Table 61Serious psychological distress among adults 18 years of age and over, by selected characteristics: United States, average annual 1997–1998, 2000–2001, and 2003–2004
[Data are based on household interviews of a sample of the civilian noninstitutionalized population]
Click here for spreadsheet version

Characteristic 1997–1998 2000–2001 2003–2004
Percent of persons with serious psychological distress1
Total, age adjusted2,
Total, crude33.23.23.1
18–44 years2.93.12.9
 18–24 years2.72.72.8
 25–44 years3.03.22.9
45–64 years3.73.73.9
 45–54 years3.93.73.9
 55–64 years3.43.83.9
65 years and over3.12.72.4
 65–74 years2.52.82.3
 75 years and over3.82.52.5
White only3.13.13.1
Black or African American only4.03.53.4
American Indian or Alaska Native only7.8*9.3*5.5
Asian only2.0**1.8
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander only- - -**
2 or more races- - -5.29.1
Hispanic origin and race2,4
Hispanic or Latino5.04.23.9
Not Hispanic or Latino3.03.13.1
 White only2.93.13.0
 Black or African American only3.93.53.2
Percent of poverty level2,5
Below 100%
100%–less than 200%
200% or more1.82.01.7
Hispanic origin and race and percent of poverty level2,4,5
Hispanic or Latino:
 Below 100%
 100%–less than 200%
 200% or more2.92.82.4
Not Hispanic or Latino:
 White only:
  Below 100%9.69.410.1
  100%–less than 200%
  200% or more1.82.01.7
 Black or African American only:
  Below 100%
  100%–less than 200%4.34.9*4.0
  200% or more1.6*1.6*1.3
Characteristic 1997–1998 2000–2001 2003–2004
Percent of persons with serious psychological distress1
Location of residence2
Within MSA63.03.12.9
Outside MSA63.93.53.8

* Estimates are considered unreliable. Data preceded by an asterisk have a relative standard error (RSE) of 20%–30%. Data not shown have an RSE greater than 30%.

- - - Data not available.


Serious psychological distress is measured by a six-question scale that asks respondents how often they experience each of six symptoms of psychological distress. See Appendix II, Serious psychological distress.


Estimates are age adjusted to the year 2000 standard population using five age groups: 18–44 years, 45–54 years, 55–64 years, 65–74 years, and 75 years and over. See Appendix II, Age adjustment.


Includes all other races not shown separately.


The race groups, white, black, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and 2 or more races, include persons of Hispanic and non-Hispanic origin. Persons of Hispanic origin may be of any race. Starting with 1999 data, race-specific estimates are tabulated according to the 1997 Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity and are not strictly comparable with estimates for earlier years. The five single race categories plus multiple race categories shown in the table conform to the 1997 Standards. Starting with 1999 data, race-specific estimates are for persons who reported only one racial group; the category 2 or more races includes persons who reported more than one racial group. Prior to 1999, data were tabulated according to the 1977 Standards with four racial groups and the Asian only category included Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Estimates for single race categories prior to 1999 included persons who reported one race or, if they reported more than one race, identified one race as best representing their race. Starting with 2003 data, race responses of other race and unspecified multiple race were treated as missing, and then race was imputed if these were the only race responses. Almost all persons with a race response of other race were of Hispanic origin. See Appendix II, Hispanic origin; Race.


Percent of poverty level is based on family income and family size and composition using U.S. Census Bureau poverty thresholds. Missing family income data were imputed for 27%–31% of persons 18 years of age and over in 1997–1998 and 33%–36% in 1999–2004. See Appendix II, Family Income; Poverty.


MSA is metropolitan statistical area.

NOTES: Standard errors for selected years are available in the spreadsheet version of this table. Available from: www​

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, family core questionnaire.

From: Trend Tables

Cover of Health, United States, 2006
Health, United States, 2006: With Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans.
National Center for Health Statistics (US) .
Hyattsville (MD): National Center for Health Statistics (US); 2006 Nov.

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