The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting colder and millions of Americans are struggling with seasonal depression. Seasonal depression, also called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a subtype of depression that usually starts in fall or early winter.
It’s estimated that around 20 million people (1 in 20) suffer from seasonal depression every year. However, seasonal depression isn’t felt equally in all parts of the country. Our team of analysts found the states where people are most affected by seasonal depression.
- Alaska, Vermont and New Hampshire have the highest rates of searches for seasonal depression
- Burlington, Vt., Fargo, N.D., and Springfield, Mass., are the cities with the highest rates of searches for seasonal depression
- Searches for seasonal depression start in August and peak in late November/early December
Seasonal depression in each state
Detailed data on the rate of seasonal depression in each state isn’t available, so our team of analysts looked at search statistics going back to 2017. We found that while people in warmer, southern states do struggle with seasonal depression, people living in colder, northern states are much more likely to develop seasonal depression. We also found that searches for seasonal depression start increasing in August and peak in late November/early December.
Alaska, Vermont and New Hampshire are the states most affected by seasonal depression. Florida, Hawaii and Arizona are the states least affected by seasonal depression.
|State||Rank||Search index average|
|*Wyoming data not available|
Cities with most seasonal depression
Northern cities also struggle with seasonal depression more than southern cities. We found that Burlington, Vt., Fargo, N.D., and Springfield, Mass., have the highest rates of searches related to seasonal depression. If we look at the top 50 cities for seasonal depression, every one is in the northern half of the country. A southern city doesn’t make the list until Santa Barbara, Calif., at number 67.
|City||Rank||Search index average|
|Idaho Falls, ID||4||70|
|Cedar Rapids, IA||8||65|
|La Crosse, WI||10||64|
|Des Moines, IA||11||63|
|Grand Rapids, MI||13||62|
|Salt Lake City, UT||16||61|
|Green Bay, WI||21||58|
|South Bend, IN||26||57|
|Kansas City, MO||43||51|
|Presque Isle, ME||46||50|
Getting help for seasonal depression
Most health insurance plans cover some form of mental health services. Every plan is different, but coverage usually includes therapy, counseling and prescription drug coverage. Medicare and all Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) marketplace plans are required to cover mental health services.
If you or someone you know is struggling with seasonal depression, please consider contacting one of the organizations below to learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatments for seasonal depression.
Causes and symptoms of seasonal depression
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
- 1 (866) 615-6464
- NIMH website
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- 1 (800) 662-4357 (24hrs)
- SAMHSA website
National Alliance on Mental Illness
- 1 (800) 950-6264
To analyze rates of seasonal depression in each state, QuoteWizard reviewed Google search statistics from Nov. 15, 2017, to Nov. 15, 2022. Search terms reviewed included “seasonal depression,” “seasonal affective disorder” and “winter blues.” Rankings were determined by combining index scores for each topic into a composite score.
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