I heard a cynical joke the other day. A woman said, "I don't have seasonal depression. I'm seasoned with depression."

In 2019, Grand Rapids ranked as having the highest rate of depression among large U.S. metro cities with 25 percent of residents diagnosed. The study was produced by a group called Insurance Providers.

Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash
Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash
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Other factors were obesity, the divorce rate, and average income.

#1 – Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI

  • Share of adults ever diagnosed with depression: 25.0%
  • Share of adults who are obese (BMI 30.0 – 99.8): 32.3%
  • Share of total population with a disability: 11.1%
  • Share of total population who are divorced: 10.4%
  • Mean household income: $79,512
  • Share of total population below poverty level: 10.0%

Is Grand Rapids still holding the top spot?

It doesn't appear that way, however the same study by Insurance Providers has not been recreated exactly. Wallethub released a study finding that Grand Rapids was the 30th happiest city in the country in 2021. Worldpopulationview doesn't list Michigan in their top 10 states with high depression. Fierce Healthcare found that Dallas was the worst city for mental health in 2021.

Echoed in another study, Denver is the best city for mental health, while Dallas holds the spot for worst. These are determinations made in a study by CertaPet, a telehealth company, which analyzed the 50 most populous U.S. cities to find the best and worst places to live for mental health treatment.

Mental Health America offers this graphic depicting the prevalence of mental illness levels from 2020.

Mental Health America
Mental Health America

The World Health Organization reports:

“…by the year 2023, depression will be the second most common cause of premature death worldwide.”

The Mental Health Foundation reminds us that they are here to help, if you are in crisis and need immediate help call 911 or 1.800.273.8255.

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