Most children and adults in Sweden report that they have good health, while many also report recurring mental and somatic problems such as headaches, feeling low and difficulties in getting to sleep.
There are differences between various groups. Girls report mental and somatic problems more often than boys, and women have problems more often than men. Young people report psychosomatic problems more often than older people. If employment is considered, persons who are unemployed report mental and somatic problems more often than persons who are employed.
Since the mid-1980s, self-reported mental and somatic problems have increased among school children in Sweden, primarily among 13 and 15-year-old girls.
Nervousness and anxiety
Over the last decade self-reported nervousness or anxiety has increased in the Swedish population (16–84 years old), from 31 percent in 2011 to 42 percent in 2021. Most people are rating their nervousness or anxiety as mild, but 7 percent are perceiving severe symptoms.
In all age groups, more women than men report nervousness and anxiety, and the prevalence is especially high among young women (16–29 years old). Severe nervousness or anxiety was reported by 20 percent of the young women 2021. In 2011 the corresponding figure was 9 percent. For young men there has been a similar increase from 5 percent 2011 to 10 percent 2021.
The Public Health Agency of Sweden has been assigned to build and develop the work aiming to promote mental health and prevent mental ill-health among the entire population at a national level. An important part of this work is to compile, analyse and convey new knowledge within the area. This is conducted, for example, in the form of a national public health survey "Health on equal terms" which the Agency has performed annually since 2004. Another example of how new knowledge is developed is when we compile different types of literature reviews within the mental health area.