Upward Trend in Mental Health

Between 2002 and 2020, the data show a general upward trend in mental health in Germany, in line with economic growth. Mental health declined significantly during the financial crisis of 2009 and the first year of COVID. When people fear job loss or economic crisis, their mental health clearly suffers.

Social inequalities also play a major role: women’s mental health was consistently worse than men’s. University graduates had better mental health than people without a university degree, and non-migrants had slightly better mental health than migrants.

„Politicians need to take this more fully into account in their decisions. The costs of poor mental health are enormous and widely underestimated,” says Dr. Daniel Graeber, author of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

Further information

DIW Berlin (Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung): Soziale Ungleichheiten spiegeln sich in der psychischen Gesundheit

DIE ZEIT: „Menschen überschätzen, wie glücklich Reichtum macht“ (Interview with Daniel Graeber), for subscribers

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Foto by Priscilla Du Preez 🇨🇦 from Unsplash