Anxiety: statistics

This content mentions anxiety, which some people may find triggering.

Anxiety is a type of fear usually associated with the thought of a threat or something going wrong in the future, but it can also arise from something happening right now.

  • Younger people are more likely to have some form of anxiety:
    • In 2021, those aged 16 to 29 years were most likely to have some form of anxiety (28% likely)
    • This decreased steadily through the age groups, and the least likely group was those aged 70 and over (5% likely) 1
  • More women report experiencing high levels of anxiety than men:
    • In 2022/23, an average of 37.1% of women and 29.9% of men reported high levels of anxiety 2
    • Compared to data from 2012 to 2015, this has increased significantly from 21.8% of women and 18.3% of men reporting high levels of anxiety 3
  • There was an increase in people reporting high levels of anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic, but anxiety levels have begun to decrease since then:
    • 19.8% reported high levels of anxiety during 2018/19
    • This increased to 24.2% during 2020/21
    • But anxiety levels decreased the following year, with 22.5% reporting high levels of anxiety during 2021/22 4
  • Of those experiencing anxiety, more people report experiencing ‘low’ or ‘very low’ levels of anxiety than those reporting ‘medium’ or ‘high’ levels:
    • From July to September 2022, 59.4% experienced ‘low’ or ‘very low’ levels
    • Whereas 40.5% of people experienced ‘medium’ or ‘high’ levels of anxiety 5

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  1. ONS. (2021). Depression or anxiety in adults, Great Britain: 22 September to 3 October 2021. Retrieved from [Accessed 11/04/2023]
  2. ONS. (2023). Public opinions and social trends, Great Britain: personal well-being and loneliness. Retrieved from [Accessed 11/04/2023]
  3. ONS. (2017). Measuring National Well-being: Anxiety. Retrieved from [Accessed on 18/04/2023]
  4. ONS. (2022). Personal well-being in the UK: April 2021 to March 2022. Retrieved from [Accessed 11/04/2023]
  5. ONS. (2022). Quarterly personal well-being estimates – seasonally adjusted. Retrieved from [Accessed 11/04/2023]
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