Research Outline



To determine how many people in the United States are diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Early Findings

According to the National Center for PTSD, approximately 7-8% of the population will have PTSD at some point in their lives. Assuming the population of the US is 329,357,987 (according to Worldomenters as of August 13, 2019), this would mean that between 23,055,059 and 26,348,638 Americans will deal with some form of PTSD during their lifetime.

Other PTSD Statistics

  • About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.
  • About 10 of every 100 women (or 10%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about 4 of every 100 men (or 4%).
  • Findings from a large national mental health study show that a little more than half of all women will experience at least one traumatic event in their life. Women are slightly less likely to experience trauma than men. The most common trauma for women is sexual assault or child sexual abuse. About one in three women will experience a sexual assault in their lifetime. Rates of sexual assault are higher for women than men. Women are also more likely to be neglected or abused in childhood, to experience domestic violence, or to have a loved one suddenly die.
  • 2016 data from the Department of Veteran's Affairs estimated that the number of Veterans with PTSD varies by service era: Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF): About 11-20 out of every 100 Veterans (or between 11-20%) who served in OIF or OEF have PTSD in a given year.
  • Based on diagnostic interview data from National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), past year prevalence of PTSD among U.S. adults aged 18 or older.
  • An estimated 3.6% of U.S. adults had PTSD in the past year.
  • Past year prevalence of PTSD among adults was higher for females (5.2%) than for males (1.8%).