Health: Chronic Depression Rates in Europe, by country
CountryShare of population,
in %
  • Region: Europe
  • Time period: 2019
  • Published: Dec 2021

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 27, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Highest Share of Population Reporting Chronic Depression

Iceland leads Europe with a 15.6% share of population reporting chronic depression, significantly higher than the average across the listed countries. This number starkly contrasts with Romania, which has the lowest reported rate at just 1.0%, underscoring a substantial variation in reported chronic depression rates across Europe.

Top Five Countries by Chronic Depression Rates

The top five countries with the highest shares of population reporting chronic depression are Iceland (15.6%), Portugal (12.2%), Sweden (11.7%), Germany (11.6%), and Croatia (11.6%). These figures reveal a concentration of higher depression rates in both Northern and Southern Europe, indicating that geographic location does not necessarily predict the prevalence of reported chronic depression.

Comparison of Northern and Southern Europe

Northern European countries like Iceland, Sweden, and Denmark have reported higher rates of chronic depression (15.6%, 11.7%, and 10.0% respectively) compared to Southern European countries like Italy, Cyprus, and Greece (5.3%, 4.7%, and 3.8% respectively). This contrast might suggest different socio-economic, cultural, or healthcare-related factors influencing the reporting and prevalence of chronic depression.

Countries with Shares Below 5%

A significant number of countries, including Czechia (4.4%), Slovakia (4.3%), Serbia (4.3%), and Hungary (4.0%), report a share of population with chronic depression below 5%. This cluster at the lower end of the spectrum highlights regions where reported chronic depression is relatively less prevalent, possibly due to varying factors such as stigma, healthcare access, and cultural attitudes toward mental health.

Distinctive Cases of Turkey and Greece

Turkey and Greece stand out with their unique positions on the list, reporting 9.0% and 3.8% respectively. Turkey's rate is notably higher than several Western European countries, whereas Greece reports one of the lower rates despite its economic challenges in recent years, illustrating how economic conditions do not directly correlate with the prevalence of reported chronic depression.

Northern Europe's High Reporting Rates

Countries in Northern Europe not only feature in the top spots for chronic depression rates but also exhibit a relatively high average rate when considering Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. This trend might reflect better awareness and less stigma in reporting mental health issues, alongside high-quality healthcare systems that accurately capture such data.

Variability Within Eastern Europe

Eastern European countries show a wide range of reported chronic depression rates, from Poland (4.2%) at the higher end to Romania (1.0%) at the lowest end among all listed countries. This variability could point to differences in national healthcare systems, societal attitudes towards mental health, or the effectiveness of public health campaigns in addressing depression.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which country in Europe has the highest share of population reporting chronic depression?

Iceland leads Europe with a 15.6% share of population reporting chronic depression.

Which countries are in the top five for chronic depression rates in Europe?

The top five countries are Iceland (15.6%) , Portugal (12.2%) , Sweden (11.7%) , Germany (11.6%) , and Croatia (11.6%) .

How does the reporting rate of chronic depression in Northern Europe compare to Southern Europe?

Northern European countries like Iceland (15.6%) , Sweden (11.7%) , and Denmark (10%) have higher reported rates of chronic depression compared to Southern European countries like Italy (5.3%) , Cyprus (4.7%) , and Greece (3.8%) .

What are the reported chronic depression rates in Eastern Europe?

Eastern European countries show a wide range from Poland (4.2%) at the higher end to Romania (1.0%) at the lowest end among all listed countries.

Terms and Definitions

Chronic depression, also known as dysthymia, is a type of depressive disorder that occurs continuously for a long period of times, typically two years or more. It's characterized by a persistently depressed mood and a lack of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.

Depression is a common and serious mental health condition characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and a lack of interest or pleasure in activities. It can also lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person's ability to function at work and home.

Mental health refers to a person's emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act, and also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. It is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

Prevalence is a statistical concept referring to the number of cases of a disease that are present in a particular population at a given time. It does not refer to the number of new cases, only the total number of cases.

A healthcare system, also sometimes referred to as health system, is the organization of people, institutions, and resources to deliver health care services to meet the health needs of target populations. Different countries have different health care systems, affecting detection and treatment of health conditions like chronic depression.

Incidence refers to the occurrence, rate, or frequency of a disease or condition within a specific area or population. In contrast to prevalence which includes all existing cases, incidence refers only to new cases.

Public health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private communities, and individuals. It can include health surveillance, education and promotion, disease prevention, and health policy.
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