Income inequality and depression prevalence across the United States: An ecological study

Erick Messias, William W. Eaton, Amy N. Grooms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research has shown a relationship between income inequality and poor health. This column reports findings from a state-level study of the relationship between income inequality and the prevalence of depression. Estimates of depression prevalence by state, obtained from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, were linked with Gini coefficients for U.S. household income, obtained from the Census Bureau. The current prevalence of depression was significantly associated with income inequality - the more unequal, the higher the depression prevalence. The association persisted after adjustment for income per capita, percentage of the population with a college degree, and percentage over age 65 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-712
Number of pages3
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this