We have heard about academic burnout and how many students suffer from it at some point in their lives. However, you would not know how severe the cases were and how widespread until you’ve seen some numbers and read some statistics.
Things have become increasingly worse since the pandemic, as students are constantly jilted between face-to-face classes and online education, which often causes confusion and difficulty retaining information.
Moreover, a survey from Ohio State University illustrates the rise of mental illnesses and anxiety in students as they return to campus from online education. In August 2020, while the pandemic was still raging, pandemic burnout statistics stood at 40%. However, in April 2020, as students returned to face-to-face classes, the number rose to an outstanding 71%.
Hence, to tackle academic burnout in general, we should be aware of their statistics. To understand why and when things start to worsen, it’s always helpful to look at the trends. We need to know how the patterns are changing for students. In this article, learn about academic burnout statistics to know.
What is Academic Burnout?
Academic burnout is when the overwhelming course load of high school or university is incredibly stressful that it starts causing prominent adverse side effects. These side effects often include depression, exclusion from social groups, inability to work properly, and lack of motivation.
While academic stress and burnout are entirely different, academic stress could potentially lead to academic burnout. The more the stress accumulates and is not dealt with, the more likely it will lead to academic burnout.
This reflects negatively on students’ mental health and can lead to other more severe illnesses or conditions if left untreated. Possible feelings could develop include anxiety, loneliness, difficulty coping, and depression.
College stress statistics for the year 2020, when the pandemic started affecting all of us and caused pandemic burnout, are worth noting:
- 7% of students describe academic course load as being traumatic or too tough to handle
- 3% of college students blame their stress levels on their poor academic performance
- 75% of students have experienced academic anxiety at some point during their studies
- 30% of students state that they experienced overwhelming anxiety in the past two weeks
- At any time, 9 out of 10 college students feel too tired, exhausted, or sleepy
Academic burnout and academic stress at university or college are often due to the incredible responsibility of the students. Think about it this way; you spend 18 years of your life with the same people surrounding you, but then you go to college, and things flip outside down.
When you start college, things slowly begin to pile up. You learn how to live independently, find out how to pay your tuition and fees, make new friends, and immerse yourself in social activities. While being independent is a goal to strive for, it is not an easy task to accomplish.
How Common is Academic Burnout?
Understanding the spread of academic burnout first requires us to determine where it is most prevalent. According to the American Psychological Association’s Stress in America study, Gen Z adults report higher stress levels. Hence, college burnout statistics have been shown to stand at an outstanding 87% of students.
While the study initially measured the statistics for college stress, it has been strongly linked to the presence of academic burnout. That’s because the students described their symptoms and matched those of academic burnout.
These college students said they experienced a lack of motivation, emotional exhaustion, negative feelings, and lower performance. As one of the researchers said, this ultimately equates to the phrase “the opposite of thriving.”
What Percentage of Students Experience Burnout?
A group of 20 studies was conducted to measure levels of academic burnout in students across multiple different countries. They were spread out over multiple different continents. The division of the studies was as follows:
- 5% in North America
- 25% in Asia
- 45% in Latin America
- 25% in Europe
After evaluation, only ten studies were chosen according to the best overall evaluation. The sample of university students ranged anywhere from 113 students to 5,647. The total sum of the studies at the end, the ones who are part of the final ten studies, were 11,002 students.
Astonishingly, the results showed that approximately 40% of the students suffered from academic burnout during their academic years. This is a bewildering number, and universities and psychologists alike are working on substantially reducing that percentage.
However, students did experience different symptoms and side effects due to academic burnout. Here are the symptoms experienced sorted in descending order according to the most prevalent dimension of academic burnout:
- 5% emotional exhaustion
- 6% cynicism
- 9% academic efficacy
The highest amount of stress and burnout was shown in medical careers, nursing careers, and engineering careers. In other words, there were overall lower levels of academic burnout in arts, social sciences, dentistry, and business students.
Academic Burnout Statistics to Know
While academic burnout studies are vital to understanding how students cope with the course load, the more widely available studies conducted were on stress levels. However, in the long term, stress levels are directly related to causing academic burnout.
Especially with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, routine activities have reduced over time. Fewer students have the chance to socialize with their peers and grow both individually and socially, which has put constraints over the ability of students to improve their academic burnout symptoms.
However, stress was not created with the pandemic; high school and college students alike have been experiencing extreme symptoms for an extended period. This is primarily due to the increased expectations of students as the world around us advances.
Below are some general student burnout statistics from around the world:
General Student Burnout Statistics
- 24% of students in the USA get stressed about their future and their lives post-graduation
- Studies show that 1 out of every five students in the United Kingdom will experience clinical anxiety mid-course
- Around 500 Japanese students below the age of 20 commit suicide each year
- 6 out of 10 students have experienced overwhelming anxiety
- 40% of students experience crippling depression
- Between 2009-2015, there was an increase of 30% of students visiting counseling centers at the campus in America
While one would assume that things only get more challenging for university students over the age of 18, this has been proven to be a wrong assumption. Sadly enough, kids in high school feel immense pressure from their schools and parents due to examinations and course load.
Things are probably more challenging for a teen going through high school is because they need to cope with numerous different issues. They’re not only going through adolescence, but the need to balance their academic and social life can lead to unnecessary induced stress.
Here are some high school burnout statistics:
High School Burnout Statistics
- 7 out of 10 students between the ages of 13 and 17 say that anxiety and depression are significant problems amount their friends
- 75% of high school students suffer from boredom, anger, sadness, fear, and stress
- While American adults have an average of 38% of stress (according to their labeling), high school students stand at a whopping 58%
- 75% of high schoolers in America say they often experience feelings of stress
However, things do shift slightly for college and university students. Not only do they have to deal with the balance between social and academic, but they do need to learn how to be more independent and responsible.
College students need to plan financially, make a solid support system around them, spend more time studying, stay healthy, and still function socially. Due to all these factors, the American College Health Association found out that stress has become the most severe academic impediment in university and college students.
Here are some college burnout statistics:
College Burnout Statistics
- 40% of college students in the United States state that they feel unrested 5 out of 7 days of the week
- 45% of university students in the United Kingdom report having stress or anxiety due to coursework. This is higher than the 41% of students who enjoy themselves in class
- S. students who consistently sleep less than 6 hours each night have a lower GPA compared to those who sleep for eight or more
- 25% of college students indicate that they perform worse due to lack of sleep
- 45% of college students in America claim to have an overwhelming amount of stress
Unfortunately, stress and inevitably academic burnout are caused by several factors. These include coursework, harassment, distance from family, financial concerns, mental health issues, and coronavirus issues.
Wrapping Things Up: Academic Burnout Statistics to Know
to conclude, academic burnout is an issue that should be taken more seriously. Universities and parents alike should minimize the total number of students affected by it.
While that might be difficult to do at first, universities and colleges should conclude that the courseload thrown on students can be incredibly overwhelming at times.
Moreover, students should have a better structure for their everyday lives and academic lives. Having a specific routine always makes things easier. Don’t forget to stay healthy, move more, and take care of your body and mind.