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World Mental Health Statistics (2016)

Most of the estimates presented in this entry are produced by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluationand reported in their flagship Global Burden of Disease study.

Mental health and substance use disorders are still significantly under-reported. This is true across all countries, but particularly at lower incomes where data is scarcer, and there is less attention and treatment for mental health disorders.

Mental health disorders are complex and can take many forms. The underlying sources of the data presented in this entry apply specific definitions (which we describe in each relevant section), typically in accordance with WHO's International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). This broad definition incorporates many forms, including depression, anxiety, bipolar, eating disorders and schizophrenia.

In many cases, we may therefore consider reported estimates to be an under-estimation of true prevalence and disease burden. It is also important to keep in mind that the uncertainty of the data on mental health is generally high so we should be cautious about interpreting changes over time and differences between countries. Even taking into account that mental health disorders are likely underreported, the data presented in this entry demonstrate that mental health disorders are common and have a high prevalence. Improving awareness, recognition, support and treatment for this range of disorders should therefore be an essential focus for global health.

DisorderShare of global population with disorder (2016)[difference across countries]Number of people with the disorder (2016)Share of males:females with disorder (2016)
Any mental or substance use disorder 15.5%


1.1 billion 16% males

15% females

Depression 4%


268 million 3% males

4.5% females

Anxiety disorders 4%


275 million 3% males

4.7% females

Bipolar disorder 0.6%


40 million 0.55% males

0.65% females

Eating disorders

(clinical anorexia & bulimia)



10.5 million 0.07% males

0.2% females

Schizophrenia 0.3%


21 million 0.29% males

0.28% females

Alcohol use disorder 1.4%


100 million 1.9% males

0.8% females

Drug use disorder (excluding alcohol) 0.9%


62 million 1.1% males

0.5% females


Mental health stats and substance abuse world stats

Prevalence of depressive disorders

The share of population with depression ranges mostly between 2% and 6% around the world today. Globally, older individuals (in the 70 years and older age bracket) have a higher risk of depression relative to other age groups.

In 2016, an estimated 268 million people in the world experienced depression. A breakdown of the number of people with depression can be seen here and a country by country view on a world map.

World depression stats

In all countries the median estimate for the prevalence of depression is higher for women than for men.

Prevalence of anxiety disorders

The prevalence of anxiety disorders across the world varies from 2.5 to 6.5 percent by country. Globally an estimated 275 million people experienced an anxiety disorder in 2016, making it the most prevalent mental health or neurodevelopmental disorder. Around 62 percent (170 million) were female, relative to 105 million males.

World anxiety disorder stats

In all countries women are more likely to experience anxiety disorders than men.

Prevalence of bipolar disorder

The prevalence of bipolar disorder across the world varies from 0.4 to 1.5 percent by country. Globally, an estimated 40 million people in the world had bipolar disorder in 2016, with 55 and 45 percent being female and male, respectively. In almost all countries women are more likely to experience bipolar disorder than men. Prevalence of bipolar disorder by age can be found here.

World bipolar disorder stats 


Schizophrenia is defined by the IHME based on the definition within the WHO's International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) as:

"The normal requirement for a diagnosis of schizophrenia is that a minimum of one very clear symptom (and usually two or more if less clear-cut) belonging to any one of the groups listed as (a) to (d) below, or symptoms from at least two of the groups referred to as (e) to (h), should have been clearly present for most of the time during a period of 1 month or more:

  • (a) thought echo, thought insertion or withdrawal, and thought broadcasting;
  • (b) delusions of control, influence, or passivity, clearly referred to body or limb movements or specific thoughts, actions, or sensations; delusional perception;
  • (c) hallucinatory voices giving a running commentary on the patient's behaviour, or discussing the patient among themselves, or other types of hallucinatory voices coming from some part of the body;
  • (d) persistent delusions of other kinds that are culturally inappropriate and completely impossible, such as religious or political identity, or superhuman powers and - 79 - abilities (e.g. being able to control the weather, or being in communication with aliens from another world);
  • (e) persistent hallucinations in any modality, when accompanied either by fleeting or half-formed delusions without clear affective content, or by persistent over-valued ideas, or when occurring every day for weeks or months on end;
  • (f) breaks or interpolations in the train of thought, resulting in incoherence or irrelevant speech, or neologisms;
  • (g) catatonic behaviour, such as excitement, posturing, or waxy flexibility, negativism, mutism, and stupor;
  • (h) "negative" symptoms such as marked apathy, paucity of speech, and blunting or incongruity of emotional responses, usually resulting in social withdrawal and lowering of social performance; it must be clear that these are not due to depression or to neuroleptic medication;
  • (i) a significant and consistent change in the overall quality of some aspects of personal behaviour, manifest as loss of interest, aimlessness, idleness, a self-absorbed attitude, and social withdrawal."

The following charts present global-level data on the prevalence of schizophrenia.

Prevalence of schizophrenia

The prevalence of schizophrenia typically ranges from 0.2 to 0.45 percent across countries. It's estimated that 21 million people in world had schizophrenia in 2016; the number of men and women with schizophrenia was approximately the same (around 10.5 million each).

 World population with schizophrenia




Our World Data (April 2018). Mental Health. Creative Commons Retrieved June 5, 2018, from 



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