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Depression - Women
Depression - Women in United States
United States

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Depression - Women in depth:

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Depression - Women by State

Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported being told by a health professional that they have a depressive disorder, including depression, major depression, minor depression or dysthymia

Depression - Women Trends

Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported being told by a health professional that they have a depressive disorder, including depression, major depression, minor depression or dysthymia

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Depression - Women

About Depression - Women

US Value: 26.1%

Top State(s): Hawaii: 16.9%

Bottom State(s): West Virginia: 39.7%

Definition: Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported being told by a health professional that they have a depressive disorder, including depression, major depression, minor depression or dysthymia

Data Source and Years: CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2019-2020

Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United Health Foundation,, accessed 2023.

Depression, also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, is a common mood disorder that is more common among women than men. The prevalence of depression may be higher than what is reported due to stigma associated with mental illness. 

The symptoms of depression — such as hopelessness, loss of interest and fatigue — can impact all aspects of a person’s life, including how they think, feel and handle daily activities. Around 80% of adults with depression report struggling with work, home or social activities. Depression during and after pregnancy may prevent mothers from forming early mother-child bonding, which is important for a child’s development.

Depression is a complex disorder caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and physiological factors. Risk factors for depression include a family history of depression, major life changes or stressors, certain medications and illnesses such as diabetes, cancer or heart disease. 

There are significant societal costs associated with depression. The economic burden of depression in the United States is estimated at $326 billion, including direct medical costs, loss of workplace productivity and lives lost to suicide.

The prevalence of depression is higher among:

  • Multiracial, non-Hispanic white and American Indian/Alaska Native women compared with Asian, Hispanic and Black women. 
  • Women with some post-high school education compared with those with less than a high school education, those with a high school degree or GED diploma and college graduates. 
  • Women with an annual household income less than $25,000 compared with those with higher levels of income; women with incomes of $75,000 or more have the lowest prevalence of depression. 
  • Women who live in non-metropolitan areas compared with women in metropolitan areas.

Depressive disorders are common and treatable. Depression is most commonly treated with psychotherapy, medications or both. Talking with your primary care provider is a good first step in finding mental health care. Another resource is the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which offers a behavioral treatment locator

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps offers multiple scientifically supported strategies for improving health outcomes for people suffering from depression, including behavioral health primary care integration, community-based social support for physical activity and changes to mental health benefits legislation.

The National Institute of Mental Health has a guide for how to help someone who is in emotional distress In 2022, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline was launched to provide an easy-to-remember number and 24/7 confidential support for people in distress, as well as prevention and crisis resources, by call, text or online chat. The previous National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number (1-800-273-TALK(8255)) is also active and can still be used.

Healthy People 2030 has multiple goals addressing mental health, including increasing the proportion of adults who receive screening and treatment for depression.

Brody, Debra J., Laura A. Pratt, and Jeffery P. Hughes. 2018. “Prevalence of Depression Among Adults Aged 20 and Over: United States, 2013–2016.” NCHS Data Brief No. 303. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics.

Greenberg, Paul E., Andree-Anne Fournier, Tammy Sisitsky, Mark Simes, Richard Berman, Sarah H. Koenigsberg, and Ronald C. Kessler. 2021. “The Economic Burden of Adults with Major Depressive Disorder in the United States (2010 and 2018).” PharmacoEconomics 39 (6): 653–65.

Parcesepe, Angela M., and Leopoldo J. Cabassa. 2013. “Public Stigma of Mental Illness in the United States: A Systematic Literature Review.” Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research 40 (5): 384–99.

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