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Britons are among the most depressed in the Western world

People in the UK are among the most depressed in the developed world as they grapple with problems such as job dissatisfaction, according to new international rankings.

Greater proportions of men and women report suffering from the debilitating condition compared to many other nations.

The UK is ranked joint seventh out of 25 countries for adults reporting they have depression - more than double the rates in countries including Poland, , Greece and the Slovak Republic.

Greater proportions of men and women in Britain report suffering from the debilitating condition of depression compared to many other nations (file picture posed by model)

Greater proportions of men and women in Britain report suffering from the debilitating condition of depression compared to many other nations (file picture posed by model)

The data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also shows that women are more likely than men to report having the condition – a trend reflected across other countries.

Depression levels also vary according to the level of education achieved, with those going on to higher education reporting lower rates than adults who left school at 16.

The OECD analysed data for 25 to 64-year-olds from European health interview survey results and other national surveys across the world.

It found that ten per cent of this age group in the UK suffered from depression in 2014 - two percentage points above the average for other countries with available data.

Just four per cent of people from the Czech Republic, Greece, Poland, and the Slovak Republic reported depressive illnesses. The country with the highest levels was Iceland, at 14 per cent.

In the UK, depression rates ranged from 15 per cent for those who left school after sitting GCSEs (12 per cent on average across other countries) to seven per cent for university-level educated adults (six per cent country average).

Eleven per cent of women in the UK reported suffering from depression compared to eight per cent of men. The average across countries was ten per cent and six per cent respectively.

Andreas Schleicher, director of education and skills at the OECD, said there are 'good reasons to believe that education has a direct effect' on reported depression levels.

The country with the highest levels of depression is Iceland, at 14 per cent. Pictured: Reykjavik

The country with the highest levels of depression is Iceland, at 14 per cent. Pictured: Reykjavik

He said: 'With higher levels of education you just have so many more ways to participate in society.

'The risk of social exclusion is just much higher for people who don't have the kind of skills.

'I think there is a direct effect but there's a lot of indirect effects – the kind of job you get, the kind of interactions you have.'

Percentage of 25-64-year-olds who report having depression (2014)  Country % Total population (employed, unemployed and inactive) Iceland 14 Ireland 12 Germany 12 Turkey 12 Finland 11 Portugal 11 United Kingdom 10 Sweden 10 Luxembourg 10 Netherlands 9 Latvia 9 Austria 8 Denmark 8 Norway 8 Slovenia 8 Austria 8 Belgium 7 Spain 7 France 6 Estonia 5 Czech Republic 4 Greece 4 4

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