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Charted: How Many People Get Depression in Their Lives?

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charting how many people get depression in the U.S.

How Many People Get Depression in Their Lives?

Depression is one of the most common mental health ailments, affecting millions of people across the world.

According to Our World in Data, one in three women and one in five men in the U.S. suffer through at least one episode of depression in their lifetime.

These charts from Our World in Data use data presented in a 2020 medical study that examine the share of people in the U.S. that have had an episode of major depression.

Measuring Depression

While most illnesses can be measured using blood tests, brain scans, and biomarkers, diagnosing depression is a bit more complex.

This study looked specifically at episodes of major depression—feeling sadness or a pronounced loss of interest for at least two weeks, along with at least five of these symptoms: fatigue, trouble concentrating, feeling excessive guilt, thoughts of death or suicide, and changes in appetite, sleep or movement.

It used data from the National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, conducted between 2005 and 2017, and focused on three aspects:

  • Major episodes of depression recalled in the past year.
  • Recalled past major episodes of depression.
  • Previously reported, but now forgotten, major episodes of depression (recall error).

How Many People Get Depression in the U.S.?

The study found that women were more likely to have major depressive episodes than men at almost every stage of their lives.

Incidence of Depression by AgeMenWomen
18‒2515.0%24.5%
26‒3415.1%26.6%
35‒4918.7%31.1%
50‒6419.4%33.2%
65+16.9%31.2%

Over 24% of women and 15% of men in the U.S. under the age of 25 reported facing major episodes of depression. Some researchers have attributed this gap to hormonal changes and societal pressures.

Generally speaking, these shares build up over time, with an estimated one-third of women between the ages of 50 and 64 having recalled a major episode of depression at some point in their lives, alongside 19.4% of men.

That said, for those 65 years and older, the incidence rate actually declines. That’s because people who have depression are less likely to survive to an old age.

Towards a Future Without Depression

One problem with measuring depression is that, the older people get, the more they fail to recall incidents of depression they’ve reported in the past.

charting how many people remember having depression

But perhaps the biggest problem is still societal. For much of history, mental illnesses including depression have been stigmatized. As a result, getting treatment or seeking therapy was often kept under wraps.

However, a growing movement to recognize depression and the emotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have shined a light on the importance of mental health.

The number of adults getting treatment for depression is on the rise. However, that does not necessarily mean that more people are suffering from depression, as it could instead reflect that more people are recognizing symptoms and seeking help.

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This article was published as a part of Visual Capitalist's Creator Program, which features data-driven visuals from some of our favorite Creators around the world.

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Demographics

Charted: Global Tobacco Use by Country and Sex

This visual shows tobacco use by country and sex, highlighting which countries still have a high prevalence of smoking.

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Chart of tobacco use by country and sex in 2022

Charting Global Tobacco Use by Country and Sex

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

Globally, rates of tobacco use have been falling for decades. Today, it is estimated that one-in-five people around the world use tobacco products, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

That’s still enough people to have a sizable impact on both global healthcare and the environment. And the prevalence of tobacco use by country, and by sex, varies widely.

This chart shows current tobacco use in selected countries around the world using WHO estimates for 2022.

Which People Smoke the Most?

Below we examine the entire dataset of global countries by 2022 tobacco use. Estimates are of people aged 15 years and older and include both smoked and smokeless tobacco (including vaping). Countries that had no data for 2022 have been omitted.

In almost every country, males use tobacco more than females. Globally, 36% of men are tobacco users compared to just 8% of women.

CountryTotal Prevalence (%)Male (%)Female (%)
🇦🇫 Afghanistan22.138.35.9
🇦🇱 Albania22.438.76.6
🇩🇿 Algeria21.641.90.7
🇦🇩 Andorra33.633.333.8
🇦🇷 Argentina23.128.218.1
🇦🇲 Armenia22.549.31.7
🇦🇺 Australia12.514.810.3
🇦🇹 Austria22.023.720.5
🇦🇿 Azerbaijan19.339.60.1
🇧🇸 Bahamas10.720.62.1
🇧🇭 Bahrain18.125.74.9
🇧🇩 Bangladesh31.148.914.2
🇧🇧 Barbados6.511.71.7
🇧🇾 Belarus27.947.212.0
🇧🇪 Belgium24.727.422.1
🇧🇿 Belize8.715.51.9
🇧🇯 Benin5.59.51.7
🇧🇹 Bhutan19.627.211.0
🇧🇴 Bolivia12.220.44.1
🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina35.141.029.5
🇧🇼 Botswana18.130.26.5
🇧🇷 Brazil12.315.79.1
🇧🇳 Brunei Darussalam17.131.32.2
🇧🇬 Bulgaria34.038.130.2
🇧🇫 Burkina Faso13.521.75.5
🇧🇮 Burundi10.015.25.0
🇨🇻 Cabo Verde10.516.25.0
🇰🇭 Cambodia16.127.35.5
🇨🇲 Cameroon5.610.21.1
🇨🇦 Canada11.413.79.2
🇹🇩 Chad6.812.31.4
🇨🇱 Chile28.230.625.8
🇨🇳 China24.947.32.0
🇨🇴 Colombia8.212.14.5
🇰🇲 Comoros16.226.26.2
🇨🇬 Congo15.028.22.0
🇨🇰 Cook Islands25.530.321.4
🇨🇷 Costa Rica8.813.24.5
🇨🇮 Cöte d'Ivoire8.616.40.7
🇭🇷 Croatia32.634.231.1
🇨🇺 Cuba18.526.910.4
🇨🇾 Cyprus34.046.022.1
🇨🇿 Czechia27.531.723.3
🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo11.119.92.6
🇩🇰 Denmark16.216.416.0
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic10.214.06.5
🇪🇨 Ecuador10.117.62.6
🇪🇬 Egypt24.748.90.3
🇸🇻 El Salvador8.315.61.9
🇪🇪 Estonia25.632.919.1
🇸🇿 Eswatini8.616.21.4
🇪🇹 Ethiopia4.67.81.4
🇫🇯 Fiji27.341.713.1
🇫🇮 Finland19.623.915.4
🇫🇷 France29.231.327.3
🇬🇲 Gambia9.618.70.6
🇬🇪 Georgia29.054.77.1
🇩🇪 Germany18.821.316.4
🇬🇭 Ghana3.15.90.3
🇬🇷 Greece29.633.126.3
🇬🇹 Guatemala12.022.71.7
🇬🇼 Guinea-Bissau7.514.80.6
🇬🇾 Guyana10.519.32.2
🇭🇹 Haiti7.312.62.3
🇭🇳 Honduras12.222.71.7
🇭🇺 Hungary29.434.724.5
🇮🇸 Iceland9.49.49.4
🇮🇳 India23.936.810.4
🇮🇩 Indonesia38.573.63.4
🇮🇷 Iran (Islamic Republic of)13.924.83.1
🇮🇶 Iraq18.736.01.6
🇮🇪 Ireland18.220.516.1
🇮🇱 Israel19.826.413.3
🇮🇹 Italy20.424.116.8
🇯🇲 Jamaica9.515.83.5
🇯🇵 Japan16.826.57.7
🇯🇴 Jordan36.357.813.4
🇰🇿 Kazakhstan21.738.26.9
🇰🇪 Kenya9.216.62.1
🇰🇮 Kiribati38.251.625.7
🇰🇼 Kuwait22.735.62.1
🇰🇬 Kyrgyzstan26.451.33.3
🇱🇦 Lao People's Democratic Republic25.843.28.4
🇱🇻 Latvia30.345.617.2
🇱🇧 Lebanon34.043.125.7
🇱🇸 Lesotho22.942.04.8
🇱🇷 Liberia7.112.51.7
🇱🇹 Lithuania27.940.117.3
🇱🇺 Luxembourg21.823.320.3
🇲🇬 Madagascar25.741.79.9
🇲🇼 Malawi7.113.01.7
🇲🇾 Malaysia22.643.80.7
🇲🇻 Maldives29.343.610.1
🇲🇱 Mali7.614.40.7
🇲🇹 Malta23.225.520.6
🇲🇭 Marshall Islands30.451.88.6
🇲🇷 Mauritania9.417.22.0
🇲🇺 Mauritius20.038.12.8
🇲🇽 Mexico14.623.16.9
🇲🇳 Mongolia29.352.67.3
🇲🇪 Montenegro32.130.933.2
🇲🇦 Morocco13.125.31.0
🇲🇲 Myanmar43.969.419.2
🇳🇦 Namibia12.521.34.7
🇳🇷 Nauru49.550.348.7
🇳🇵 Nepal24.942.79.4
🇳🇱 Netherlands (Kingdom of the)20.122.517.7
🇳🇿 New Zealand11.412.710.2
🇳🇪 Niger7.714.01.3
🇳🇬 Nigeria2.95.40.4
🇳🇴 Norway14.014.813.2
🇴🇲 Oman11.017.40.4
🇵🇰 Pakistan16.927.76.2
🇵🇼 Palau17.026.37.3
🇵🇦 Panama5.18.41.9
🇵🇬 Papua New Guinea40.455.424.9
🇵🇾 Paraguay10.617.43.8
🇵🇪 Peru7.011.62.6
🇵🇭 Philippines20.436.24.3
🇵🇱 Poland23.227.619.1
🇵🇹 Portugal20.927.115.5
🇶🇦 Qatar18.824.62.3
🇰🇷 Republic of Korea18.932.75.4
🇲🇩 Republic of Moldova27.852.76.3
🇷🇴 Romania27.537.418.5
🇷🇺 Russian Federation27.242.014.8
🇷🇼 Rwanda12.017.76.7
🇱🇨 Saint Lucia13.624.83.0
🇼🇸 Samoa22.231.013.2
🇸🇹 Sao Tome and Principe7.112.61.8
🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia17.428.42.1
🇸🇳 Senegal6.011.70.6
🇷🇸 Serbia36.638.834.6
🇸🇨 Seychelles20.834.65.7
🇸🇱 Sierra Leone11.417.35.5
🇸🇬 Singapore16.427.94.0
🇸🇰 Slovakia30.235.425.4
🇸🇮 Slovenia18.120.215.9
🇸🇧 Solomon Islands37.655.319.6
🇿🇦 South Africa20.335.16.5
🇪🇸 Spain24.927.522.5
🇱🇰 Sri Lanka19.137.82.4
🇸🇪 Sweden22.128.315.9
🇨🇭 Switzerland23.326.320.4
🇹🇭 Thailand18.937.71.8
🇹🇱 Timor-Leste37.664.59.8
🇹🇬 Togo5.610.20.9
🇹🇴 Tonga30.746.815.5
🇹🇳 Tunisia20.139.71.6
🇹🇷 Türkiye30.741.919.6
🇹🇲 Turkmenistan5.410.60.5
🇹🇻 Tuvalu33.848.319.0
🇺🇬 Uganda5.39.01.8
🇺🇦 Ukraine22.038.38.5
🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates11.715.52.5
🇬🇧 United Kingdom13.115.011.4
🇹🇿 United Republic of Tanzania7.513.12.2
🇺🇸 United States of America23.028.617.5
🇺🇾 Uruguay19.323.016.0
🇺🇿 Uzbekistan16.231.81.0
🇻🇳 Viet Nam22.844.32.2
🇾🇪 Yemen20.833.77.9
🇿🇲 Zambia12.021.82.7
🇿🇼 Zimbabwe9.219.00.8

From a regional perspective, we can see many countries in Europe and Asia have higher rates of tobacco use. Indonesia and Myanmar specifically have some of the highest tobacco use rates in the world, with 73.6% of Indonesian men estimated to smoke or use tobacco.

In many Asian countries we also see a greater difference between male and female smokers compared to the rest of the world. In China for example, 47.3% of males are estimated to use tobacco compared to just 2.0% of females.

On the other hand, the Americas and especially Africa have a lower prevalence of tobacco use. Nigeria at 2.9% had the lowest rate of tobacco use in the world in 2022.

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