Home » NEWS » Mississippi named among the '10 Most Depressing States in the United States'

Mississippi named among the '10 Most Depressing States in the United States'

On its own, where you live isn’t enough to make you depressed. Personal circumstances and genes also play an important role in mental health, so an area that feels like a downer to one person may be home sweet home to another.

That said, mental distress is unusually and persistently common in some states, whether due to economic troubles, lack of access to health care, or other factors.

Using data from federal health agencies, Health.com has identified the 10 states with the highest rates of depression, psychological distress, and other indicators of poor mental health. Our own Mississippi made the list, which was printed in alphabetical order


The poorest state in the U.S., Mississippi ranks at or near the bottom on many health measures, from obesity to heart disease. Mental health is no exception. The state has the highest rate of depression in the nation (14.8 percent), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and it has the third-highest rate of frequent mental distress (13.5 percent).

Indeed, the state’s many health problems may feed one another. “Depression can both precipitate and exacerbate the symptoms of a chronic disease,” Lela McKnight-Eily, PhD, a clinical psychologist and epidemiologist at the CDC, told Health.com in 2010.

 Here are the rest of the states:

>> Arkansas

>> Kentucky

>> Indiana

>> Michigan

>> Missouri

>> Nevada

>> Oklahoma

>> Tennessee

>> West Virginia



… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.

If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.

Click for more info

About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.


  1. BUT MISSISSIPPIANS AREN’T UNHAPPY ENOUGH TO DIE. Look at these statistics of top ten states for suicide. Maybe Mississippians just eat when they get depressed. Hence the obesity. Or then again maybe they are just depressed because they are fat.

    10. Oregon: 15.2 suicides per 100,000

    9. Utah: 15.4 suicides per 100,000

    8. West Virginia: 15.9 suicides per 100,000

    7. Arizona: 16.1 suicides per 100,000

    6. Colorado: 16.4 suicides per 100,000

    5. Nevada: 18.3 suicides per 100,000

    4. Montana: 19.4 suicides per 100,000

    3. Wyoming: 19.7 suicides per 100,000

    2. New Mexico: 20.4 suicides per 100,000

    1. Alaska: 22.1 suicides per 100,000

  2. In any case, Mississippi still has some of the best folks in the nation. I can’t think of any other state where I would rather get stranded on the side of the road or be found sleeping under a bridge. Most folks here look out for each other.

  3. Corkey Danahoo

    I believe that I have read in other news articles that MS has the most deficient resources, training, and facilities to deal with mental health problems. It appears that most mental health problems are dealth with on the local level in MS by placing the person in the county jail since there are no other facilities, institutions, programs, or care established for the need. County jails are certainly ill equipped to deal with such problems. It seems that the MS Legislature has done little to address the needs. I would be interested to see an article regarding good, comprehensive information regarding the current state of affairs, programs, and expenditures in MS for dealing with mental health problems. I have a sister-in-law that had to be sent to Minnesota to find a facility with adequate resources and knowledge to deal with her mental problems.

  4. I had to move back here from GA recently & it’s pitiful. So few opportunities, way too conservative & religious. Still tell folks I’m originally from somewhere else. Quite sad when you mention MS to most folks & they still think of plantations, slavery, & rednecks. Search Google News for stories in MS. Think about the many great actors & sports heroes (like Freeman, Rice, Winfrey, Favre, Stevens, Posey, etc) & how much they’ve done for this state (especially since Katrina).

    Can’t wait to get out of here!

    PS: People here are eating themselves into early graves which restaurants (run by foreigners) gladly abet. I was recently accosted by the cops (told to move on) for loitering under a bridge out in the middle of nowhere.

  5. John, PLEASE LEAVE NOW! People like you make things worse here. You promote the negative image we fight daily. Go visit http://www.mississippibelieveit.com and read it all. Instead of leaving those people with images of plantations, slavery and rednecks, show them that’s not who we are. Sure, we have rednecks — every state I’ve ever visited (except maybe Hawaii, maybe) has them. Love it or leave it, and soon! To the person who thinks we have no mental health care, visit http://www.dmh.state.ms.us and visit all the links. And to Hope, thank you! You’ve experienced the true Mississippi and aren’t afraid to stand up and say it.

  6. May be so but look at all the actors, singers, beauty Queens we have. Famous people, Elvis, Faith Hill, Morgan Freeman,Opra, Faulkner, Thrre doors down, Leann Rymes, The band Perry, Eudora whelty, Sela Ward,Mia angelo, Jim Henson, and I could keep naming. What ya got?

Leave a Reply