Contact: Arica VanBoxtel,

June 21, 2023, New York, NY – More than three years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of depression and anxiety among New Yorkers remain highly elevated. One in three New Yorkers are experiencing one or both conditions—a rate that has not budged since May 2021. Mental health distress is more common among some groups of New Yorkers than others, disproportionately affecting young people, people of color, people with low income, those who lost employment income during the pandemic, and those experiencing food insufficiency.

The findings come from a New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) analysis of U.S. Census Bureau survey data on self-reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depression from the beginning of the pandemic through March 2023.

“Even with the worst of the pandemic behind us, it’s obvious that New Yorkers are still struggling,” said David Sandman, Ph.D., President and CEO of NYHealth. “As other parts of life return to a version of normal, we’re essentially treading water when it comes to mental health in New York.”

Key findings include:

  • More than three in ten (31.5%) New Yorkers reported poor mental health in March 2023, the most recent date for which data are available. That proportion shows no improvement from May 2021, when 32% of New Yorkers reported poor mental health.
  • Rates of poor mental health among New Yorkers have fluctuated throughout the pandemic. They peaked in February 2021, when two in five (40.2%) New Yorkers said they experienced anxiety and/or depression. The most recent spike (37.2%) occurred in September 2022.
  • Some groups of New Yorkers were more likely to experience depression and/or anxiety. In the first quarter of 2023:
    • One in two (50.0%) New Yorkers with very low incomes (less than $25,000 per year) reported anxiety and/or depression, more than twice the rate of those with annual household incomes of $100,000 or more (22.1%).
    • Younger adults had poorer mental health rates than other age groups; two in five (40.0%) New Yorkers between the ages of 18 and 34 reported poor mental health.
    • Poor mental health increased most for Asian New Yorkers and Hispanic New Yorkers; two out of five (41.0%) Hispanic New Yorkers reported anxiety and/or depression.
    • One in two (50.7%) New Yorkers who lost employment income since the onset of the pandemic reported anxiety and/or depression.
    • More than half (57.4%) of food-insufficient New Yorkers had poor mental health—nearly twice the rate of food-sufficient New Yorkers (29.2%).

“Mental health is a persistent challenge across the board in New York, but some people are struggling more than others,” said Mary Ford, Director of Policy and Research at NYHealth. “As policymakers and others consider opportunities to expand and improve mental health services, they should prioritize New Yorkers who are facing economic hardship, young people, and New Yorkers of color.”

The researchers and mental health providers will explore the findings in-depth and discuss how to improve mental wellbeing in an upcoming NYHealth webinar on Wednesday, June 28.

View the full data brief here.


The New York Health Foundation (NYHealth) is a private, statewide foundation dedicated to improving the health of all New Yorkers, especially people of color and others who have been historically marginalized. The Foundation is committed to making grants, informing health policy and practice, spreading effective programs to improve the health care system and the health of New Yorkers, serving as a convener of health leaders across the State, and providing technical assistance to its grantees and partners.

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