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Anxiety

7 min read

Anxiety statistics

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: Mar 28, 2024

Medically Reviewed by Klarity Editorial Team

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Anxiety disorders stand as one of the most common mental health conditions. It impacts 40 million adults in the U.S. and influencing every facet of the daily life of someone who’s afflicted.

This article covers the statistics surrounding anxiety, highlighting its prevalence and the demographics that struggle most with this mental health disorder.  

If you’re ready to pursue treatment, find a provider on Klarity who’s experienced in anxiety treatment and therapy.

Anxiety demographics

Anxiety affects individuals regardless of background, but research shows significant variations in prevalence rates based on factors such as age, gender, and socioeconomic status.

How many Americans struggle with anxiety?

Recent surveys reveal a significant portion of the U.S. population faces challenges with anxiety disorders. More than 40 million adults, or 19.1% of the population, live with an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive and persistent fear, anxiety, and related behavioral disturbances that significantly impact people’s daily functioning and well-being. 

General anxiety, often referred to as general anxiety disorder (GAD), is a specific subset of anxiety disorders. Individuals with GAD experience chronic, exaggerated worry and tension, mostly expecting the worst, even when there is no apparent reason for concern. While general anxiety focuses on broader, pervasive worry, anxiety disorders include various types, such as panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, and phobias, each with unique symptoms and triggers.

Overall, 31.1% of adults are likely to experience an anxiety disorder at some point in their lives. Unfortunately, young people aren’t spared from mental health conditions and 31.9% of adolescents between 13 and 18 years old struggle with anxiety disorders.

What’s the most common type of anxiety?

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most widespread type of anxiety disorder. It impacts approximately 6.8 million adults in the U.S., which is about 3.1% of the population. This condition is marked by chronic, exaggerated worry and tension that’s unfounded or much more severe than the normal anxiety most people experience. 

People with GAD worry excessively about health, money, family, or work, even when there are no signs of trouble. Their anxiety is pervasive and persistent, making it difficult to manage daily tasks and responsibilities.

While GAD is the most common type of anxiety, there are several other notable types of anxiety disorders that affect millions of Americans, including:

  • Panic disorder that affects 6 million adults or 2.7% of the U.S. population
  • Social anxiety disorder (SAD) that affects 15 million adults or 7.1% of the U.S. population, usually starting at around age 13
  • Specific phobias that affect 19.3 million adults or 9.1% of the U.S. population. Symptoms typically begin in childhood. The average age of onset is 7 years old.

Is anxiety more common in men or women?

When looking at the prevalence of anxiety disorders among different genders, women are significantly more affected than men. Data reveals a striking contrast: 23.4% of females experience anxiety disorders, compared to 14.3% of males.

This suggests that women are almost twice as likely to suffer from anxiety disorders as men. Notably, this gender gap isn’t just seen in the adult population, but is also present in younger demographics. Among adolescents, anxiety disorders are more prevalent in females at a rate of 38.0%, compared to 26.1% in males.

What age group reports more anxiety?

Anxiety disorders manifest across various age groups, yet data indicates a significant prevalence among young adults. Specifically, individuals aged 18 to 24 experience anxiety and depression at rates that surpasses other age demographics.

50% of adults in the 18 to 24 year old age bracket reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, a figure notably higher than the average across all adults. This age group faces unique challenges, including transitional life events, such as entering the workforce, pursuing higher education, and establishing social connections, which may contribute to their increased vulnerability to anxiety disorders.

AgePercentage of adults reporting symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder
18–2449.9%
25–4938%
50–6429.3%
65+20.1%
All adults32.3%

Anxiety treatment

The treatment of anxiety disorders aims to reduce symptoms, improve quality of life, and prevent the escalation of these mental health conditions. Despite the effectiveness of various treatment options, including psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle adjustments, many individuals with anxiety don’t seek or receive the help they need. 

This section explores the treatment-seeking behavior among those with anxiety disorders, highlighting the disparities in access and willingness to pursue treatment.

How many people with anxiety seek treatment?

Data reveals that only a fraction of those affected, approximately 36.9%, actively seek and receive anxiety treatment. This significant treatment gap highlights barriers to accessing care, such as societal stigma, lack of awareness about mental health issues and available treatments, and challenges related to healthcare coverage and affordability.

Data reveals a significant shift between 2019 and 2021, with an increase from 18.5% to 23.2% in adults seeking mental health treatment. This surge contrasts with the older age groups, where the percentages remained relatively stable, which indicates a stronger or growing acknowledgment of mental health needs among younger adults. 

Specifically, in 2021, this younger group led the statistics with 23.2% having received treatment, surpassing the 21.2% of adults aged 45 to 64 and the 18.9% of those 65 and over.

Are men or women more likely to seek anxiety treatment?

When examining treatment-seeking behaviors for anxiety disorders, clear gender differences emerge. In 2020, data revealed that 25.6% of women had sought mental health treatment in the preceding 12 months, compared to just 14.6% of men.

Get the anxiety treatment you need from a provider on Klarity

With millions worldwide impacted by anxiety, it’s important to understand the statistics surrounding anxiety disorders and have access to the right treatment and support.

Find a provider on Klarity today and get the anxiety treatment you need, either in person or online.

Sources

Anxiety & Depression Association of America. “Anxiety Disorders – Facts & Statistics.” https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/facts-statistics

National Institute of Mental Health. “Any Anxiety Disorder.” https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/any-anxiety-disorder

KFF. “Latest Federal Data Show That Young People Are More Likely Than Older Adults to Be Experiencing Symptoms of Anxiety or Depression.” March 20, 2023. https://www.kff.org/mental-health/press-release/latest-federal-data-show-that-young-people-are-more-likely-than-older-adults-to-be-experiencing-symptoms-of-anxiety-or-depression/

Forbes. Anxiety Statistics And Facts.” Jessica Booth. Oct. 23, 2023. https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/anxiety-statistics/

National Center for Health Statistics. “Mental Health Treatment Among Adults Aged 18–44: United States, 2019–2021.” Emily P. Terlizzi, M.P.H., and Jeannine S. Schiller, M.P.H. September 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db444.htm

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All professional services are provided by independent private practices via the Klarity technology platform. Klarity Health, Inc. does not provide any medical services.
If you’re having an emergency or in emotional distress, here are some resources for immediate help: Emergency: Call 911. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 988. Crisis Text Line: Text Home to 741-741
Fax:
(855) 975-3008

PO Box 5098 Redwood City, CA 94063

100 Broadway Street, Redwood City CA, 94063

If you’re having an emergency or in emotional distress, here are some resources for immediate help: Emergency: Call 911. National Suicide Prevention Hotline: Call 988. Crisis Text Line: Text Home to 741-741
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