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Anxiety on the rise in New Zealand

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), May 2006-April 2007 (n=11,629) and May 2012-April 2013 (n=12,001). Base: New Zealanders 18+
The proportion of New Zealanders with an anxiety disorder increased by nearly 65% between 2007 and 2013, the latest figures from Roy Morgan Research reveal. In the year to April 2013, 294,000 Kiwis aged 18+ — or 8.9% of the adult population — reported having anxiety, up from 164,000 (or 5.4%) six years earlier.

A steady increase in anxiety has been especially noticeable among women, rising from 6.6% in 2007 to 11.7% in 2013. Among Kiwi men, incidence was lower in general, but did increase from 4.2% to 5.9% over the same period.

Meanwhile, the proportion of New Zealanders feeling stressed has also risen, but not as markedly. Whereas 16.7% of the adult population reported being stressed in the 12 months to April 2007, the figure now sits at 17.8%.

Across the Tasman in Australia, the incidence of anxiety has also risen, with nearly 14% of the population reporting they had anxiety in 2012, up from 9% in 2007.

Incidence of Anxiety by Gender: 2007 vs 2013


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), May 2006-April 2007 (n=11,629) and May 2012-April 2013 (n=12,001). Base: New Zealanders 18+

Pip Elliott, General Manager, Roy Morgan Research NZ, says:

“These results are consistent with the latest New Zealand Ministry of Health Mental Health Survey, which reports that about one in seven New Zealanders has been diagnosed with a common mental condition such as anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder.

“While the incidence of anxiety (and, to a lesser extent, stress) has risen among the New Zealand population, it remains significantly lower than in Australia.

“Mental health is an important societal issue, and needs to be treated as seriously as physical well-being by governments and medical practitioners.”

Click here to view our extensive range of mental health profiles, including people with anxiety profile, people with stress profile, people with depression profile and more. These profiles provide a broad understanding of the target audience, in terms of demographics, attitudes, activities and media usage in New Zealand.

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About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Roy Morgan Research New Zealand

Roy Morgan Research was set up in New Zealand in the 1990s and has been collecting information across a wide range of industries in New Zealand ever since.  Roy Morgan currently has over 10 years of trended data on a geographically and demographically representative sample of over 12,000 New Zealanders aged 14+. 

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%