May 24, 2021

Video Game Addiction Statistics 2020: Is the World Addicted to Video Games?

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Video Game Addiction Statistics
Kabir Lal
Community Manager
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Video game addiction is a rapidly growing problem that most experts do not understand very well. Video game addiction statistics can give us insights into how widespread the issue is, and whether we need to be worried about our gaming habit. How common is video game addiction?

Video game addiction is very common.

  • 0.3% to 1% of the general population fit the criteria for a video game addiction diagnosis in the US, UK, Canada, and Germany.
  • South Korea declared video game addiction a public health crisis since more than 600,000 children struggle with it.
  • 8.4% of children and teenagers are addicted to gaming, of which, 11-12% are boys, and 6-7% are girls.

Video game addiction is a real problem that affects millions of gamers over the world. However, there are very few resources on it. Most psychiatrists who treat video game addiction are over the age of 55 and have never played a video game in their life. Therefore, the current models of mental health do not understand how to treat video game addiction.

If you want to learn more about video game addiction, its signs, symptoms, causes, the effect on a gamer’s life, how to stop playing video games, how to wean your child off video games, whether games cause violence or make you smarter, then the Comprehensive Guide to Video Game Addiction might be of use to you. Click here to read the complete guide on video game addiction.

Let’s learn about how widespread video game addiction is, and what we can do to deal with it.


Worldwide Video Game Addiction Statistics

Statistics show that more than 2 billion people play video games globally, 150 million in the United States. Several surveys indicate that Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) affects between 1-10% of Europe and North America.

  • In a study conducted on adults in the US, UK, Canada, and Germany, researchers found that 0.3% to 1% of the general population fit the criteria for an IGD diagnosis.
  • A national survey of “internet addiction” was carried out in Japan, and the samples that exhibited signs of IGD ranged from 0.7% to 27.5%.
  • Another study done on gamers from Norway found that 1.4% of the sample could be classified as addicted gamers, while 7.3% were problem gamers.


Statistics by Geographical Location

59% of all Americans play video games. On average, 48% of Europeans have played video games at some point in their life. 56% of young adult Norwegians have a gaming habit.

Several Asian countries struggle with video game addiction and IGD in their populations. According to particular estimates, 10% of children in Singapore are addicted to the internet and gaming.

A study conducted in Hong Kong in 2017 revealed that, on average, 13.9% of male students spent over 20 hours a week playing video games. South Korea declared gaming disorder a public health crisis since more than 600,000 children struggle with it.

The highest prevalence of video game addiction in the world is in Iran, and it’s 22.8%, according to Dr. Alok Kanojia, the world expert in video game addiction psychiatry.

Dr. Alok Kanojia explains the geographical breakdown of video game addiction in this video:


According to Vladimir Poznyak, substance use and addictive behavior expert at the World Health Organization (WHO), a person’s geographical region is not a significant predictor of their risk of developing video game addiction. Statistics indicate that most populations in the world are likely to struggle with video game addiction.


Gender Breakdown of Video Game Addiction

Gaming seems to be a male-dominated area. However, the research is mixed.

  • 8.4% of children and teenagers are addicted to gaming, of which, 11-12% are boys, and 6-7% are girls.
  • Women tend to be much more addicted to mobile games than men.

Dr. Alok Kanojia explains the gender gap in gaming in this video:


  • The Kurihama Medical and Addiction Centre in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, sees about 241 patients with gaming disorder. 89% of those individuals are male.
  • Recent studies have shown that the gender breakdown of video game addiction is more balanced than previously thought. 10.8% of a sample consisting of problematic internet users were potential at-risk gamers, of which 5.5% were females while the rest were males.


Video Game Addiction By Age

Though no survey of gaming disorder has taken place in Japan, a national study of “internet addiction” revealed that 1.82 million males and 1.3 million females over the age of 20 were living with internet addiction.

According to another set of statistics, young adult males between the ages of 18-24 are at high risk of video game addiction.

A German study showed that more than 6% of teenagers struggled with gaming addiction. According to a different German study, 3.3% of teenagers were addicted to video games.



Overall, video game addiction statistics are vague due to the different methodologies adopted in studies and surveys.

Studies of larger populations are required to collect higher quality data to create more accurate statistics. The relationship between gaming addiction and preferred platform (PC, console, mobile) also needs to be explored more thoroughly.

We need more research to understand how video game addiction affects people in different parts of the world. More accurate video game addiction statistics are necessary to recognize potential high-risk groups and we need to address the problem right when it starts. 

If you feel that your gaming habit is affecting your life, we can help. Sign up to work with a Healthy Gamer Coach, trained by Dr. Alok Kanojia himself. Healthy Gamer Coaches are gamers who have taken control of their life, and know exactly what you’re going through.



If you’re a parent seeking help with your child’s video game addiction, check out our Family Programs.