The number of people dealing with anxiety or depression in each state has changed along with the pandemic. Our team of analysts found that while anxiety and depression levels increased during the first year of the pandemic, they have decreased dramatically throughout 2021.

Key findings:

  • The number of people experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression has decreased by 23% since January 2021.
  • Louisiana and Oklahoma have the highest rates of both anxiety and depression.
  • Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey have had the largest decreases in anxiety and depression levels.

Changes in anxiety or depression in each state

Conditions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continue to change from day to day, but data suggests that people are adjusting and their mental state is improving. We found that nationwide, the number of people dealing with anxiety or depression increased by 6.3% in 2020 and has decreased by 23% throughout 2021.

Anxiety Depression COVID  

The number of people dealing with anxiety or depression has decreased in every state since the beginning of the year. Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Jersey have experienced the largest declines, with a drop in anxiety and depression levels of around 30% or more. Arizona, Arkansas, and Tennessee have also seen declines, but at around 10%, they have been the smallest in the nation.

Anxiety and Depression in each state
State % of people with symptoms of anxiety or depression in August 2021 % change since January 2021
Connecticut 26% -34%
Rhode Island 30% -31%
New Jersey 28% -31%
Mississippi 33% -31%
California 32% -30%
North Carolina 32% -29%
Illinois 28% -29%
Washington 32% -28%
Colorado 30% -28%
New Hampshire 27% -27%
Alaska 31% -27%
Wyoming 29% -27%
Indiana 30% -27%
Maine 29% -27%
Ohio 31% -26%
Michigan 31% -26%
Iowa 28% -26%
Wisconsin 27% -26%
Virginia 29% -26%
West Virginia 34% -25%
Missouri 31% -24%
Idaho 30% -24%
Oregon 33% -24%
Maryland 30% -24%
New York 29% -23%
Kansas 29% -23%
Massachusetts 31% -23%
South Carolina 31% -23%
New Mexico 32% -22%
Nebraska 28% -22%
Texas 32% -22%
Georgia 35% -21%
Utah 33% -20%
Vermont 29% -20%
Alabama 34% -20%
Minnesota 28% -20%
Florida 32% -19%
Kentucky 34% -19%
Pennsylvania 33% -18%
North Dakota 26% -18%
Hawaii 31% -18%
Montana 29% -18%
South Dakota 26% -17%
Nevada 35% -16%
Louisiana 39% -15%
Oklahoma 39% -14%
Delaware 32% -12%
Arkansas 36% -12%
Arizona 35% -11%
Tennessee 37% -10%
United States 32% -24%

States with the most anxiety and depression

Louisiana and Oklahoma have reported the highest levels of both anxiety and depression during the last year of the pandemic. They have also remained higher than much of the rest of the country. Nearly one out of every three people in both Louisiana and Tennessee reported feeling anxiety, and nearly 30% say they feel depressed. Compare that to the nationwide averages of 27% for anxiety and 22% for depression.

Anxiety and depression levels have remained low in both North and South Dakota throughout the pandemic. New Hampshire, meanwhile, has the second-lowest levels of both anxiety and depression, but that is mainly due to a large decrease throughout 2021.

Anxiety in each state
State % experiencing anxiety in August 2021 % change since January 2021 Pandemic high
Louisiana 36% -13% 46%
Oklahoma 33% -18% 44%
Tennessee 32% -12% 38%
Nevada 31% -15% 43%
West Virginia 31% -20% 40%
Alabama 30% -17% 37%
Arkansas 30% -17% 39%
Georgia 30% -22% 40%
Kentucky 30% -19% 38%
Delaware 30% -4% 35%
Utah 29% -21% 38%
Arizona 29% -18% 39%
Oregon 29% -24% 42%
Washington 29% -27% 39%
Pennsylvania 28% -18% 37%
Mississippi 28% -33% 43%
Texas 28% -22% 41%
North Carolina 28% -27% 39%
New Mexico 28% -19% 43%
Florida 28% -20% 38%
Missouri 28% -21% 36%
Colorado 27% -27% 40%
California 27% -32% 40%
Michigan 27% -25% 41%
Maryland 27% -21% 35%
Massachusetts 26% -26% 38%
Idaho 26% -20% 38%
Alaska 26% -29% 39%
Maine 26% -25% 37%
Rhode Island 26% -31% 38%
Ohio 26% -28% 38%
Hawaii 26% -22% 35%
Vermont 26% -19% 38%
New York 25% -24% 36%
Wyoming 25% -26% 37%
Virginia 25% -28% 36%
South Carolina 25% -27% 37%
Montana 25% -21% 38%
Indiana 25% -29% 36%
Kansas 25% -25% 38%
Nebraska 25% -19% 35%
Illinois 24% -28% 38%
New Jersey 24% -30% 36%
Iowa 24% -24% 35%
Minnesota 23% -26% 36%
Connecticut 23% -35% 36%
Wisconsin 23% -25% 35%
North Dakota 23% -17% 31%
New Hampshire 22% -32% 36%
South Dakota 22% -19% 31%
United States 27% -24% 37%
Depression in each state
State % experiencing depression in August 2021 % change since January 2021 Pandemic high
Louisiana 29% -10% 39%
Oklahoma 29% -7% 36%
Tennessee 26% -17% 32%
Nevada 26% -15% 36%
West Virginia 24% -32% 37%
Alabama 25% -19% 35%
Arkansas 25% -13% 33%
Georgia 24% -19% 31%
Kentucky 24% -22% 31%
Delaware 19% -22% 30%
Utah 23% -21% 31%
Arizona 25% -11% 33%
Oregon 22% -24% 33%
Washington 23% -29% 31%
Pennsylvania 25% -12% 29%
Mississippi 23% -30% 37%
Texas 23% -23% 32%
North Carolina 22% -27% 31%
New Mexico 22% -23% 36%
Florida 23% -13% 30%
Missouri 24% -19% 29%
Colorado 20% -27% 30%
California 22% -29% 31%
Michigan 21% -30% 33%
Maryland 21% -24% 28%
Massachusetts 21% -19% 30%
Idaho 20% -29% 31%
Alaska 23% -24% 32%
Maine 20% -16% 25%
Rhode Island 21% -37% 33%
Ohio 24% -20% 36%
Hawaii 23% -15% 29%
Vermont 17% -20% 26%
New York 18% -27% 30%
Wyoming 21% -22% 29%
Virginia 18% -31% 28%
South Carolina 24% -11% 28%
Montana 20% -16% 30%
Indiana 20% -27% 30%
Kansas 19% -24% 31%
Nebraska 20% -15% 27%
Illinois 20% -25% 30%
New Jersey 18% -37% 29%
Iowa 19% -30% 30%
Minnesota 19% -18% 25%
Connecticut 18% -29% 29%
Wisconsin 17% -27% 30%
North Dakota 19% -15% 24%
New Hampshire 19% -25% 26%
South Dakota 16% -21% 26%
United States 22% -23% 30%

Anxiety or depression by demographics

Men, women and people of different ages, ethnicities and education levels have all experienced the pandemic differently. Women report having higher levels of anxiety and depression than men, while older and more educated Americans currently have some of the lowest levels of anxiety or depression.

When we looked at race and ethnicity, our analysts found that asian communities have experienced the largest decline in anxiety or depression. Black, white and hispanic communities report roughly the same levels of anxiety or depression and have experienced the same decline over the last year.

Education Level
Education level % experiencing depression in August 2021 % change since January 2021 Pandemic high
Less than a high school diploma 28% -43% 52%
High school diploma or GED 24% -41% 45%
Some college/Associate's degree 25% -45% 46%
Bachelor's degree or higher 16% -56% 33%
Age
Age % experiencing depression in August 2021 % change since January 2021 Pandemic high
18 - 29 years 46% -16% 57%
30 - 39 years 41% -13% 49%
40 - 49 years 34% -20% 45%
50 - 59 years 30% -28% 40%
60 - 69 years 22% -36% 34%
70 - 79 years 16% -41% 28%
80 years and above 15% -41% 28%
Race/ Ethnicity
Race/ Ethnicity % experiencing depression in August 2021 % change since January 2021 Pandemic high
Hispanic 36% -19% 48%
Asian 23% -36% 38%
Black 33% -24% 48%
White 30% -25% 41%
Gender
Gender % experiencing depression in August 2021 % change since January 2021 Pandemic high
Female 35% -22% 47%
Male 28% -26% 38%

Access to mental health care

With so many Americans affected by mental illness, lack of access to health care can often be a larger source of the problem. Only 41% of adults with a mental health condition received mental health services in the past year, and with an increase in pandemic-related job loss, 56% more Americans are left uninsured compared to pre-pandemic levels — resulting in fewer treatment options.

Many of the top states that experienced increased rates of mental illness this past year were also states with high unemployment numbers and therefore a lack of health care coverage. In our previous uninsured report, Nevada saw one of the highest overall increases in unemployed and uninsured residents and is now among the top states experiencing high stress levels through the pandemic.

While some states’ rates of anxiety and depression were considered high on average during 2020, other states experienced higher increases in mental health over the first year of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Massachusetts was one of two states that saw a decline in anxiety and depression during 2020. The state’s 5.8% decline since the beginning of the pandemic could be a result of its access to mental health care, its quality of care and its health insurance programs. QuoteWizard recently ranked Massachusetts as the top-ranking state for access to mental health care in the nation.

The decline in the number of people experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression has also coincided with a decline in the number of coronavirus cases and an easing of lockdown restrictions. As of September 2020, we are experiencing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and seeing some social distancing and mask mandates reappear. Only time will tell if this new round of coronavirus cases and restrictions will once again lead to an increase in anxiety and depression levels.

Methodology

QuoteWizard evaluated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mental health data on each state’s frequency of anxiety or depression from April 2020 to August 2021. We then compared the data over time and across state, gender, age, educational and ethnic lines.