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8 min read

Depression statistics

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: Apr 22, 2024

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zoe Russell

Table of contents

If you’re feeling isolated in your struggle with depression, exploring comprehensive depression statistics can provide a sense of shared experience and community. 

In this blog, we go over the prevalence, demographics, and often unseen scale of depression with the goal of validating your experiences and illustrating the widespread nature of this mental health condition. These statistics reflect the silent struggles of many Americans, offering insights that can guide public health policies, individual understanding, and societal support systems. 

After learning more about depression, if you want to find a provider who offers offline or in-person professional depression therapy and treatment, turn to Klarity.

Don't let yourself be a statistic. Find a licensed provider on Klarity to treat your depression today.

Depression demographics

Understanding that depression affects a large percentage of the U.S. and the world provides context for addressing this pervasive mental health issue. It’s a condition with distinct patterns among different demographics, such as age and gender. 

How many people suffer from depression worldwide?

Globally, depression affects an estimated 3.8% of all people, including 5% of adults.1 This percentage translates to a total of 280 million people with depression worldwide, reflecting a significant global health concern that spans various countries and cultures.

How many adults in the U.S. are affected by major depressive disorder?

Approximately 17.3 million U.S. adults, or about 7.1% of the U.S. adult population, are affected by major depressive disorder each year.2 This statistic highlights the critical need for accessible mental health services and the importance of public awareness campaigns to destigmatize seeking help.

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a mood disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in previously rewarding or enjoyable activities. It can lead to a range of emotional and physical problems, significantly impairing an individual’s ability to function at work and at home. 

Symptoms must last at least 2 weeks for a diagnosis of depression and can include changes in appetite or weight, sleep disturbances, energy loss, feelings of worthlessness, difficulty thinking or concentrating, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide.

Are men or women more likely to experience a depressive disorder?

Major depressive disorder is about 50% more prevalent in women than in men.1,2 Highlighting the gender disparity in the prevalence of depression is vital for mental health education that promotes awareness and encourages affected women to seek necessary mental health support.

How many adults age 65 or older are affected by depression?

About 7 million of the 39 million adults aged 65 years and older, or roughly 18% of the population, are impacted by depression in the U.S.2 This underscores the importance of integrating mental health care into senior care plans and increasing awareness about depression in later life.

In addition, 40 to 70% of family caregivers exhibit clinically significant symptoms of depression.2

What’s the frequency of comorbid mental health conditions with depression?

Depression frequently co-occurs with various illnesses, significantly impacting its management and treatment outcomes. About 25% of cancer patients, 10 to 27% of post-stroke patients, and one-third of heart attack survivors report experiencing depression.2

Additionally, more than 20% of Americans with a mental health disorder like depression experience a co-occurring alcohol or other substance use disorder.2 This goes the other way around too, as over 20% of Americans living with an alcohol or other substance use disorder also live with a mood disorder like depression.2

Overall, 3.5% of all adults from 2015 to 2019 dealt with co-occurring substance use disorder and any type of mental illness in the past year, including 3.8% of white adults and 3.2% of Black adults.

Depression treatment

Recognizing that depression requires effective intervention is key to enhancing mental health outcomes around the world. This section primes you for an insightful exploration into the treatment landscape, emphasizing the importance of timely and effective intervention strategies to improve mental health outcomes.

How many people with depression don’t get treatment?

Nearly two-thirds of people suffering from depression don’t actively seek or receive proper treatment despite high percentages of people showing improvement in depression symptoms after starting treatment.2 

The gap in people getting professional care indicates a significant barrier to mental health care accessibility and the need for strategies to encourage treatment engagement.

What percentage of people who get depression treatment experience improved symptoms?

Up to 80% of those treated for depression show an improvement in their symptoms generally within 4 to 6 weeks of starting treatment.2 This effectiveness highlights the potential for positive outcomes with appropriate intervention, emphasizing the value of early and sustained treatment.

What percentage of unsuccessful depression treatment is due to medical non-compliance?

An estimated 50% of unsuccessful treatments for depression are attributed to medical non-compliance, or when a person doesn’t follow their healthcare provider’s prescribed treatment plan.2 Factors, such as undesirable side effects, financial constraints, concerns about addiction, and initial symptom improvement, often cause people to discontinue medication prematurely, contributing to the ineffectiveness of treatment.

Get the depression treatment you need. Find a licensed provider on Klarity. 

Providers on Klarity offer hope for those struggling with mental health conditions. Empower yourself with the support you deserve by choosing a licensed mental health provider on Klarity.  

Find a provider today and get the depression treatment or therapy you need to thrive.


  1. World Health Organization, “Depressive disorder (depression),” Mar. 31, 2023,
  2. Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, “Depression Statistics,”
  3. SAMHSA – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, “Racial/Ethnic Differences in Mental Health Service Use among Adults and Adolescents (2015-2019),” 2021

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