Stress Statistics - Featured Image

40 Shocking Stress Statistics & Facts You Need to Consider

by Aleksandar Hrubenja

In today’s modern world it seems that stress and anxiety are simply part and parcel of everyday life. Whether its work, relationships, or politics, we’re under constant pressure. Couple that with the bombardment of information and data coming from all sides, and you get an epidemic of mental health issues and problems. However, this same epidemic has led to an increase in awareness of just how much stress influences our lives. 

Namely, the relevant stress statistics and data are clear: almost everybody deals with stress at one point or another, to varying degrees. If left untreated, it can lead to serious mental health issues on an individual level while potentially causing significant financial expenses for employers. As we’ll see, stress leads to lower productivity and greater absenteeism at the office. 

Below, you’ll find statistics and facts that can help you see just how ubiquitous and serious stress can be. 

Key Stress Statistics and Facts to be Aware of in 2019

  • Stress-related expenses, such as employee absenteeism and drops in productivity, amount to $300 billion every year for American employers.
  • The main source of stress for 63% of Americans is associated with worrying about the future of the country.
  • Women are more worried than men (by 12%) about hate crimes, wars, and conflicts with other nations.
  • Adults older than 72 report the lowest stress levels (3.3 on a 10-point scale)
  • Millennials have the highest stress levels, 5.7 on a 10-point scale.
  • When it comes to stress in college students, statistics show rates at an all-time high, with around 20% of college students having considered suicide.
  • Around 35% of professionals claim that their boss is the primary source of stress at the office.
  • Employees suffer more stress than ever, having a 20% increase compared to the last 3 decades.
  • Stress is the number one health concern for teens according to the Global Organization for Stress.
  • Around 7% of people will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder at one point in their lives.

General Facts About Stress

Stress Statistics - Facts

1. The most common symptoms of stress are irritability, fatigue, lack of motivation, anxiety, and headaches.

(American Psychological Association)

Stress is not a simple and annoying part of life—it’s a serious issue. The most common stress symptoms are fatigue, anxiety, and general irritability. All of these hinder every part of our day, lowering our general sense of wellbeing and happiness. 

2. Stress can, to a certain extent, positively influence physical activity. 

(National Center for Biotechnology Information)

There is a concept known as eustress, which is a type of “good stress” that actually has some benefits and a positive impact on our lives. Namely, research compiling data on exercise and stress facts shows that the relationship between the two can at certain points be beneficial. 

Within an analysis regarding over 150 studies on exercise and stress, 18% of said research papers show a positive correlation. This can most likely be attributed to increased motivation, as well as people using exercise to deal with stress—thus, the more stress they have, the greater the urge to exercise.

3. Around 77% of employees experience physical symptoms of stress, and 73% feel regular psychological symptoms.

(Eastern Kentucky University)

Workplace stats on stress show that many people feel the effects of stress in the workplace. Furthermore, of the people who do feel stress at work, 77% feel the physical symptoms of stress, while 73% feel the mental, psychological symptoms. 

4. Burnout is recognized as a chronic condition by the World Health Organization.

(World Health Organization)

Stress-related burnout isn’t just an excuse to miss work. Data following school stress statistics and stats on the workplace, not to mention the overall presence of this issue in all spheres of public life, show that the effects of stress are severe. In fact, the World Health Organization recognizes burnout as a chronic, real condition.

5. On a global scale, China has seen the highest rise in workplace stress.

(Global Organization for Stress)

Research into the stress statistics worldwide shows that while stress can be found in every country around the globe, China has seen the greatest increase in stress as far as the office is concerned. Namely, 68% of employees in this country suffer from stress in the workplace.

6.  Money and work have been shown as the most common and significant stressors in 2015.

(American Psychological Association)

The relevant statistics on stress show that, according to the data gathered by the APA, the greatest levels of stress are caused by money, and then by work. Money is the core stressor, being a source of stress for 67% of those who took part in the APA’s research. 

7. 65% of people report sleep issues caused by stress.

(Harvard School of Public Health)

One of the not so fun facts about stress is that it causes sleeplessness among 65% of people suffering from it. The bigger problem here is that this can then cause even more stress, due to people not getting enough rest. In fact, many other sleep disorders can be caused by stress, such as narcolepsy, insomnia, snoring, sleep apnea, etc.

8. Family responsibilities and worries are some of the topmost common causes of stress.

(American Psychological Association)

Further research into the stats about stress shows the other main causes of stress are family issues and responsibilities. Namely, the data gathered by the APA indicates that of the respondents, 54% claim that family problems are a highly significant or somewhat significant cause of stress.

9. Of the people who suffered a major stressful event, 43% report that said event was health-related.

(Harvard School of Public Health)

According to a poll done by the Harvard School of Public Health, many people are worried about their health. In fact, the stress stats are clear: 43% of people claim that health issues are increasing their stress levels.

10. Different age groups are stressed out by different factors.

(American Psychological Association)

It most likely won’t come as a shock to learn that different age groups are stressed out by different things. Millennials are worried about the economy, while health care is a core issue for Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, according to the statistics about stress

11. Single parents or individuals with low incomes, chronic illnesses, or dangerous jobs are especially likely to report high levels of stress.

(Harvard School of Public Health)

The data is very clear on who suffers the greatest deal of stress. Namely, single parents (35%), people in dangerous work situations (36%), people with chronic illnesses (36%), and individuals with an income lower than $20,000 per year (36%) all report high levels of stress.

Stress in America Statistics

Stress Statistics - US Stats

12. The lowest stress levels are held by adults older than 72, with an average of 3.3 on a 10-point scale.

(American Psychological Association)

Even though their stress levels are still higher than they should be, older adults suffer from stress the least. With an average stress level of 3.3 on the APA’s 10-point stress scale, individuals older than 72 seem to be living the most (relatively) relaxed lives in America.

13. Almost 70% of Hispanic Americans are afraid for the country’s future, the most among any other group.

(American Psychological Association)

According to the demographics-based stress facts and data, the Hispanic population suffers a great deal of stress in association with the nation’s future. Namely, 70% of Hispanic adults are afraid of what the future holds for America.

14. About 53% of US citizens exercise in order to handle stress.

(American Psychological Association)

While many people deal with stress by resorting to bad and unhealthy habits, only compounding the bad physical symptoms of stress, some positive habits are on the rise. Namely, one of the interesting facts about stress is that 53% of US citizens use exercise as a tool to combat it.

15. Around 14% of Americans smoke in order to manage stress.

(American Psychological Association)

One of the more negative ways to deal with stress is smoking. While smoking levels have decreased, 14% of Americans still use it as a coping mechanism. When you take into account the effects smoking has on your cardiovascular system and lungs, as well as just how addictive it is, this number shouldn’t be scoffed at.

16. Negative feelings about one’s appearance caused a great deal of stress for 28% of participants involved in a Harvard School of Public Health poll.

(Harvard School of Public Health)

The stress statistics gathered through a poll held by the Harvard School of Public Health shows disconcerting results. Namely, of the entirety of its respondents, 28% suffer stress because of insecurities tied to their physical appearance.

17. Millennials have the highest stress levels, at an average of 5.7 on a 10-point scale.

(American Psychological Association)

It probably comes as no shock to know that in the case of millennials and stress, statistics show that this demographic suffers from the highest levels in the country. On a range of 1 to 10, from feeling no stress at all to suffering from severe stress, millennials are at 5.7.

18. Stress costs American employers around $300 billion per year.

(Eastern Kentucky University)

Stress influences the country’s bottom line as well. Employers throughout the United States report expenses and costs tied to stress. Namely, with stress in America, statistics from 2018 show that these numbers come up to around $300 billion dollars per year total. This includes health care costs, as well as employee absenteeism and lowered productivity.

19. Women are more stressed than men when it comes to hate crimes, wars, and conflicts with other nations by 12%.

(American Psychological Association)

One of the more interesting facts about stress, 25% of men feel stress in relation to things like hate crimes and world conflict. However, the same issues caused stress among 37% of the female population.

20. Around 63% of Americans are worried about the future of the nation.

(American Psychological Association)

More than half were worried about the elections in 2016. However, stress statistics from 2017 have shown that 63% of Americans are genuinely concerned about the future of the nation and where it’s going.

21. Around 7% of people will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives.

(National Center for PTSD)

PTSD is one of the more insidious and serious types of stress. According to the National Center for PTSD, one of the more difficult post-traumatic stress disorder facts is that around 7% of people will experience this problem at some point.

22. Over 60% of people report feeling moderate to elevated stress during the holidays.

(Ohio Medical Group)

If you’re researching what causes stress, you’ll have to take the holiday season into consideration, too. Instead of relaxing, people obsess over this time of year, tacking on multiple obligations (both in terms of finances and time) without relaxing as much as they should. The data regarding holiday stress shows that over 60% of people feel stress during these periods.

College Student and Teen Stress Statistics

Stress Statistics - College

23. Most college students (85%) report feeling overwhelmed by their obligations at some point while in school.

(Anxiety and Depression Association of America)

The long-term effects of stress can be very severe, causing health issues and influencing every part of your life, all while just, in general, making life harder. This is a very serious fact. The data shows that the vast majority (85%) of college students feel stress; statistics report, in fact, that they will feel completely overwhelmed by their obligations at least once in their academic career.

24. Around 33% of students consider getting good grades their primary source of stress.

(Stanford News)

It’s no secret that teenagers and students find school overwhelming. It will also probably not come as a surprise to hear that the relevant homework stress statistics show that a third of students consider their grades a primary source of stress.

25. Almost half of students (46%) report that stress has an impact on their health.

(American Psychological Association)

According to the data on teenagers and stress gathered by the American Psychological Association, 46% of students claim they have felt negative physical effects of stress. 

26. School (83%), followed by life after school (69%), and family financial issues (65%) make up the most commonly reported sources of stress for teenagers.

(American Psychological Association)

The high school stress statistics and data gathered by the APA show that the core sources of stress for teenagers are school issues, what awaits them after they finish high school, and family issues. 

27. Teenagers who exercise at least once per week report lower stress levels (5.6 out of 10) compared to those who don’t exercise at all (6.4). 

(American Psychological Association)

Of the many ways to cope with stress, exercise is pretty effective for teenagers and adults alike. We all know how beneficial exercise is for our bodies, but it’s also very good for our brains as well. Statistics show that teenagers who exercise at least once per week have significantly lower stress levels.

28. Current college stress statistics show that around 56% of students report that homework is a leading source of stress.

(Stanford News)

No surprise here, 56% of students feel that homework is one of the core sources of stress. Furthermore, researchers note that any more than 2.5 hours of homework for high schoolers will actually lead to poor results.

29. 1 in 5 college students has thought about suicide. 

(Harvard Medical School)

When it comes to college students and stress, statistics have shown that stress can affect mental health in a serious way. In fact, it can be so severe that around 20% of college students have had suicidal thoughts. 

30. Over 30% of college students report that stress hinders their academic performance.

(Anxiety and Depression Association of America)

The data continuously shows that stress management should be a priority for students and universities. Namely, in the case of student stress, statistics show that over one-third of college students claim that stress hinders their academic performance.

31. Stress is the number-one health concern for teens.

(Global Organization for Stress)

Considering the statistics associated with high schoolers we’ve already covered, it’s no surprise that the Global Organization for Stress considers this the number-one health concern for teenagers.

32. LGBTQ students report an increase of 10.1% in suicidal ideation rates, a 2.3% increase in suicide attempt instances, and a 6.6% increase in self-injury rates.

(Harvard Medical School)

The relevant stress statistics in college students show that students who are part of the LGBTQ+ community suffer from the more serious effects of stress. Suicidal ideation rates, as well as self-injury and suicidal instances are on an alarming rise.

33. Teenagers report a stress level of 5.8 out of 10 during the school year.

(American Psychological Association)

The research into teenage stress statistics shows that teenagers suffer the greatest amount of stress out of any demographic. Namely, during the school year, they have 5.8 stress points, according to the APA’s 10-point stress scale.

34. There was a 30% rise in students seeking help at counseling centers between the years of 2009 and 2015.

(American Institute of Stress)

Some of the more positive pieces of data surrounding college student stress are statistics demonstrating that there’s been a rise in the numbers of students who choose to seek help. While college enrollment numbers are only 5% higher, the number of students who get help has risen by 30%.

35. Of the students who seek counseling and help, 45% do so in order to deal with stress.

(American Institute of Stress)

The general facts about stress in college students indicate that students who seek help do so because they have issues with stress. In addition, many seek counseling for depression (49%), anxiety (61%), and family issues (31%) as well.

36. Around 26% of teenagers overeat because of stress.

(American Psychological Association)

Among the more worrying statistics, more than a quarter of teenagers deal with stress by overeating. This coping mechanism has obvious negative repercussions.

Vital Workplace Stress Statistics

Stress Statistics - Work

37. 6 in 10 workers worldwide experience stress.

(Global Organization for Stress)

Stress is just part and parcel in the workplace. In fact, 60% of workers across the globe suffer stress in the workplace according to the Global Organization for Stress.

38. A survey of 2,000 professionals showed that 35% of people claim their boss is the core source of stress in the office.

(Korn Ferry Institute)

This means that over a third of workplaces have employee-employer relations that need to be improved upon.

39. Around 79% of employees claim that not having enough work creates more stress than having too much work. 

(Korn Ferry Institute)

When it comes to stress in the workplace, statistics tell an interesting tale. Namely, while workplace stress is ubiquitous, most people (79%) prefer having too much work over not having any at all.

40. Employee stress levels have increased by 20% in the last 3 decades.

(Korn Ferry Institute)

Stress levels are on the rise. While the workplace is by its very nature a difficult environment, there are reports and claims made by the Korn Ferry Institute claiming that employee stress levels have increased by 20% in the last 30 years.

FAQs

Stress Statistics - FAQs

How many people have died because of stress?

The American Center for Disease Control claims that over 110 million people die every year as a result of stress. This means that every two seconds, seven people die. The direct cause of these deaths, which occur due to heightened levels of stress, is usually cardiac problems and mental issues. Heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes complications, depression, and anxiety disorders are all part of stress.

However, stress can also lead to suicide. The most common cause is PTSD. Post-traumatic stress disorder statistics need to be mentioned, since the data gathered by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that veterans suffering from PTSD have a 5% greater mortality rate when compared to the general population of the same age and sex.

What is the number 1 cause of stress?

While the most common cause of stress can vary from place to place, and from person to person, a study done by Northwestern Mutual shows that money is, in fact, the number one cause of stress for Americans today. 

According to the stress statistics from 2018, of all the survey’s respondents, the majority claims that the leading cause of stress is money, while relationships and work are at second and third place, respectively. Most of those who stated that money is an issue claim that this type of stress adversely affects their relationship with their spouse, as well as causing them to miss out on social events and gatherings. The data gathered by the APA, from a report in 2015, states that for 67% of people who suffer from stress, money is the most significant factor.

What are the top 10 causes of stress?

There are many different causes—not everyone will be stressed about the same issues and problems. However, certain factors are generally seen as common sources of stress in our daily lives. Sometimes we deal with them easily, other times the circumstances surrounding us are so severe that we can develop PTSD. 

The top ten causes of stress are as follows:

  • Money
  • Family issues
  • Death of a loved one
  • Divorce
  • Work
  • Personal relationships
  • Health problems
  • Pregnancy
  • Politics
  • School
  • Past trauma

No matter the cause, high stress levels need to be mitigated. The relevant posttraumatic stress disorder statistics and data shows that 7% of Americans will suffer from PTSD symptoms in their lives at one point or another. However, things shouldn’t have to go that far. Recognizing the main sources of our stress is the first step in getting some control over our lives. 

What age group has the most stress?

The American Psychological Association claims that millennials (ages 18 to 33) and Gen X (ages 34 to 47) suffer from the highest levels of stress. On the APA’s 10-point scale (1 being no stress at all, 10 representing significant amounts of stress), the former reach a 5.7 level, while Gen Xers are at 5.4. However, this is not to say that Boomers (48 to 66) and Matures (67 and up) don’t suffer as well. Both of these groups suffer from stress levels that are higher than what one should consider healthy. 

However, the high school stress facts and data that the APA has gathered shows that the highest levels of stress, in general, can be attributed to teenagers, reaching 5.8 during the school year. Admittedly, this number is lower when school is out, but the numbers are disquieting all the same.

Conclusion

The stats are sobering, to say the least. Stress is ever-present, hitting every age group, demographic, and region. It’s pretty clear that young people are affected by stress the most, and while we can take some comfort in the fact that stress diminishes with age, something still needs to be done. 

The relevant stress statistics clearly show that teens and college students are greatly impacted by stress, many reporting homework and academic achievement as core stressors. Things are not looking good, and they won’t improve until certain systemic changes are implemented in society on a professional and on an academic level.

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