Nearly two in five people sometimes feel anxious or depressed

16/12/2002 10:00

In 2001 nearly two in five people aged twelve or older in the Netherlands said that at some time in their lives they had had feelings of anxiety or depression, or both, for a period of at least two weeks.

Feelings of anxiety or depression among the population aged 12 years and older, 2001

One in ten people have suffered feelings of anxiety for longer periods and nearly one in ten have suffered from depression for a longer period. In addition, 17 percent of the population have suffered both symptoms for a longer period at some time in their lives.

Feelings of anxiety or depression by sex

More women suffer from anxiety and depression

Fourteen percent of women had been anxious for at least two weeks and 9 percent had had feelings of depression. For men this was less common: 7 percent on both counts. More women than men had also had experienced a period of both anxiety and depression.
Overall, nearly half of women aged twelve or older in the Netherlands have had a period of anxiety, depression or both, compared with 28 percent of men.

Feelings of anxiety or depression by age

Fewest complaints among the young and the elderly

Most people who reported ever having suffered from anxiety or depression are in age groups 20–44 and 45–64 years. People suffering from both complaints are also mostly in these age groups. Feelings of depression are mostly reported between 20 and 44 years, while feelings of anxiety are experienced most by people aged over 45. Some 20 percent of young people aged 12–20 years had had periods of depression or anxiety.

Feelings of anxiety or depression by degree of urbanisation

More anxiety and depression in urban areas

People living in urban areas suffer more from depression and anxiety than those in non-urbanised areas. In urban areas nearly two in five people reported ever having had a period of anxiety or depression or both. The number of people suffering from both complaints in particular is higher in urban areas than in non-urbanised areas.

Linda Rozendaal and Ferdy Otten