Could you be part of the one-fifth of adults who experienced an anxiety disorder in the past year? Statistics reveal which demographics may be more widely impacted by these mental health conditions.

An anxiety disorder involves excessive, irrational fear and worry beyond what a typical person would experience with everyday stressors. Anxiety disorder statistics provide information about who is affected by various anxiety disorders and the prevalence of these disorders.

Article at a Glance:  

  • Anxiety disorders are very common, especially among teens, women, and White Americans.  
  • Some specific types of anxiety disorders are more prevalent than others.  
  • Anxiety often co-occurs with depression, mania, and substance use disorders.  
  • About 3.6 percent, or 264 million people around the world, have anxiety disorders. 
  • Treatment for anxiety disorders is available and effective. 

How Common Are Anxiety Disorders?

In the United States adult population, the prevalence of anxiety disorders is 19.1 percent within the past year, meaning that during a 12-month period, 19.1 percent of adults had an anxiety disorder. Lifetime rates are even higher at 31.1 percent, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

The NIMH reports that the incidence of anxiety disorders varies by age. Anxiety disorders in adults are seen in 22.3 percent of those aged 18–29 and 22.7 percent of people ages 30–44. The prevalence of anxiety disorders drops to 20.6 percent for individuals ages 45–59. Anxiety in older adults is less common, affecting only 9 percent of people 60 years or older. 

Anxiety disorders in teens are relatively common. Lifetime prevalence rates of anxiety disorders in adolescents, based on age, are as follows:

  • Age 13–14: 31.4 percent
  • Age 15–16: 32.1 percent
  • Age 17–18: 32.3 percent 

Anxiety Disorders in Men vs. Women

Anxiety demographics indicate who is most likely to experience anxiety based on factors such as gender and race. Anxiety disorders in women are more common than anxiety disorders in men. In the past year, 23.4 percent of women experienced an anxiety disorder, compared to 14.3 percent of men, according to NIMH.

Anxiety Disorders by Race

The prevalence of anxiety disorders varies by race. One study found that White Americans demonstrate more symptoms of anxiety disorders when compared to minority groups. The only exception to this trend is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which tends to be more common among African Americans. Asian Americans demonstrate consistently lower rates of anxiety disorders when compared to those of other races. 

The study also found that rates of anxiety disorders among different races varied based on the specific anxiety disorder.

For social anxiety disorder, the prevalence among different races was as follows:

  • White Americans: 12.6 percent
  • African Americans: 8.6 percent
  • Asian Americans: 5.3 percent
  • Hispanic Americans: 8.2 percent

When it came to generalized anxiety disorder, the prevalence was:

  • White Americans: 8.6 percent
  • African Americans: 4.9 percent
  • Asian Americans: 2.4 percent
  • Hispanics: 5.8 percent 

Prevalence of panic disorder among different races was found to be:

  • White Americans: 5.1 percent
  • African Americans: 3.8 percent
  • Asian Americans: 2.1 percent
  • Hispanic Americans: 4.1 percent 

PTSD prevalence was:

  • White Americans: 6.5 percent
  • African Americans: 8.6 percent
  • Asian Americans: 1.6 percent
  • Hispanic Americans: 5.6 percent 

Types of Anxiety Disorders: By the Numbers

Research has revealed the prevalence rates of the various types of anxiety disorders, including:

  • Generalized Anxiety DisorderGeneralized anxiety disorder statistics show that this condition affects 2.7 percent of the population, with 3.4 percent of females and 1.9 percent of males being affected. 
  • Panic DisorderPanic disorder statistics reveal that the prevalence of this condition is 2.7 percent, with 3.8 percent of females and 1.6 percent of males being affected. 
  • Social Anxiety Disorder: According to social anxiety disorder statistics, this condition impacts 7.1 percent of the population, 8 percent of women and 6.1 percent of men. 
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)OCD statistics show a prevalence rate of 1.2 percent for OCD. The condition affects 1.8 percent of women and only 0.5 percent of men. 
  • PhobiasSpecific phobias are the most common anxiety disorders, impacting 9.1 percent of the population. According to phobia statistics, rates vary based on gender, with 12.2 percent of women and 5.8 percent of men being affected. 
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)PTSD facts and statistics show that this condition occurs in 3.6 percent of the population or 5.2 percent of women and 1.8 percent of men. 

Rates of Anxiety and Co-Occurring Health Conditions

Anxiety is likely to occur together with other mental health conditions. According to current research, the following health conditions commonly co-occur with anxiety disorders: 

  • DepressionAnxiety and depression are closely linked, with 61.2 percent of people who experience a generalized anxiety disorder during their lifetimes also experience a major depressive disorder. 
  • Mania: Approximately 3.1 percent of people with lifetime generalized anxiety disorder will also experience mania
  • Substance Use Disorders: Anxiety disorders and substance abuse can occur together, as 42.8 percent of people with lifetime generalized anxiety disorder will also experience a substance use disorder during their lives. 

Worldwide Impact of Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety statistics worldwide show that anxiety disorders are common across the globe. According to the World Health Organization, 3.6 percent — or about 264 million individuals worldwide — have an anxiety disorder. Additionally, 4.6 percent of females and 2.6 percent of males globally are affected by anxiety.

Statistics on Anxiety Treatment

While anxiety disorders are fairly common across the globe, not everyone who needs treatment receives it. Statistics on the treatment of anxiety show that around one-third of people with an anxiety disorder get treatment, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. 

Fortunately, treatment for anxiety disorders is available and effective. These treatments may involve medication, counseling or a combination of the two. People with anxiety disorders can also benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy to help them replace irrational thoughts and fears with more productive, realistic thoughts.

If you or a loved one is suffering from a co-occurring anxiety disorder and substance abuse, The Recovery Village can provide comprehensive services to meet your needs. Reach out to an admissions representative today at 888.374.5434 to begin the treatment process.

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Editor – Megan Hull
Megan Hull is a content specialist who edits, writes and ideates content to help people find recovery. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Jenni Jacobsen, LSW
Dr. Jenni Jacobsen is a licensed social worker through the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. She has over seven years working in the social work field, working with clients with addiction-related and mental health diagnoses. Read more

Remes, Olivia, et al. “A systematic review of reviews on the prevalence of anxiety disorders in adult populations.” Brain and Behavior, June 5, 2016. Accessed April 2, 2019.

Harvard Medical School. “NCSR (By sex and age).” July 19, 2007. Accessed April 2, 2019.

National Alliance on Mental Illness. “Anxiety disorders.” December 2017. Accessed April 2, 2019.

National Institute of Mental Health. “Any anxiety disorder.” November 2017. Accessed April 2, 2019.

Asnaani, A., et al. “A cross-ethnic comparison of lifetime pr[…]f anxiety disorders.” The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, September 1, 2010. Accessed April 2, 2019.

Harvard Medical School. “National Comorbidity Survey.” 2005. Accessed April 3, 2019.

World Health Organization. “Depression and other common mental disor[…]alth estimates.” 2017. Accessed April 3, 2019.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America. “Understand the facts.” (n.d.). Accessed April 3, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.