Key findings:

  • States with high rate of access to mental health care saw decrease in depression rates.
  • Oregon, West Virginia and Maine have the highest rates of depression.
  • Alaska, Louisiana and Tennessee saw largest increase of depression.
  • New Mexico, Massachusetts and Connecticut saw the largest decrease of depression.
  • Hawaii, New Jersey and California have lowest rates of depression.
  • 17.3 million Americans living with depression.
  • Access to mental health care through insurance is a significant barrier for people with depression and mental illness.

Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in America, with over 17 million U.S. adults suffering from it. As it is one of the most common mental illnesses, there are many risk factors that affect Americans: Many are predisposed to depression through genetics, while some can be affected by things like stress, poor diet and substance abuse. For people to manage depression, access to mental health care is essential for those suffering from it.

Lack of access to mental health care is a serious issue for many with depression. Over 24 million adults with a mental illness did not receive any mental health treatment, with even nine million adults with a mental illness reporting they tried and could not receive treatment. Another five million people with mental illness are living uninsured.

We analyzed CDC data on depression rates, along with Mental Health America mental health care access data. We found that states that rated highly for mental health care access also saw significant decreases in depression from 2014 to 2018. Massachusetts had the second best access to mental healthcare and saw a 16% decrease in depression rates over a five year period. On the opposite end, states with low ratings to mental health care access mostly saw increases in depression rates from 2014 to 2018. Texas was rated the worst state for mental healthcare access and saw a 13% increase in depression rates over the same five year period. While not the case in every state, the trends on the high and low ends of the access to health care do show how access to health care can have an impact on treating depression.

To get rankings, we analyzed CDC data on depression rates in each state over a five-year period from 2014 to 2018. Our final rankings are an average rate over the same five-year period. States with the highest rates of depression are ranked 1st to 50th (lowest rate of depression). Also included with each states depression rates is the percentage of change in depression rates from 2014 to 2018. The percentage change is intended to show which states have seen an increase or decrease in depression rates. Access rankings from Mental Health America rank states 1 to 50, 1 being states with best access to mental healthcare and 50 being worst access to mental healthcare.

Rank State Depression Rate % Change in Depression Rate Access Rank
1 Oregon 25.20% 9.17% 23
2 West Virginia 24.62% 12.71% 28
3 Maine 23.52% -3.80% 5
4 Arkansas 23.2% 4.65% 34
5 Kentucky 22.84% 0.42% 30
6 Oklahoma 22.70% 6.88% 38
7 Alabama 22.64% 12.68% 45
8 Vermont 22.64% -2.75% 1
9 Tennessee 22.36% 17.76% 41
10 Washington 22.22% 9.26% 24
11 Utah 21.98% 17.39% 37
12 Missouri 21.96% 2.30% 25
13 Michigan 21.74% 13.17% 14
14 Rhode Island 21.62% 0.97% 3
15 New Hampshire 21.54% -1.43% 9
16 Louisiana 20.76% 24.06% 40
17 Montana 20.58% 7.35% 27
18 Ohio 20.10% -4.31% 10
19 South Carolina 20.06% 0.00% 46
20 Indiana 20.06% -4.83% 21
21 Mississippi 19.86% 9.05% 47
22 Pennsylvania 19.62% 9.64% 12
23 New Mexico 19.60% -18.48% 20
24 Massachusetts 19.56% -16.59% 2
25 Kansas 19.24% 11.29% 42
26 North Carolina 19.16% 4.21% 43
27 Idaho 19.14% 0.00% 31
28 Wyoming 18.92% -5.79% 44
29 Minnesota 18.18% -3.30% 7
30 North Dakota 18.14% 13.29% 17
31 Nebraska 17.96% -2.26% 33
32 Wisconsin 17.92% 15.29% 6
33 Delaware 17.90% -7.65% 13
34 Iowa 17.88% -12.30% 4
35 Arizona 17.88% -10.70% 35
36 Colorado 17.58% -7.65% 16
37 Georgia 17.32% -6.56% 49
38 Connecticut 16.98% -15.30% 8
39 Virginia 16.92% -4.60% 36
40 Alaska 16.90% 29.49% 22
41 Illinois 16.80% 5.99% 19
42 South Dakota 16.42% -1.81% 29
43 Nevada 16.14% 0.64% 48
44 Maryland 16.12% -3.14% 11
45 Florida 15.92% -3.70% 39
46 Texas 15.28% 13.01% 50
47 New York 14.88% -5.03% 15
48 California 14.48% 15.79% 26
49 New Jersey 12.98% -11.94% 32
50 Hawaii 11.76% 17.76% 18

Methodology

QuoteWizard analyzed Center for Disease Control (CDC) data to find the prevalence of depression in each state. We analyzed depression rates in each state over a period from 2014 to 2018 to find a five-year average in each state. Rankings 1 to 50 are based on the five-year average of depression rates. Prevalence of depression rates in each state are determined by people who have indicated a diagnosis of a form of depression. Also included is the percentage change in depression rates from 2014 to 2018 to show to increase and decrease of depression rates in each state. Access to mental healthcare rankings provided by Mental Health America to show direct correlation of how access to mental healthcare impacts the increase or decrease of depression rates.