GB: Baby boomers seem mentally healthy compared to other generations
May 4th, 2023, Clifton Mark

GB: Baby boomers seem mentally healthy compared to other generations

Earlier this year, the National Audit Office reported that millions in England cannot access much-needed mental health support. This difficulty in accessing mental health treatment has different implications for people of different ages.

Data from YouGov Profiles indicates that younger consumers are less likely to consider themselves mentally healthy. Only 38% of Gen Z and 37% of millennials say they’re mentally healthy. Among Gen X, just over half (43%) say they’re mentally healthy. Baby boomers, at 60%, report a much higher rate of mental health than younger generations

A similar pattern holds for emotional health, which refers to the ability to manage and express emotions. Over a third of Gen Z (35%), millennials (34%) and Gen X (36% ) say they consider themselves emotionally healthy. Again, younger Britons are outpaced by baby boomers, of whom 51% claim emotional health.

The generations are also affected differently by specific mental illnesses. Only 12% of Gen Z have ever been diagnosed with depression, the least of any generation. This compares to 14% of baby boomers and 19% of both millennials and Gen X.

While Gen Z’s low rates of lifetime depression diagnosis may in part be explained by their young age, this has not stopped them from reporting a relatively high rate of anxiety. Among adults born after 2000, 17% have been diagnosed with anxiety. This is nearly double the proportion of baby boomers who have had a similar diagnosis. Nearly one in five millennials (19%) have been diagnosed with depression in their lives, the highest proportion of any generation.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for Great Britain is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.