Almost half of people in the UK (49%) have experienced anxiety in the past five years.

The figure is from this year’s Public Perceptions Survey and has been released for Mental Health Awareness Week, the theme for which is anxiety.


Our survey, carried out with YouGov, found that 56% of women have experienced anxiety in the past five years compared to 42% of men.

It also found that 60% of people aged 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 experienced anxiety in the past five years, while 56% of 16 to 24-year-olds said they had experienced anxiety in the past five years.

For people aged 45 to 54 the figure was 53%, for those aged 55 to 64 it was 44% and for people aged 65 and over 29% said they’d experienced anxiety in the past five years.

The survey of 5,333 UK adults aged 16 and over found that the cost of living crisis was giving rise to anxiety.

Two-thirds of people (67%) said the rise in the cost of living was giving them anxiety around being able to afford everyday essentials such as bills, rent, mortgage or food.

Mental Health Awareness Week

The figures are included in this infographic for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Our survey also found that 34% of people in the UK have sought help from a counsellor or psychotherapist. 77% of people who have had counselling or psychotherapy would recommend it to someone who had emotional difficulties or a mental health problem.

86% of people agree it’s a good idea to seek counselling or psychotherapy for a problem before it gets out of hand, while 73% agreed people might be happier if they talked to a counsellor or psychotherapist about their problems.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 5333 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th - 22nd February 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 16+).

text-only version of the infographic is also available.