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 Other Disorders

Statistics
Mental disorders are common in the United States and internationally. An estimated 26.2 percent of
Americans ages and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder
in a given year. When applied to the 2004 U.S. Census residential population estimate for ages 18
and older, this figure translates to 57.7 million people. Even though mental disorders are widespread
in the population, the main burden of illness is concentrated in a much smaller proportion — about 6
percent, or 1 in 17 — who suffer from a serious mental illness. In addition, mental disorders are the
leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada for ages 15-44. Many people suffer from more
than one mental disorder at a given time. Nearly half (45 percent) of those with any mental disorder
meet criteria for 2 or more disorders, with severity strongly related to comorbidity.

The Impact of Mental Illness on Society

The burden of mental illness on health and productivity in the United States and throughout the
world has long been underestimated. Data developed by the massive Global Burden of Disease study
conducted by the World Health Organization, the World Bank, and Harvard University, reveal that
mental illness, including suicide, accounts for over 15 percent of the burden of disease in established
market economies, such as the United States. This is more than the disease burden caused by all

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NIMH: Statistics Page 2 of 2

cancers. more>>

News

 America's Children: Parents Report Estimated 2.7 Million Children with Emotional and
Behavioral Problems

Publications/Resource Materials

Read, print, or order NIMH booklets, fact sheets, and other publications on mental health statistics
such as:

The Numbers Count


A summary of statistics describing the prevalence of mental disorders in America.

In Harm's Way: Suicide in America


A brief overview of suicide statistics and prevention.

More Publications>>

Related Information

 Epidemiology of Mental Illness, a section from Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon
General
 Fact Sheets from Culture, Race, and Ethnicity: A Supplement to Mental Health: A Report of
the Surgeon General
 The Global Burden of Disease study, conducted by the World Health Organization, the World
Bank, and Harvard University

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