U.S. Share of Adults who Reported Depressive Symptoms, by gender and period
PeriodWomen,
in %
Men,
in %
Sep 20 2023 - Oct 2202323.321.6
Aug 23 2023 - Sep 4 202319.818.2
Jul 26, 2023 - Aug 7, 202222.421.3
Jun 28, 2023 - Jul 10, 202322.821.1
Jun 7, 2023 - Jun19, 202321.821.2
Apr 26, 2023 - May 8, 202322.521.0
Mar 29, 2023 - Apr 10, 202322.019.9
Mar 1, 2023 - Mar 13, 202323.420.2
Feb 1, 2023 - Feb 13, 202323.619.6
Jan 4, 2023 - Jan 16, 202322.521.8
Dec 9, 2022 - Dec 19, 202224.922.1
Nov 2, 2022 - Nov 14, 202224.523.1
Oct 5, 2022 - Oct 17, 202225.724.3
Sep 14, 2022 - Sep 26, 202224.923.5
Jul 27, 2022 - Aug 8, 202223.320.6
Jun 29, 2022 - Jul 11, 202225.121.2
Jun 1, 2022 - Jun 13, 202223.920.9
Apr 27, 2022 - May 9, 202223.420.5
Mar 30, 2022 - Apr 11, 202223.419.9
Mar 2, 2022 - Mar 14, 202222.920.4
Jan 26, 2022 - Feb 7, 202224.020.2
Dec 29, 2021 - Jan 10, 202224.820.7
Dec 1 - Dec 13, 202122.820.0
Sep 29 - Oct 11, 202123.819.7
Sep 15 - Sep 27, 202123.421.2
Sep 1 - Sep 13, 202123.621.2
Aug 18 - Aug 30, 202124.420.7
Aug 4 - Aug 16, 202123.019.6
Jul 21 - Aug 2, 202123.121.1
Jun 23 - Jul 5, 202123.118.4
Jun 9 - Jun 21, 202123.020.1
May 26 - June 7, 202122.419.3
May 12 - May 24, 202123.319.7
Apr 28 - May 10, 202123.620.1
Apr 14 - Apr 26, 202125.220.5
Mar 17 - Mar 29, 202126.023.2
Mar 3 - Mar 15, 202128.424.2
Feb 17 - Mar 1, 202128.726.7
Feb 3 - Feb15, 202129.926.1
Jan 20 - Feb 1, 202130.426.3
Jan 6 - Jan 18, 202130.625.9
Dec 9 - Dec 21, 202032.327.9
Nov 25 - Dec 7, 202030.926.7
Nov 11 - Nov 23, 202031.325.7
Oct 28 - Nov 9, 202029.725.4
Oct 14 - Oct 26, 202028.123.7
Sep 30 - Oct 12, 202027.223.5
Sep 16 - Sep 28, 202027.222.7
Sep 2 - Sep 14, 202026.022.8
Aug 19 - Aug 31, 202026.422.5
Jul 16 - Jul 21, 202031.327.8
Jul 9 - Jul 14, 202030.026.0
Jul 2 - Jul 7, 202028.626.6
Jun 25 - Jun 30, 202028.825.0
Jun 18 - Jun 23, 202027.323.8
Jun 11 - Jun 16, 202026.723.3
Jun 4 - Jun 9, 202027.823.7
May 28 - Jun 2, 202027.423.0
May 21 - May 26, 202026.922.7
May 14 - May 19, 202026.722.1
May 7 - May 12, 202025.822.3
Apr 23 - May 5, 202026.120.8
  • Region: United States
  • Time period: Apr 23, 2020 to Oct 2, 2023
  • Published: Nov 2023

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Mar 30, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Overall Depressive Symptoms Trend in U.S. Adults

Depressive symptoms in U.S. adults have shown a decreasing trend from the peak in January 2021 for both genders. Women reached their highest reported depressive symptoms at 32.3% in December 2020, while men peaked at 27.9% during the same period. By the latest data point in September-October 2023, these percentages decreased to 23.3% for women and 21.6% for men.

Gender Disparity in Reported Depressive Symptoms

Throughout the recorded periods, women consistently reported higher rates of depressive symptoms than men. The largest gap occurred in March 2021, with women at 28.4% and men at 24.2%, reflecting a 4.2 percentage points difference. The smallest gap was observed in June 2023, where women reported 21.8% and men 21.2%, a difference of merely 0.6 percentage points.

Notable Fluctuations in Depressive Symptoms

A significant observation is the fluctuation in reported depressive symptoms, particularly among women. From the highest point in January 2021 with women at 30.6%, there was a noticeable drop to 23.0% by June 2021. However, a rebound occurred, peaking again at 25.7% for women in October 2022. Men showed a similar but less pronounced trend.

Correlation between Periods and Depressive Symptoms

Seasonal patterns suggest a potential correlation between certain times of the year and the prevalence of depressive symptoms. For instance, the beginning of 2021 saw the highest levels of reported symptoms, which gradually decreased towards the mid-year, suggesting that depressive symptoms could be higher during the winter months.

Comparison of Depressive Symptoms Pre and Post 2021

Data indicates a gradual decrease in the percentage of reported depressive symptoms from 2021 to 2023 for both genders. The average rate of depressive symptoms for women was approximately 27.4% in 2021, which decreased to around 23.6% by 2023. For men, the decrease was from an average of 24.6% in 2021 to approximately 21.4% in 2023.

Impact of Mid-2021 on Depressive Symptoms

A pivotal moment appears around mid-2021, where the rates of depressive symptoms begin to show a consistent decline for both genders. Before mid-2021, women's depressive symptoms averaged above 25%, while after this point, the average did not exceed 25%, indicating a significant shift in the trend of reported depressive symptoms.

Disparity in Recovery Rates Between Genders

Despite the overall decline in depressive symptoms among U.S. adults, the recovery rate appears to be faster for men than for women. The gap between men's and women's reported symptoms has narrowed over time, indicating that while both genders are showing improvement, men are, on average, reporting lower levels of depressive symptoms more quickly than women.

Insight into Period-Specific Peaks and Troughs

Examining the data for period-specific peaks and troughs reveals that depressive symptoms fluctuate significantly throughout the year, with no straightforward pattern. However, the periods with the highest reported symptoms often align with the winter months, suggesting a potential seasonal affective component.

Longitudinal Trends from 2020 to 2023

The longitudinal data from 2020 to 2023 provides insight into the psychological impact over three years, showcasing how external factors, potentially including the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, have influenced depressive symptoms among U.S. adults. The overall decrease in reported symptoms could indicate an adaptation to post-pandemic life or improved coping mechanisms among the population.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the trend of depressive symptoms in U.S. adults?

Depressive symptoms showed a decreasing trend from their peak in January 2021, dropping to 23.3% for women and 21.6% for men by September-October 2023.

Is there a disparity between genders in reported depressive symptoms?

Yes, women consistently reported higher rates of depressive symptoms than men, with the largest gap in March 2021 being 4.2 percentage points.

Did depressive symptoms fluctuate over time?

Yes, depressive symptoms fluctuated considerably, especially among women, with notable variations happening around January 2021 and October 2022.

What is the correlation between periods of the year and depressive symptoms?

Depressive symptoms tend to be higher during the winter months, as seen in the beginning of 2021 which had the highest levels of reported symptoms.

Terms and Definitions

Depressive symptoms refer to the emotional, physical and cognitive indicators associated with depression. They may include persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness, loss of interest in activities, restlessness or irritability, difficulty in concentrating, insomnia or excessive sleeping, changes in appetite, fatigue, and thoughts of death or suicide.

Mental health refers to a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. Mental health includes emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing, and affects how individuals think, feel, and act.

Epidemiology is the branch of medicine that deals with the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health. In this context, it refers to the study of the patterns, causes and effects of depressive symptoms among adults.

Prevalence refers to the proportion of a particular population found to be affected by a medical condition (like depressive symptoms) at a specific time. For this article, it would be the proportion of adults in the United States who are experiencing depressive symptoms at the time of the study.
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