Interesting Statistics about Stress around the World

Statistics about stress, even if not collected on a regular or systematic basis, exist and they show the impact of the epidemic around the world.

The World Health Organization said stress has become a ‘World Wide Epidemic’

To prove this statement, we have selected stress statistics collected over the period ranging from 2009 to 2016, from US, UK, France, Australia, Japan and European Union.

We wanted to know which age group is more stressed, and how stressed the workers are. We also wanted to know the answer to the “Are entrepreneurs really stressed?” question (keep reading, but if you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, you might not like it).

Some of the stress statistics we have selected look at the costs of stress and the impact stress has on the health of the population. All in all, the results should make us take a moment and reflect.




Stress Statistics by Gender

Source: American Psychological Association

On a scale from 1 to 10 where 1 means you have “little or no stress” and 10 means you have “a great deal of stress”, how would you rate your average level of stress during the past month?

In 2015, in US, adults reported overall stress levels increased slightly, with greater percentages of adults reporting extreme levels of stress than in 2014. They also report that stress has a negative impact on their mental and physical health, but they do not feel they are doing enough to manage their stress.


Work Related Stress Statistics by Gender and Age

Source: Health and Safety Executive

Time Pressure and Stress Statistics

Source: Galllup

Lack of time and stress go hand in hand. 54% of Americans who do not have enough spare time say they frequently experience stress. This is twice the percentage of those who have sufficient time to attend to their matters.





Stress Statistics by Country

Source: Various

The percentage of the population experiencing high to moderate stress

You have surely noticed Japan’s high percentage of stress.  This translates into a surge of what is known as Karoshi – death by overwork. Japan’s Labour Ministry has released in 2016 a statistics showing the evolution of the number of compensated Karoshi cases over the last 20 years.

It’s clear by now that all this comes with a cost. In addition to the personal pain caused by stress, this also generates a cost for the society in terms of health care and social security costs.

And the European Union doesn’t fare any better:

And, yes, that’s right: 20 billion!

The reasons to be stressed abound. Outside work people mention finances, family issues and health as top reasons for stress. When it comes to work related stress: workload pressures, including tight deadlines and too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support, are pointed out as stress sources.

There are many reasons to be stressed, but one of them especially makes employees think about becoming entrepreneurs. Lack of job-control is mentioned as one of the biggest stress factors and by becoming entrepreneur many people feel they will have more control. It might not be true if we are to look at the statistics.

Stress Statistics by Employment Status

Source: OSH in figures: Stress at work – facts and figures

Entrepreneurs well-being (by any of the well-being indices: stress, overall fatigue, sleeping problems, anxiety, irritability, headaches and hear diseases) is lower than the well-being of their employees counterparts. In the same study it has been shown that well-being scores for self-employed workers are lower than for employed workers: 41% of the former consider that work has an adverse impact on their health, and 25% suffer from stress at work. The corresponding figures for employed workers are 33% and 21% respectively.

Considering the high levels of stress impacting the people around the world it is clear that more elaborated stress management techniques are not part of the daily activities of too many of them. In a study done by the American Psychological Association, the top stress management techniques identified were: watching television/movies for more than 2h per day, surfing the internet, sleeping, alcohol drinking and smoking. Not too many of these stress management methods can be incorporated in a healthy lifestyle, though.

With some unexpected results (some of us still think entrepreneurs have less stress than employees) and some other that might be biased by cultural backgrounds ( stress by gender is the result of self-assessment and not based on objective facts), the statistics show that stress affects every age, gender or employment category.

You have most probably compared the data with your particular situation and realized that you are less stressed (luckily) or more stressed (unfortunately) then the average for your specific category. Whatever the case, we hope that this article made you aware of the stress epidemic and will motivate you to take action.

There are tons of stress management techniques out there. Find one suitable for you and apply it. Don’t try to ignore the problem. Stress never goes away. It accumulates and when there is too much, a burn-out is just around the corner.

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