Before we map out why burnout seems to be more common than it used to be, we first want to know more about the statistics regarding the prevalence of burnout. Is it truly so that the prevalence of burnout has increased?

Prevalence of burnout in Belgium?

From general statistics we can see that about 1 in 20 employees are at home with a burnout. This is a high number. Furthermore, research was done in 2010 regarding the prevalence of burnout in the active Belgian population. The study by Hansez, Mairiaux, Firket & Braeckman (2010) showed the following characteristics when it comes to the prevalence of burnout:

  • Burnout does not occur more often in women than it does in men. However, certain characteristics and work factors can be seen more frequently in women.
  • Based on a diagnosis by doctors, it was shown that 0.8% suffers from a burnout. This 0.8% is equal to about 19 000 people in Belgium.

When looking at these numbers, it must be noted that they date back to 2010. Why is this important? In 2010, people did not yet always differentiate between burnout and depression. That is why a diagnosis burnout was often not set, unless a major type of burnout was at play. Because of this, it can be so that the prevalence of burnout is different when comparing the prevalence in diagnosis, or based on a burnout test, for example. A test will for example show a higher prevalence of burnout than the prevalence of burnout which was indicated at the hand of diagnosis in 2010.

Prevalence of burnout worldwide?

To show that the prevalence of burnout is worldwide and not just work related, you can look at the following statistics regarding the prevalence of burnout worldwide.

Santen, Holt, Kemp & Hemphill (2010) did a study regarding the prevalence of burnout in medical students. They found the following:

  • 21% of the students in their first year suffered from a burnout
  • 41% of the students in their second year suffered from a burnout
  • 43% of the students in their third year suffered from a burnout
  • 31% of the students in their fourth year suffered from a burnout

Furthermore, studies were done regarding the prevalence of burnout in hospital staff, which yielded the following results (Grunfeld et al., 200):

  • 53% of the doctors showed a high level of emotional exhaustion
  • 41% of the doctors experienced a high level of general stress

Prevalence of burnout in every culture?

In any culture, burnout can occur. It must be noted here that not every culture has a place for mental issues. The symptoms of burnout will therefore often be considered to be something else. Furthermore, not every culture is as open to talking about burnout. This might influence the statistics regarding the prevalence of burnout.


From these statistics we can conclude that the prevalence of burnout lies high. So if you feel weak or alone, know that you are not the only one who is facing these problems. Burnout is a worldwide problem and should be taken care of. Burnout namely has severe consequences for both the employee as well as the employer.

Consequences of the prevalence of burnout?

The prevalence of burnout can have consequences for both employees as well as the employer. For employees the consequences are rather clear. In many cases they even have to take a break from work in order to properly heal again. If burnout is present for an extended period of time, this can even lead to depressed feelings as well as severe memory problems.

Because burnout is caused by a habit, by continuously pushing yourself, burnout does not go away on its own in many cases. You should actively treat the prevalence of burnout at the hand of habit alterations. There are certain types of treatment which can help you with this.

Except for the consequences of the prevalence of burnout in employees, employers too can experience many consequences from burnout. It namely costs a lot for the employer as well as the state when an employee is at home with a burnout. Furthermore, the employer should consider new regulations, so that the work can be taken over by other people.

Burnout test!

Would you like to know if you might be suffering from burnout symptoms? Then take our free burnout test and find out right away which burnout symptoms might be applicable to you.