You asked

Please can you provide me information on the current statistics in the UK. I would like to know;-

  • How many people are affected by depression in the UK, the percentage and if it is still 1 in every 4.
  • The percentage of women compared to men affected by depression
  • The percentage of children affected by depression and which age group is highest
  • Which area in the UK is affected by depression the most
  • Morbidity and mortality associated to depression
  • Suicides associated to depression

We said

Thank you for your request.

We do not collect information on clinically diagnosed cases of depression.

As part of the Measuring National Well-being programme, we report on the “Percentage of those in the UK with some evidence indicating depression or anxiety”;

This is measured through the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and is collected on Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study. GHQ-12 asks respondents 12 questions about their recent feelings. These questions are then scored and added together with the total score ranging from a minimum of 0 and a maximum of 12. A score of 4 or more indicates that the individual may have symptoms of mild to moderate illness such as anxiety or depression.

This information is provided as percentage of respondents who have a score of 4 or more at the UK level. The most recent time period available is for 2014 – 2015 and is published broken down by constituent countries of the UK, and English regions. This information is also provided by 10 year age bands, but with the oldest age band being 75 and over. Information is not provided at a local authority level or for further breakdowns of age due to quality and disclosure reasons.

The national measures of well-being include the proportion of adults aged 16 and over reporting symptoms of mental ill-health using the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12). However, this has not been validated for use in children; it is focused on symptoms experienced by adults and would not be appropriate or informative if used for children. To measure children’s mental ill-health, a more “child-centric” measure had to be identified. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was designed by Professor Robert Goodman as a behavioural screening questionnaire for use with children aged 2 to 17. It consists of questionnaires administered to the child, a parent and a teacher. The most recent time period available is for 2013 - 2014 and the following release presents this data broken down by sex;

Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study is not carried out by ONS, but the data are available from the UK Data Service under varying licensing agreements;

Information relating to depression is also available from Public Health England;

and NHS Digital;

There was a national confidential inquiry into suicide and mental health which can be found using the following link:

Although we do publish statistics on mortality, depression would not routinely be recorded on the death certificate. So we are unable to provide this information.