Depression Rates by Country 2021

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Depression, also known as major depressive disorder, is a mental health disorder that negatively affects how a person feels, thinks, and acts. The Global Health Data Exchange estimates that 251-310 million people worldwide suffer from depression. While depression is common, it is also, fortunately, treatable.

Symptoms of depression

The symptoms of depression can range from mild to severe and include the following:

  • A persistent feeling of sadness
  • Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
  • Changes in appetite – weight loss or gain
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue
  • Increase in purposeless tasks or physical activities such as pacing
  • Slowed movements and speech
  • Feeling guilty or worthless
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating
  • Decreased confidence and self-esteem
  • Negative, bleak, or pessimistic attitude
  • Self-harmful or suicidal thoughts or actions

Depression risk factors and treatment options

Risk factors for depression include: biochemistry (differences in chemicals in the brain), genetics (depression can be heriditary), perrsonality (those who are generally pessimistic or have low self-esteen are more likely to experience depression), and environment (those who are exposed to violence, abuse, neglect or poverty are more likely to expereince depression).

For depression to be diagnosed, symptoms must last at least two weeks. Some medical conditions, such as thyroid problems or vitamin deficiencies, can mimic symptoms of depression and need to be ruled out. Luckily, depression is one of the most treatable mental illnesses, and those who have been diagnosed have multiple options depending on their diagnosis:

  • Anti-depressant medication may be prescribed to help correct and/or stablize one’s brain chemistry.
  • Psychotherapy and/or cognitive behavioral therapy are often used to help individuals work through depression. Therapy is often combined with anti-depressants for moderate to severe depression.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical treatment most commonly used for patients diagnosed with severe depression who have not responded to other treatments. It involves a brief electrical stimulation of the brain while the patient is under anesthesia.

Depression Rates Around the World

Depression affects about 1 in 15 adults in any given year, and 1 in 6 people will experience depression at some time in their life. An Our World In Data study estimates about 3.4% (2-6% when including the margin of error) of the global population has depression. This is about 264 million people worldwide. According to WHO estimates, the ten countries with the highest prevalence of depression are:

Top 10 Countries with the Highest Rates of Depression:

  1. Ukraine - 6.3%
  2. United States - 5.9% (tie)
  3. Estonia - 5.9% (tie)
  4. Australia - 5.9% (tie)
  5. Brazil - 5.8%
  6. Greece - 5.7% (tie)
  7. Portugal - 5.7% (tie)
  8. Belarus - 5.6% (tie)
  9. Finland - 5.6% (tie)
  10. Lithuania - 5.6% (tie)

While countries with high rates of depression appear on almost every continent, it seems the Pacific Islands of Oceania include many of the least-depressed places on Earth:

Top 10 Countries with the Lowest Rates of Depression:

  1. Solomon Islands - 2.9%
  2. Papua New Guinea - 3.0% (tie)
  3. Timor-Leste - 3.0% (tie)
  4. Vanuatu - 3.1% (tie)
  5. Kiribati - 3.1% (tie)
  6. Tonga - 3.2% (tie)
  7. Samoa - 3.2% (tie)
  8. Laos - 3.2% (tie)
  9. Nepal - 3.2% (tie)
  10. Philippines - 3.3%

Interpreting data on depression

While the numbers listed above (and below) are valuable and vital, it is important to keep in mind that the true rates are likely much higher, especially in less developed countries. Depression is much more likely to be diagnosed in highly developed countries, whose more robust health care infrastructures are far better equipped to identify and treat mental illnesses.

Therefore, less developed countries do not necessarily have less depression—rather, their treatment of mental illnesses often takes a back seat to broader concerns such as hunger, disease, and sanitation. In fact, the World Health Organization estimates that 76–85% of people suffering from mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries lack access to the necessary treatment. Moreover, even in developed nations, many cases of mental illness go undiagnosed and unreported because the patients are either ashamed of their illness or unaware that it's a medically treatable condition.

Depression rates are rising around the world, but it's likely that this rise is due at least in part to a good thing: More patients than ever before are seeking and receiving treatment for mental illness rather than going undiagnosed. In many countries, including the United States, the stigma surrounding mental illnesses is gradually decreasing. This enables a more open discussion of mental illness and makes people more likely to seek help when they need it.

A nation’s culture can also have a significant impact on both the mental health of its population and the availability of mental health treatment services. Additionally, certain symptoms of depression are more common in some societies than others due to cultural factors. For example, while depression is relatively uncommon in Japan, suicide rates are high for children and teens ages 10-19. This is most likely due to pressure to do well in school and work and conform to group norms.

An estimated 17.3 million adults in the United States had a least one major depressive episode in 2017. Among those diagnosed with depression, about 65% received treatment. About 50% of U.S. adults diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with anxiety. Oregon, West Virginia, and Maine have the highest depression rates.

Depression Rates by Country 2021

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Depression Rates by Country 2021

Country Prevalence Cases 2021 Population
Ukraine6.30%2,800,58743,466,819
Estonia5.90%75,6671,325,185
Australia5.90%1,318,59925,788,215
United States5.90%17,491,047332,915,073
Brazil5.80%11,548,577213,993,437
Portugal5.70%578,23410,167,925
Greece5.70%593,13610,370,744
Lithuania5.60%169,6852,689,862
Finland5.60%293,9215,548,360
Belarus5.60%510,7649,442,862
Cuba5.50%605,87911,317,505
Russia5.50%7,815,714145,912,025
Barbados5.40%14,586287,711
Moldova5.40%207,2474,024,019
New Zealand5.40%221,3384,860,643
Bahamas5.20%19,138396,913
Trinidad And Tobago5.20%67,6141,403,375
Bulgaria5.20%360,7246,896,663
Paraguay5.20%332,6287,219,638
Czech Republic5.20%525,48810,724,555
Spain5.20%2,408,70046,745,216
Germany5.20%2,116,72883,900,473
Antigua And Barbuda5.10%4,42498,731
Malta5.10%20,049442,784
Djibouti5.10%43,9091,002,187
Cyprus5.10%42,6621,215,584
Slovenia5.10%99,8642,078,724
Qatar5.10%105,6842,930,528
Bosnia And Herzegovina5.10%185,5573,263,466
Croatia5.10%205,5414,081,651
Slovakia5.10%268,5165,460,721
Austria5.10%415,9169,043,070
Hungary5.10%493,7839,634,164
United Arab Emirates5.10%444,0169,991,089
Poland5.10%1,878,98837,797,005
Italy5.10%3,049,98660,367,477
Luxembourg5.00%26,350634,814
Armenia5.00%142,7122,968,127
Uruguay5.00%158,0053,485,151
Georgia5.00%189,2413,979,765
Kuwait5.00%181,7564,328,550
Denmark5.00%267,2135,813,298
Serbia5.00%419,3028,697,550
Switzerland5.00%388,8708,715,494
Romania5.00%931,84219,127,774
Chile5.00%844,25319,212,361
Saint Vincent And the Grenadines4.90%5,144111,263
Saint Lucia4.90%8,892184,400
Cape Verde4.90%24,240561,898
Latvia4.90%102,7021,866,942
Sweden4.90%446,73410,160,169
Tunisia4.90%518,43211,935,766
Iran4.90%3,637,30885,028,759
Suriname4.80%24,914591,800
Montenegro4.80%28,627628,053
Bahrain4.80%62,5491,748,296
Lesotho4.80%98,9882,159,079
Albania4.80%131,0482,872,933
Jamaica4.80%134,0542,973,463
Ireland4.80%212,5554,982,907
Belgium4.80%502,07511,632,326
Peru4.80%1,443,51333,359,418
France4.80%2,949,57265,426,179
Grenada4.70%4,848113,021
Botswana4.70%102,0652,397,241
Costa Rica4.70%216,6085,139,052
Oman4.70%199,9615,223,375
Norway4.70%227,4465,465,630
Lebanon4.70%255,2806,769,146
Dominican Republic4.70%464,16410,953,703
Netherlands4.70%752,77717,173,099
Canada4.70%1,566,90338,067,903
Argentina4.70%1,914,35445,605,826
Colombia4.70%2,177,28051,265,844
Ethiopia4.70%4,480,113117,876,227
Singapore4.60%162,2035,896,686
Israel4.60%342,1818,789,774
Azerbaijan4.60%428,87310,223,342
Uganda4.60%1,747,76947,123,531
South Africa4.60%2,402,23060,041,994
Guyana4.50%33,700790,326
Libya4.50%265,8336,958,532
Saudi Arabia4.50%1,339,97635,340,683
Morocco4.50%1,484,44137,344,795
Algeria4.50%1,683,91444,616,624
United Kingdom4.50%2,692,08168,207,116
India4.50%56,675,9691,393,409,038
Belize4.40%14,956404,914
Comoros4.40%33,769888,451
Mauritius4.40%52,5701,273,433
Namibia4.40%104,0012,587,344
Panama4.40%162,2934,381,579
El Salvador4.40%255,0326,518,499
South Sudan4.40%529,01111,381,378
Bolivia4.40%453,71611,832,940
Kazakhstan4.40%732,69918,994,962
Madagascar4.40%1,041,00028,427,328
Kenya4.40%1,952,98154,985,698
Thailand4.40%2,885,22169,950,850
Turkey4.40%3,260,67785,042,738
Gabon4.30%7,3032,278,825
Eritrea4.30%219,5493,601,467
Haiti4.30%437,63911,541,685
Bhutan4.20%30,947779,898
Eswatini4.20%53,2231,172,362
Equatorial Guinea4.20%34,9091,449,896
Mongolia4.20%117,4363,329,289
Central African Republic4.20%202,0814,919,981
Turkmenistan4.20%214,0106,117,924
Nicaragua4.20%238,1616,702,385
Burundi4.20%448,82212,255,433
Venezuela4.20%1,270,09928,704,954
Ghana4.20%110,04831,732,129
Uzbekistan4.20%1,186,45033,935,763
Japan4.20%5,058,124126,050,804
Mexico4.20%4,936,614130,262,216
Pakistan4.20%7,436,224225,199,937
China4.20%54,815,7391,444,216,107
Iceland4.10%12,533343,353
Mauritania4.10%160,6244,775,119
Kyrgyzstan4.10%229,6376,628,356
Malawi4.10%679,38519,647,684
Sri Lanka4.10%802,32121,497,310
Mozambique4.10%1,122,98732,163,047
South Korea4.10%1,904,64551,305,186
Tanzania4.10%2,138,93961,498,437
Bangladesh4.10%6,391,760166,303,498
Seychelles4.00%3,72298,908
Guinea Bissau4.00%71,4672,015,494
Honduras4.00%308,86210,062,991
Jordan4.00%287,84410,269,021
Zimbabwe4.00%603,52915,092,171
Somalia4.00%420,38716,359,504
Zambia4.00%636,81918,920,651
Vietnam4.00%3,564,93498,168,833
Sao Tome And Principe3.90%7,270223,368
Gambia3.90%74,8212,486,945
Sierra Leone3.90%243,8958,141,343
Togo3.90%277,5328,478,250
Benin3.90%411,69512,451,040
Guinea3.90%474,54113,497,244
Senegal3.90%560,99117,196,301
Syria3.90%688,07418,275,702
Cameroon3.90%886,27327,224,265
Nigeria3.90%7,079,815211,400,708
Tajikistan3.80%304,0189,749,627
Rwanda3.80%425,51613,276,513
Ivory Coast3.80%843,73627,053,629
Malaysia3.80%1,127,64332,776,194
DR Congo3.80%2,871,30992,377,993
Maldives3.70%12,739543,617
Guatemala3.70%580,99418,249,860
North Korea3.70%874,63225,887,041
Iraq3.70%1,263,24941,179,350
Myanmar3.70%1,917,98354,806,012
Indonesia3.70%9,162,886276,361,783
Mali3.60%605,96920,855,735
Burkina Faso3.60%640,50221,497,096
Yemen3.60%915,23130,490,640
Angola3.60%892,12833,933,610
Sudan3.60%1,376,30544,909,353
Fiji3.50%30,568902,906
Liberia3.50%155,4065,180,203
Chad3.50%478,22816,914,985
Egypt3.50%2,995,824104,258,327
Cambodia3.40%508,82316,946,438
Niger3.40%653,34825,130,817
Afghanistan3.30%1,038,61039,835,428
Philippines3.30%3,298,652111,046,913
Tonga3.20%3,205106,760
Samoa3.20%5,803200,149
Laos3.20%209,3267,379,358
Nepal3.20%890,36129,674,920
Micronesia3.10%3,182116,254
Kiribati3.10%3,452121,392
Vanuatu3.10%7,917314,464
Timor Leste3.00%33,9321,343,873
Papua New Guinea3.00%223,0949,119,010
Solomon Islands2.90%16,535703,996

Depression Rates by Country 2021