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The Most Depressing Places to Live in the U.S., 2011

The Most Depressing Places to Live in the U.S., 2011What are some of the most depressing places to live in the United States in 2011?

There’s one easy way to gauge the mood of the country — what are people searching for on Google? Google Trends to the rescue. We can type in a query to see how many people from different geographic regions searched for the word “depression” in Google.

However, since there are many reasons a person might type in the word “depression” into Google (the economy, searching for depression glass, etc.), we compiled our own list with over a dozen more specific, commonly-searched for depression terms, including things like “depression symptoms”, “depression test” and “depression treatment” to arrive at this list for 2011.

Sadly, if you’re a resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, or Seattle, WA (population-adjusted leader), more people from your city type in these terms more often than in any other city in America. This suggests that Philadelphia and Seattle residents take the honor for the Most Depressing Place to Live in the U.S. in 2011. Pennsylvania and Iowa (population-adjusted leader) lead the most depressing states.

Click through to see the entire city and state list.

This is not a scientific study! This is not a scientific study!

If this were a scientific study, I’d have published it in a scientific journal. Instead, it’s just a little fun with Google Trends. We’ve since added the population-adjusted list for comparison.


Most Depressing U.S. Cities in 2011

The following U.S. cities searched for depression-related terms on Google more often than other cities, according to Google Trends.

Original list

  1. Philadelphia, PA
  2. Dallas, TX
  3. Chicago, IL
  4. Minneapolis, MN
  5. Seattle, WA
  6. Houston, TX
  7. New York, NY
  8. Portland, OR
  9. San Diego, CA
  10. Phoenix, AZ
  11. San Francisco, CA
  12. Los Angeles, CA
  13. Denver, CO
  14. Austin, TX
  15. Boston, MA
   Population-adjusted rankings

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. Portland, OR
  3. Minneapolis, MN
  4. Philadelphia, PA
  5. Atlanta, GA
  6. San Diego, CA
  7. San Francisco, CA
  8. Boston, MA
  9. Austin, TX
  10. Denver, CO
  11. Charlotte, NC
  12. Dallas, TX
  13. Chicago, IL
  14. Columbus, OH
  15. San Antonio, TX

and the states…

Most Depressing U.S. States in 2011

The following states searched for depression-related terms on Google more often than other states, according to Google Trends.

Original list

  1. Pennsylvania
  2. Kentucky
  3. New Jersey
  4. Indiana
  5. Michigan
  6. Utah
  7. Ohio
  8. South Carolina
  9. Alabama
  10. Wisconsin
  11. Iowa
  12. Connecticut
  13. Mississippi
  14. Tennessee
  15. North Carolina
   Population-adjusted rankings

  1. Iowa
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Connecticut
  4. Utah
  5. Kentucky
  6. Kansas
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Oregon
  9. Colorado
  10. Pennsylvania
  11. Massachusetts
  12. Arkansas
  13. Indiana
  14. Minnesota
  15. Washington

If your city or state is on the list, not to worry… Just because your fellow residents are depressed doesn’t mean you have to be too. Go help spread some cheer and let them know it’s not so bad.

The Most Depressing Places to Live in the U.S., 2011

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder of Psych Central. He is a psychologist, author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). The Most Depressing Places to Live in the U.S., 2011. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 26 Dec 2011)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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