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Depression - Children
Depression - Children in United States
United States

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United States Value:

4.2%

Percentage of children ages 3-17 who currently have depression (2-year estimate)

Depression - Children by State

Percentage of children ages 3-17 who currently have depression (2-year estimate)




Depression - Children Trends

Percentage of children ages 3-17 who currently have depression (2-year estimate)

Trend: Depression - Children in United States, 2022 Health Of Women And Children Report

Percentage of children ages 3-17 who currently have depression (2-year estimate)

United States
Source:

 National Survey of Children's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)

View All Populations

Depression - Children

Trend: Depression - Children in United States, 2022 Health Of Women And Children Report

Percentage of children ages 3-17 who currently have depression (2-year estimate)

United States
Source:

 National Survey of Children's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB)

About Depression - Children

US Value: 4.2%

Top State(s): Hawaii: 2.4%

Bottom State(s): Kentucky: 7.3%

Definition: Percentage of children ages 3-17 who currently have depression (2-year estimate)

Data Source and Years: National Survey of Children's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), 2020-2021

Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of National Survey of Children's Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), United Health Foundation, AmericasHealthRankings.org, accessed 2023.

Occasionally feeling sad or uninterested is normal for children, but when they feel persistent sadness and hopelessness, they may have depression. Depression, also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a common mood disorder. The symptoms of depression can impact all aspects of a child’s life, including how they think, feel and handle daily activities. Common symptoms or behaviors often seen in children with depression include:

  • Frequent or persistent sadness, hopelessness or irritability.
  • Lack of interest in fun activities.
  • Changes in eating and sleeping patterns (eating and sleeping a lot less or a lot more than usual).

Children and adolescents who have depression may experience difficulty with social relationships. Untreated depression in children and adolescents can result in many problems, including academic issues, misuse of alcohol or other drugs and suicidal thoughts or attempts. Untreated depression in youth can lead to depression and personality disorders in adulthood.

The prevalence of depression is higher among:

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that health care providers screen youth ages 12-18 for major depressive disorder. Depression in children can be addressed by talking with a health care provider or a mental health specialist. Treatments may include talk therapy, medication or both. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides various locators to help find mental health care providers for children.

Healthy People 2030 has several objectives related to children’s mental health, including increasing the proportion of children and adolescents who get appropriate treatment for anxiety or depression and increasing the proportion of children and adolescents who get preventive mental health care in school.

Bitsko, Rebecca H., Angelika H. Claussen, Jesse Lichstein, Lindsey I. Black, Sherry Everett Jones, Melissa L. Danielson, Jennifer M. Hoenig, et al. 2022. “Mental Health Surveillance Among Children — United States, 2013–2019.” MMWR Supplements 71 (2): 1–42. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.su7102a1.

Ekono, Mercedes M., Yang Jiang, and Sheila Smith. 2016. “Young Children in Deep Poverty.” Fact Sheet. New York: National Center for Children in Poverty, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. https://doi.org/10.7916/D86Q1X31.

Elmore, Amanda L., and Elizabeth Crouch. 2020. “The Association of Adverse Childhood Experiences With Anxiety and Depression for Children and Youth, 8 to 17 Years of Age.” Academic Pediatrics 20 (5): 600–608. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acap.2020.02.012.

Kasen, Stephanie, Patricia Cohen, Andrew E. Skodol, Jeffrey G. Johnson, Elizabeth Smailes, and Judith S. Brook. 2001. “Childhood Depression and Adult Personality Disorder: Alternative Pathways of Continuity.” Archives of General Psychiatry 58 (3): 231–36. https://doi.org/10.1001/archpsyc.58.3.231.

Mullen, Sandra. 2018. “Major Depressive Disorder in Children and Adolescents.” Mental Health Clinician 8 (6): 275–83. https://doi.org/10.9740/mhc.2018.11.275.

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