to experience some form of depression in that same period, with over 4 in 10 (43%) women aged 16 to 29 years experiencing depressive symptoms, compared with 26% of men of the same age 
- In early 2021, disabled (39%) and clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) adults (31%) were more likely to experience some form of depression than non-disabled (13%) and non-CEV adults (20%) 
See other statistics:
Treatment for depression
No matter what type of depression you’re struggling with, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Help is available and we can support you every step of the way towards getting your life back on track.
Our highly qualified specialists have extensive experience treating all types of depression. You’ll benefit from a personalised treatment plan which will help you to address your personal challenges and pave the way towards a healthy and happy future.
We offer lots of different options for depression treatment at Priory, ranging from intensive inpatient stays, to weekly therapy sessions that fit in with your life and work commitments - including from the comfort of your own home with online therapy.
Remember - depression is a mental illness, not a sign of weakness, and it’s possible for you to make a full and lasting recovery.