Mental Health Facts and Statistics: What You Need to Know

Mental illness is common in the United States. Each year, 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience any type of mental illness. About 1 in 20 U.S. adults each year experience serious mental illness. Approximately half of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some time in their life.

Read on to learn more facts and statistics about mental health disorders.

Mental health concept - woman pulling string from head

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Mental Health Overview

"Mental health," "mental disorders," and "mental illness" are related but separate terms.

  • Mental health is a state of cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being in which a person is functioning successfully and productively.
  • Mental disorders are health conditions characterized by changes in thinking, mood, and/or behaviors that are associated with distress and/or impaired functioning.
  • Mental illness is a blanket term to collectively refer to all diagnosable mental disorders.

Mental disorders include:

How Common Are Mental Health Conditions?

Each year, approximately 1 in 5 U.S. adults live with any mental illness (AMI) ranging from mild to severe. Approximately 1 in 20 experience serious mental illness (SMI), which can be debilitating.

Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the United States, affecting about 48 million adults (about 19% of the population).

Anxiety disorders include:

The estimated annual prevalence of other mental disorders in the United States include:

  • Major depressive episode: 8.4% (21 million people)
  • PTSD: 3.6% (9 million people)
  • Bipolar disorder: 2.8% (7 million people)
  • Borderline personality disorder: 1.4% (3.5 million people)
  • OCD: 1.2% (3 million people)
  • Schizophrenia: Less than 1% (1.5 million people)

By 2022, approximately 4.58% of American adults reported having serious thoughts of suicide. Suicidal ideation (suicidal thoughts or ideas) has increased each year since 2011.

Help Is Available

If you or a loved one is having thoughts of suicide, call 911 immediately or call the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline (formerly the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) at 988. For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

Mental Health by Ethnicity

The approximate annual prevalence of any mental illness among adults in the United States, by demographic, are:

  • Multiracial: 35.8%
  • Non-Hispanic White: 22.6%
  • Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native: 18.7%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 18.4%
  • Non-Hispanic Black or African-American: 17.3%
  • Non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 16.6%
  • Non-Hispanic Asian: 13.9%

In 2020, the highest prevalence of serious mental illness was among adults identifying as two or more races (9.9%), while the lowest prevalence of SMI was among Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander adults (1.2%).

The prevalence of mental illness among racialized groups may be statistically underrepresented due to factors caused by racism, such as:

  • Underdiagnosis and/or misdiagnosis because of lack of cultural understanding by healthcare providers
  • Lower likelihood of receiving mental health care
  • Disproportionate referral to the justice system than to medical care for mental illness and behavioral health issues

Mental Health in the LGBTQ+ Community

Mental illness occurs at a higher rate in the LGBTQ+ community than in the general population. The approximate annual prevalence of any mental illness among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults in the United States is 47.4%.

Mental Health by Age and Gender

While mental illness affects all ages, rates can vary by age group, as follows:

  • One in 6 children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 experience a mental health disorder each year.
  • Approximately half of all lifetime mental illness starts by age 14, and 75% by age 24.
  • As of 2022, 15.08% of American youth had experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, which is a 1.24% increase from the year before.
  • A reported 10.6% of youths in the United States have severe major depression.
  • Among people aged 10 to 34, suicide is the second leading cause of death.

As of 2020:

  • 30.6% of young adults aged 18 to 25 in the United States experienced any mental illness, with 9.7% experiencing severe mental illness
  • 25.3% of U.S. adults aged 26 to 49 experienced any mental illness, with 6.9% experiencing severe mental illness
  • 14.5% of U.S. adults age 50 or older experienced any mental illness, with 3.4% experiencing severe mental illness

Mental illness rates can also vary by gender.

In 2020:

  • The prevalence of any mental illness was 25.8% among American females, compared to 15.8% among American males
  • The prevalence of severe mental illness was also higher among females in the United States at 7.0% compared to American males at 4.2%.

Mental illness can be experienced differently between men and women.

As of 2017:

  • Women were twice as likely to experience depression, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, and/or panic disorder in their lifetime than men.
  • Women accounted for 85% to 95% of people with anorexia nervosa or bulimia, and 65% of people with binge eating disorder.
  • Men were 4 times more likely than women to die by suicide, though women attempted suicide more often than men.
  • Women and men experienced schizophrenia at similar rates, but it tended to appear earlier in men (late teens to early twenties) than women (late 20s or early 30s).
  • Alcohol use disorder occurred more often in men than in women.

Causes and Risk Factors of Mental Health Conditions

The exact cause of mental illness isn't known, but it's believed to involve interactions among genetic, biological, environmental, and social factors.

Screening and Early Detection

While mental illness can't always be prevented, early detection can increase the effectiveness of treatment and improve outcomes.

Many mental health conditions begin by early adulthood, indicating a benefit to screening children, adolescents, and young adults for mental illness.

Statistics On Treatment

  • In 2020, 46.2% of adults in the United States with any mental illness, and 64.5% of adults with serious mental illness received treatment.
  • In 2016, 50.6% of youth in the United States aged 6 to 17 with a mental health disorder received treatment.

Annual treatment rates by demographic group among adults in the United States with any mental illness include:

  • Female: 51.2%
  • Male: 37.4%
  • Lesbian, gay or bisexual: 54.3%
  • Non-Hispanic white: 51.8%
  • Multiracial: 43.0%
  • Non-Hispanic Black or African-American: 37.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 35.1%
  • Non-Hispanic Asian: 20.8%

As of 2020:

  • 150 million people in the United States lived in a designated mental health professional shortage area.
  • 11% of U.S. adults with any mental illness and 11.3% of U.S. adults with serious mental illness had no insurance coverage.


Mental illness is common in the United States, with about half of all Americans experiencing a mental health condition at some point in their lives.

Rates of mental illness are higher in some demographic groups, including:

A Word From Verywell

If you or someone you know is struggling from a mental health disorder or illness, talk to a healthcare provider. There are many effective treatments available for every diagnosis that can help improve your condition and overall quality of life.

9 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. About mental health.

  2. National Alliance on Mental Illness. Mental health by the numbers.

  3. World Population Review. Mental health statistics by state 2022.

  4. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Mental health and mental disorders.

  5. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Mental health disorder statistics.

  6. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Mental illness.

  7. Mental Health America (MHA). The state of mental health in America - 2022 key findings.

  8. American Psychiatric Association. Mental health disparities: diverse populations.

  9. American Psychiatric Association. Mental health disparities: women's mental health.

By Heather Jones
Heather M. Jones is a freelance writer with a strong focus on health, parenting, disability, and feminism.