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Anxiety Disorders: Facts And Statistics

Anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder, are common. In fact, just over one-third (31.1 percent) of adults in the U.S. have experienced any type of anxiety disorder at some point during their lives.

On a global scale, anxiety disorders tend to be less common among older populations compared to younger populations. Although all types of anxiety disorders can be successfully treated, data shows that only about one-third of people with these disorders seek treatment.

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Prevalence Of Anxiety Disorders

In the U.S., younger age groups tend to have higher rates of anxiety disorders, while older age groups tend to have lower rates overall.

  • For adults aged 18 or older, roughly 19.1 percent have experienced any type of anxiety disorder in the past year.
  • The highest percentages of adults who have experienced an anxiety disorder were those between 18 and 29 years of age at 22.3 percent and those between 30 and 44 years of age at 22.7 percent.
  • The rate for those between 45 and 59 years of age dropped slightly to 20.6 percent. This rate decreased significantly to just 9 percent for those aged 60 and older.
  • Among U.S. adults with an anxiety disorder, roughly 22.8 percent had a serious anxiety disorder, 33.7 percent had a moderate anxiety disorder, and 43.5 percent had a mild anxiety disorder.
  • Among adolescents between 13 and 18 in the U.S., 31.9 percent experienced an anxiety disorder, with 3.8 percent reporting a severe anxiety disorder.
  • The prevalence of anxiety disorders among adolescents was similar in all age groups (31.4 for 13-14-year-olds, 32.1 for 15-16-year-olds, and 32.3 for 17-18-year-olds).

Anxiety Disorders In Men And Women

Among men and women in the U.S., anxiety disorders tend to occur more often in women. This is true for all types of anxiety disorders that adults in the U.S. experience.

Consider the prevalence of anxiety disorders in men and women over a 12-month period:

  • For panic disorder, women had a rate of 3.8 percent compared to 1.6 percent for men.
  • For social phobia, women had a rate of 8.0 percent compared to 6.1 percent for men.
  • For GAD, women had a rate of 3.4 percent compared to 1.9 percent for men.
  • For post-traumatic stress disorder, women had a rate of 5.2 percent compared to 1.8 percent for men.
  • For obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), women had a rate of 1.8 percent compared to 0.5 percent for men.
  • For adult separation anxiety disorder, women had a rate of 2.1 percent compared to 1.7 percent for men.
  • For any anxiety disorder, women had a rate of 23.4 percent compared to 14.3 percent for men.

Anxiety Disorders In Specific Populations

Anxiety disorders have varying rates in different racial groups in the U.S. Take a look at the lifetime prevalence rates of anxiety disorders among specific populations:

  • Asian Americans have the lowest rates for different anxiety disorders (5.3 percent for social anxiety disorder (SAD), 2.4 percent for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), 2.1 percent for panic disorder (PD), and 1.6 percent for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • White Americans experience some of the highest rates of anxiety disorders, including 12.6 percent for SAD, 8.6 percent for GAD, 5.1 percent for PD, and 6.5 percent for PTSD.
  • Among African Americans, the rates were 8.6 percent for SAD, 4.9 percent for GAD, 3.8 percent for PD, and 8.6 percent for PTSD.
  • Among Hispanic Americans, the rates were 8.2 percent for SAD, 5.8 percent for GAD, 4.1 percent for PD, and 5.6 percent for PTSD.

Global Impact Of Anxiety Disorders

Around the world, anxiety disorders are among the most common types of mental health disorders. This is true among various age groups, although women tend to have higher rates of anxiety disorders than men.

Take a look at some facts on a global scale:

  • On a global level, roughly 4.6 percent of women have experienced anxiety disorders compared to roughly 2.6 percent of men.
  • In the Americas, roughly 7.7 percent of women have experienced anxiety disorders compared to 3.6 percent of men.
  • An estimated 264 million people around the world live with an anxiety disorder.
  • The global prevalence of anxiety disorders is roughly even across most age groups with a notable decline in those 70 and older.
  • The South-East Asia Region has the highest percentage of anxiety disorders at 23 percent, while the African Region has the lowest percentage at 10 percent.
  • The Region of the Americas has a rate of 21 percent for anxiety disorders, while the European Region has a rate of 14 percent, and the Western Pacific Region has a rate of 20 percent.

Anxiety Disorders: Treatment Facts

Anxiety disorders can be treated with psychotherapy, medication, lifestyle changes, and other options. However, many individuals do not get treatment for these disorders. Out of close to 40 million people in the U.S. with an anxiety disorder, roughly one-third seek treatment.

With roughly eight percent of children and teens in the U.S. experiencing anxiety disorders, and around one in 13 people globally suffering from anxiety disorders, this is a large number of individuals who are not getting the treatment needed for these prevalent disorders.