The two most depressed countries are France, with a 21 percent prevalence, and the U.S., with a 19 percent prevalence.
In the first international survey of Major Depressive Disorder, nearly 90,000 people in 18 different nations were screened for major depressive episodes of depression using a standardized set of questionnaire.
Researchers found that people living in wealthier first world countries are more likely to have experienced a depressive episode than those in low and middle-income developing countries. The study was conducted by researchers from the State University of Stony Brook as part of the WHO’s World Mental Health Survey Initiative.
In wealthy nations, income levels was a good predictor of depression: poor respondents carried double the risk of depression.
A woman living in the United States was found to be six times more likely to be depressed than a man living in China. Among the socioeconomic factors affecting depression, regardless of location, women were found to be almost twice as likely to experience depression.
Nearly 15 percent of those living in the 10 rich nations reported having at least one depressive episode in their lifetime. For poorer countries, the prevalence of a depressive episode was only 11 percent.
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