Rates of Anxiety and Depression are High among Young Adults during COVID-19

Xiaoyan Zhang

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COVID-19 has taken a toll on the mental health of young adults. The figure below shows the percentage of U.S. adults ages 18-29 who reported symptoms of anxiety and depression in the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse survey administered from March 17 to 29, 2021. Self-reported anxiety was much higher among non-Hispanic Whites (46.4%), Hispanics (43.5%), and Asians (40.9%) than among NH Blacks (27.8%). There were not significant racial/ethnic differences in self-reported depression, though the rate was highest for Hispanics (41.4%), followed by NH Whites (39.2%), Asians (37.5%), and NH Blacks (32.4%). It is striking that although Blacks and Hispanics have suffered a disproportionate burden of infections, deaths, and economic fallout due to COVID-19, their self-reported mental health outcomes do not appear to be worse than those reported by Whites, at least among young adults.

About the Author
Xiaoyan Zhang (xzhan147@syr.edu) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Human Development and Family Science and a Lerner Graduate Fellow in the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.