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Stress is a phenomenon that arises as a response to a difficult situation. Stress is something we all experience in our lives, as we react to external factors going on around us. You might experience stress when up against a tight deadline at work or when experiencing financial difficulties.

Stress is a natural response to scenarios that occur in our lives and it’s probably more common than you think. Below are a collection of facts and statistics about stress, collated from leading organisations and charities in mental health and public health.

On this page:

PrevalenceDemographicsIn the workplaceCauses of stress | Coping with stress


  • The overwhelming majority (79%) of UK adults feel stressed at least one day a month. [1]
  • One in every 14 people (7%) in the UK say they feel stressed every single day. One in five UK adults (21%) say they never feel stressed. [1]
  • 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. [2]
  • 32% of adults said they had experienced suicidal feelings as a result of stress. [2]
  • In 2020, Peru was found to be the most stressed country in the world. When interviewed, 66% of Peruvians said they had experienced a lot of stress the previous day. [3]
  • 51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed, and 61% reported feeling anxious. [2]



  • On average, women in the UK say they feel stressed approximately ten days each month, whereas men say they experience stress for an average of seven days a month. [1]
  • 81% of women have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope, compared to 67% of men. [2]
  • 35% of women said they had experienced suicidal feelings as a result of stress, compared to 29% of men. [2]
  • 74% of women say they are stressed for work-related reasons competed to 61% of men. [4]


  • 91% of Generation Z (18-24-year-olds) report to be stressed at least once a month, compared to 55% of Baby Boomers (55+ years-old). [1]
  • 30% of older people reported never feeling so stressed they feel overwhelmed or unable to cope in the past year, compared to 7% of young adults. [2]
  • 39% of 18-24 year-olds said they had experienced suicidal feelings as a result of stress compared to 25% of adults aged 55 and over. [2]
  • 29% of 18-24 year-olds said they had self-harmed due to stress compared to 6% of adults aged 55 and over. [2]
  • 91% of Generation Z (18-24-year-olds) report to be stressed at work, higher than the 84% average across age groups. [1]


  • Plymouth (87% feel stress at least once a month), Liverpool (86%) and Glasgow (86%) are the top three most stressful cities in the UK. [1]

In the workplace

  • 914,000 workers suffering from work-related stress, depression or anxiety (new or long-standing) in 2021/22. [5]
  • 17.0 million working days lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2021/22. [5]
  • In 2021/22 stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 51% of all work-related. [5]
  • 55% of all working days lost due to work-related ill health. [5]
  • Stress-related health issues are estimated to cost the NHS over £11 billion a year. [6]
  • Poor mental health such as stress costs UK employers up to £45 billion a year. [7]

Causes of stress

  • 36% of all adults who reported stress in the previous year cited either their own or a friend/relative's long-term health condition as a factor. This rose to 44% of adults over 55. [2]
  • The most common type of stress experienced by Brits was work stress, with 79 percent of respondents saying they frequently felt this type of stress. Furthermore, 60 percent of respondents frequently feel monetary stress, while 48 percent experienced family stress. [8]
  • Excessive workload (73%), lack of control (31%) and lack of support (29%) are the top three causes of negative stress at work. [9]
  • In another survey, not getting enough sleep, money and health were the top three causes of stress to adults in the UK. [1]

Coping with stress

  • 46% say that they eat too much or too unhealthily due to stress. [2]
  • 16% say that they started smoking or increased their smoking due to stress. [2]
  • Almost 60 percent of adults are drinking alcohol in order to cope with the stresses of everyday life. [10]
  • 57% of people say they drink after work to cope with stress and pressure, while 14% say they drink during the day. [11]
  • 88% of people say they think about their work outside of working hours. [12]

stress statistics infographic

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Stress Treatment at Priory

Priory are a leading provider of mental health care in the UK. We offer outpatient, inpatient and day care treatment for people who find that their level of stress is seriously damaging their life.

With world-class facilities across a network of UK sites, stress treatment at Priory is the perfect place to overcome the difficulties you’re experiencing with your mental health.

Get in touch today and find out how mental health treatment at Priory can help to overcome your stress.

Get in Touch Today

For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding mental health and wellbeing, please call 0330 056 6020 or submit an online enquiry form here. 

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