Irish youths have highest level of depression in Europe, according to new report

A photo of a sad or depressed person leaning their head against a window while it's raining outside.
Bryan Wall

A new study has shown that many young people in Ireland are suffering from depression. Published by Eurofund, the study revealed that young people in Ireland have the highest rates of chronic depression in Europe. The report also highlighted a gender gap, with higher numbers of women suffering from depression than men.

A Europe-wide problem

Eurofund describes itself as an EU agency dealing with the “improvement of living and working conditions”. It noted in its report that mental health issues affect many young people in Europe. Data for 2016 showed “14% of Europeans aged 18–24 were at risk of depression”.

The number of Europeans actually experiencing depression is lower, however. Eurofund found that “4% of Europeans aged 15–24” suffer from chronic depression.


But the figures for young people in Ireland are higher. Eurofund detailed that 12% of people aged between 15-24 deal with chronic depression. Ireland has the highest rate of chronic depression amongst young people in the EU.

When broken down by gender, however, differences emerge. The report points out:

in the majority of Member States young women aged 15–24 were more likely to suffer from depression than young men.

It reported that in Ireland 17% of women aged 15-24 deal with “moderate to severe depressive symptoms”. By comparison, the figure for men is 9%. Eurofund also revealed that women are victims of cyberbullying more often than men.

Potential causes

Eurofund went on to highlight possible reasons for these findings. Figures for 2016 show that 68% of people aged 16-30 had a “Feeling of marginalisation due to [the] economic crisis”.

The organisation also underlined the possible role of homelessness. It divulged:

There was a 78% increase in homelessness among the 18–24 age group between 2016 and 2018.

Ireland is currently suffering a housing and homelessness crisis. The latest statistics show that 10,253 people in the country are homeless, with 3,749 of them children.

Featured image via Pixabay – PublicDomainPictures

Get involved

  • If you’ve been affected by the contents of this article please contact the Samaritans.

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us