20 Self Esteem Statistics That Will Help You Feel Better


Self Esteem Statistics

Self-esteem statistics in recent years demonstrate a number of problems in our current society. The rise of social media and “filter” photographs have created unrealistic expectations among many individuals regarding their physical appearance. At the same time, we often find ourselves constantly comparing our own lives to the lives of those we see online.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve struggled with self-esteem. A lot. We’ve been there plenty of times. There have been days when we’ve looked in the mirror and just thought: “I’m not good enough.” Or moments where we’ve second-guessed something we said or did, wondering if we could have done better or been better.

It’s hard to feel confident in a culture that’s always telling us to be more and do more. And yet, we know that feeling good about ourselves is one of the most important things we can do for our health and happiness.

We want to help you change that, and one way we can do that is by giving you access to data. Facts, figures, statistics—they’re all important tools in changing your thinking patterns and helping you overcome low self-esteem.

Self Esteem Statistics

Around 85% of people are affected by low self-esteem in the world today. This issue is particularly prominent among younger individuals, but self-esteem problems can influence people all around the world.

The following self-esteem statistics shed a light on the current situation.

1. 85% of the worldwide population is influenced by self-esteem

(Psychology Today)

According to Dr. Joe Rubino, approximately 85% of people worldwide have issues with self-esteem. Unfortunately, issues of low self-esteem are linked to a number of significant problems with mental health.

Low self-esteem is a thinking disorder that has been linked to school dropout rates, violent behavior, suicide, teenage pregnancy, and low academic achievement.

According to experts, the problem of low self-esteem leads to a negative view that permeates our thoughts and leads to consistently self-defeating behaviors.

 

2. 60% of people say they wish they had more respect for themselves

(The Body Shop Self Love Index)

A study conducted by the Body Shop on the self-esteem of 22,000 people across 21 counties offered an insight into self-worth and self-love. This report, named the “Self-Love Index” researched how people rated their self-worth, wellbeing and happiness.

According to the report, the average score on the “self-love” index was only 53 out of 100, meaning 1 in 2 people worldwide felt more self-doubt than self-love. The report also revealed around 60% of people wished they had more respect for themselves.

 

3. 85% of women do not believe they are attractive

(Gee Hair 2021 survey)

The Gee Hair 2021 consumer survey in collaboration with Censuswide, found 85% of women do not consider themselves to be attractive. The report also highlighted some important information about other areas of problematic self-esteem for women.

More than half of women don’t believe other people like them, and only 1 in 5 women feels confident in their appearance. Two thirds of women in the study also said they do not feel confident in their jobs. What’s more, 62% of women said they do not believe they are intelligent.

 

4. Research shows Instagram to be the most damaging social media platform for self-esteem

(RSPH)

The RSPH group and the “Young Health Movement” published a report in 2017 about the influence of social media on self-esteem. The report found around 71% of people would support having a pop-up warning on social media warning them about excessive use, due to the impact on self-esteem.

Instagram was considered to be the most problematic social media platform for self esteem issues. Around 68% of young people even said they would like to see social media platforms like Instagram highlighting when photos had been digitally manipulated.

 

5. 61% of adults and 66% of children feel bad about their body image

(Body Image Survey UK)

A study conducted in 2020 by the UK government asked 7878 people about their perception of their body appearance and shape. 61% of adults said they either felt negative or very negative about their body image most of the time. A further 66% of children felt the same way.

According to the report, younger people are more likely to suffer with low self-esteem. 65% of children under the age of 18 thought there was an “ideal” body type they should be aiming for, compared with 45% of adults.

Women in the study were also more likely to feel negatively about their bodies. Over 6 in every 10 women reported low self-esteem.

 

6. Nearly eight out of ten women expressed trouble with their self-esteem

(The WealthiHer Network)

If you’ve ever felt down on yourself, you’re not alone.

A recent study by The WealthiHer Network found that 79% of women admit to having struggled with their self-esteem at some point in their lives. And while most of us know how prevalent this issue is among women, it doesn’t make it any easier.

This is a shockingly high number. It means that nearly 8 out of every 10 women you meet on the street will admit to having struggled with feelings like these. And we were surprised too—we had never dreamed that such a large portion of the female population would actually admit to these kinds of feelings.

We hope that this number gives us all a fresh perspective on what we can do to help women feel more supported in their struggles with self-esteem. 

 

7. Approximately 20% of high schooler students report low self-esteem

(Frontiers)

In a recent study of Vietnamese high school students, nearly 20% were found to have low self-esteem, with no difference in rates between boys and girls (which means gender stereotypes are not to blame).

The researchers set out to discover how stressors unique to Vietnam were affecting Vietnamese youth, and their primary focus was on self-esteem. Self-esteem has been linked to mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, so it’s important to understand which factors are most likely to lead to lowered self-esteem.

Researchers have long known that having low self-esteem can lead to poor academic performance, but the results of this particular study suggest that it may also affect how well an individual interacts with others at school.

In addition to being bullied, students with low self-esteem may be more likely to bully others as well. This behavior, if left unchecked, could quickly spiral out of control, causing a potentially dangerous situation for everyone involved.

 

8. Feelings of low self-esteem are felt more often outside of the US

(The Body Shop Self Love Index)

A global report launched by The Body Shop in 2021 identified “self-love” as a crisis issue for men and women around the world. The report found Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and France ranked lowest for self-esteem, or “self-love”, while Australia, Denmark, and the United States ranked the highest.

People in the US had a self-love index score of around 61, eight points higher than the global average. However, feelings of anxiety and depression were felt slightly more often by people in the US than the global average (43%).

Notably, feelings of anxiety and depression were more common among people who used social media for two hours or more. 42% of heavy social media users often felt anxious.

 

9. People with higher self-esteem earn an average of $7000 more per year

(SSRN)

Research conducted by the University of Messina and Francesco Drago found self-esteem has a direct correlation with potential earnings. According to this study, individuals who possess a high level of self-confidence earn roughly $7000 more per year than their peers with low self-esteem.

Notably, the $7000 wage gap was only for individuals from blue-collar families. Those from white-collar families with high self-esteem earned up to $28,000 more annually than individuals who lacked confidence. The researchers noted self-esteem can lead to up to $1.2 million in lost earnings.

 

10. 60% of women who experience hair loss have low self-esteem

(Menopause)

A study published in the Menopause journal found more than half of women (32%) over the age of 50 will experience hair thinning or hair loss. In the report, researchers from Thailand evaluated around 200 post-menopausal women between the ages of 50 and 65. The study showed more than half of these women experienced issues with thinning.

Experts say the hair loss is likely due to the changes in hormones for postmenopausal women. The report also found around 60% of the women who did experience hair loss reported having lower self-esteem.

 

11. 80% of people aged 35-54 don’t feel confident in their appearance

(Gee Hair 2021 survey)

A study conducted by Censuswide and Gee Hair found around 80% of people between the ages of 33 and 54 don’t feel confident in their appearance. However, the report also revealed a number of issues with self-esteem among all age groups.

In the report, 90% of people over the age of 45 said they don’t consider themselves to be attractive. A third of young people also said they feel they’re generally disliked by others. Additionally, half of the young people (Aged under 18) in the survey said they often worry what people think about them.

 

12. There has been a 77% rise in the number of children in the UK needing mental health treatment

(NHS Digital)

While self-esteem issues can influence anyone, studies are showing a rising number of cases involving children struggling with self-esteem. According to a 2022 study by the NHS group in England, there has been a 77% increase in the number of children needing specialist treatment.

The report looked at 409,347 under-18s referred to the NHS for suicidal thoughts, self-harm, and low self-esteem issues. The government has therefore planned for the introduction of 400 mental health teams designed to support schools by 2023.

 

13. Single women and minority women often have lower self-esteem

(The Body Shop Self Love Index)

According to the 2020 Body Shop Self-Love Index, 37% of single women, and 38% of women from minorities ranked in the lowest quartile of the “self-love” index, compared to only 21% of married and 25% of non-minority women.

In the US, people from minority groups tend to have lower self-love and self-esteem scores than people not from minority groups, having a self-love index of around 59 compared to 63 among those not from minority groups.

Additionally, LGBTQ+ people and those with disabilities scored more poorly on self-love and self-esteem measures than the general population having scores in the bottom 25%.

 

 

14. 71% of people with a disability have issues with self esteem

(Body Image Survey UK)

The 2020 Body Image Survey in the UK found 71% of people with disabilities said they felt very negative or simply negative about their image, compared to 60% of people without disabilities. According to the report, negative experiences with healthcare professionals had been a major factor in influencing their mental health and self-esteem.

The same study reported that no transgender people reported feeling “very positive” about their body, and 23% of people experienced very negative feelings most of the time.

 

15. 94% of teen girls in the US have been shamed for their body size

(Yahoo Health)

A study conducted by Yahoo health into 2000 people across America, aged between 13 and 64, looked at feelings of self-esteem among modern individuals. The study found women were much less likely to be body-positive than men, and it takes around half of a woman’s life for them to gain the amount of body positivity a teen boy has.

70% of men said they were either body positive or neutral about their image for most of their lives. However, most women were more likely to be unhappy with their bodies. Only 13% of women said they were body positive. The majority of women who did feel body positive were between the ages of 35 and 54.

The report also found approximately 94% of teen girls have been shamed for their body shape or size in the past, which researchers believe may be contributing to the problem.

 

16. By age 13, 53% of American girls are unhappy with their bodies

(National Institute on Media and Family)

The National Institute of Media and Family, alongside the University of Washington, conducted a survey in 2014 to explore the impact of self-esteem on the younger generation. According to the report, 40% of girls aged between 9 and 10 have already tried losing weight.

By the age of 13, the study found 53% of American girls are happy with their bodies. This statistic grows to around 78% by the time the women reach the age of 17.

 

17. 55% of men don’t think they’re liked by others

(Gee Hair 2021 survey)

A Gee Hair Survey conducted with Censuswide discovered many people have poor self esteem because they don’t believe they’re liked by others. Around 55% of men in the study said they don’t think other people like them. Over half of women in the same survey felt they weren’t liked by others.

The report also found around 4 in 5 men would not describe themselves as attractive, and 609% of men weren’t confident in their ability to do their jobs well. Around half of the men surveyed in the study said they don’t believe they are intelligent.

 

18. Financial status is the reason for low self-esteem among 31% of women

(The Body Shop Self Love Index)

The Body Shop Self Love index in the US found there are a number of reasons for low self-esteem among women in the US. Financial status was the most common issue, for 31% of women, followed by a feeling they weren’t making progress towards their goals.

People in the US who are single also have a lower self-love ranking, averaging at around 58 compared to 63 among those in a relationship. Self-love also increases with age throughout the US. People under the age of 35 were significantly more likely to be in the lowest quartile for self-love scores.

 

19. 53% of adults feel their self-esteem is worse since the pandemic

(Body Image Survey UK)

The 2020 Body Image Survey in the UK found the lockdown restrictions of the pandemic have prompted further concerns about body image and self-esteem. Around 53% of adults, and 58% of people under the age of 18 reported the lockdown had made them feel worse about their appearance.

A significant number of people (the majority for both young people and children), felt their issues with self esteem had something to do with their consumption of additional media during lockdown. Widespread discussions about lockdown weight gain and pressure from social media to focus on appearance approvement during the lockdown were also concerns.

Less support and treatment for mental health and eating disorders during the lockdown was also significant. Only around 14% of adults felt better about their image since the lockdowns.

 

20. 72% of girls feel excessive pressure to be attractive

(Dove Global Beauty and Confidence Report)

The Global Dove Beauty and Confidence Report, launched as part of Dove’s Self Esteem Project, found around 72% of girls feel significant pressure to be beautiful, but only around 4% of people around the world would consider themselves beautiful.

Only 11% of girls globally are happy to describe themselves as beautiful, yet 80% of women in the study agreed that every woman has something about her that is beautiful. More than half of all women (54%) in the study agreed that when it came to how they looked, they were their own biggest critic.

 

Conclusion

We hope this post has provided valuable and interesting insight on self-esteem and helped you realize that you aren’t alone in whatever struggles you may be facing.

Whether you’re looking to improve your own sense of esteem or you want to help someone else, remember these strategies:

  • It all starts with understanding what self-esteem is and why it matters.
  • Set small goals, and celebrate when you meet them—but don’t beat yourself up when you don’t.
  • Challenge negative thoughts with evidence and speak kindly to yourself when things go wrong.
  • Be realistic and forgive yourself when things don’t work out exactly as planned.
  • The way we see ourselves is often different than how others see us. Be sure to ask for feedback from trusted friends and family members.

And if we had to pick one thing for all of us to take away from this post, it would be this:

It’s important for us all to remember that we are a work in progress. We go through different phases of life, and with each new phase comes new challenges. Whether you’re trying to get into shape, achieve a dream, or simply find yourself, know that your best days are still ahead of you!

And if you have anything to add, please let us know. Let’s all learn from each other! That way, we can all feel more empowered and confident in ourselves going forward.

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