The First State With the Highest Depression Rate in America Has Been Revealed

Depression, a mental health disorder impacting thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, is a widespread concern in the United States. It can result in various emotional, mental, and physical challenges, impairing an individual’s daily functioning.

Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that approximately 21% of U.S. adults have been diagnosed with depression, marking the highest prevalence since 2011.

Identifying the Most Depressed State

West Virginia claims the title of the state with the highest depression rate in the U.S., boasting an age-adjusted prevalence estimate of 29%. This means that nearly one in three adults in West Virginia has received a depression diagnosis. Following closely are Kentucky (27.6%) and Vermont (26.6%).

Noteworthy Trends

Between 2020 and 2021, the prevalence of adults with a history of depression increased in the majority of states, particularly in Idaho (+4.2 percentage points), Alaska (+4.0), Michigan (+3.5), and Oregon (+3.5). This indicates a rising trend in depression rates nationwide.

Highlighting the Least Depressed State

Conversely, Hawaii (11.4%) holds the position of the least depressed state, followed by California (15.3%), Maryland (17.2%), and South Dakota (17.2%). Interestingly, only six states experienced a year-over-year drop in the prevalence of adults with a history of depression between 2020 and 2021, notably in Hawaii (-1.5), South Carolina (-1.3), and Pennsylvania (-1.3).

Impact of the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated symptoms of depression and anxiety for many individuals. Research also suggests that depression can linger as a symptom of long COVID, with individuals remaining at high risk of developing symptoms even a year after a coronavirus infection.


Depression is a significant issue affecting millions in the U.S. Understanding the prevalence across states is crucial for resource allocation and providing essential support. The escalating depression rates, particularly during the pandemic, underscore the ongoing need for focus on mental health care and support systems.


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