Depression Facts

  • One million people in Australian currently suffer from depression and 2.3 million suffer from anxiety (1)
  • In any year 10,000 young Australians live with depression (2)
  • Postnatal depression effects 14% of new mothers in Australia (2)
  • The prevalence of depression in an Australian sample group increased in the ten years to 2008 from 6.8% to 10.3% (3)
  • Depression and anxiety affect one in seven and one in four people respectively at some point in their lives (1)
  • Depression will be second only to heart disease as the leading medical cause of death and disability within 20 years (2)


Economic Impact of Depression

  • Depression-associated disability costs the Australian economy $14.9 billion annually (2)
  • In Australia more than 6 million working days are lost each year (2)
  • Depression costs the Australian community over $600 million each year in treatment costs (2)


 The Social Impact of Depression

  • The World Health Organization reports that death from suicide accounts for more fatalities than either from armed conflicts globally or the number of people dying from traffic accidents.
  • There are approximately 900,000 suicides a year world-wide, and World Health Organization data show that suicide is now one of the three leading causes of death among people aged 15-34 years
  • Approximately 2000 Australians die from suicide every year. Men are 4 times more likely to die by suicide than women and they use more violent means generally to end their lives (1)
  • In 2010, 1.6% of all Australian deaths registered were attributed to suicide, approximately the same proportion as in 2007 and 2008 (4)
  • Males comprised approximately 77% of Australian suicide deaths for 2010 (4)


Treatment and Care

  • Depression is currently the leading cause of non-fatal disability in Australia, with less than 50% receiving medical care (2)
  • In an Australian study, of those people who had any need for care for depression, only 30.8% had all their needs fully met, while the great majority had unmet or partially met care needs (5)


1. Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2008
2. Beyond Blue (
3. Australian and NZ Journal of Psychiatry, South Australian Sample Group, survey period 1998, 2004 and 2008
4. ABS Data released 20th March 2012
5. Perceived need for mental health care and barriers to care in the Netherlands and Australia: Soc Psychiatry Epidemiol. 2011 October; 46(10): 1033-1044


3 thoughts on “Depression Facts

  1. Hi Lilly,
    Thanks for getting in touch. We are sorry to hear you have been dealing with anxiety and depression at such a young age. We want you to know you are not alone. Can we put you in touch with Headspace. They are a great organisation that assist young people from 12 – 25 years. You can talk with them online, face to face or on the phone. Please visit their website to get in touch

    Kids Helpline is also a safe place for you to talk to someone call them on 1800 55 1800 or visit the website

  2. i am 13yo and i started to suffer from anxiety and depression at the age of 8-9yo it has been very hard for me and i would like some personal advise please to stop it because my foster parent wont let me goon medication?

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