This page contains a number of statistics about personality disorders and related topics. Where available, sources and links to the original data are given and we encourage you to follow the links to these sources if you want to learn more.
A number of studies have been conducted in recent years to determine the prevalence of personality disorders in the general US population.
According to a 2007 study, 9.1% of the US population (about 1 in 11 people) meet the DSM-IV criteria for a personality disorder. Two previous smaller surveys have estimated the percentage between 9.0% and 15.7%.
The following table shows statistically how likely it is that a person who is diagnosed with one personality disorder will also be diagnosed with another personality disorder, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).
The numbers displayed in the table below are a statistical measures of co-occurrence known as "tetrachoric correlations". The more positive the number, the more likely it is that a person will be diagnosed with the second personality disorder listed. The more negative the number, the less likely it is that a person will be diagnosed with the second personality disorder in the table.
Note: This data was compiled from an initial survey of 5692 people in the US. None of the people in the survey sample were identified as meeting the criteria for Histrionic Personality Disorder or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Therefore, no comorbidity information is shown for HPD or NPD.
Comorbidity Between Personality Disorders and DSM-IV Axis I Disorders
67% of people who meet the DSM-IV criteria for a Personality DIsorder have been found in a 2007 study to also meet the criteria for at least one of the DSM-IV Axis I disorder. The table below shows the probability that a person who has been diagnosed with a personality disorder will also meet the criteria for each of the following Axis I disorders, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV):
Note that although 67% of the people meeting the criteria for an Axis II - or personality disorder also meet the criteria for an Axis I disorder, the reverse is not true. Only 24.8% of people meeting the criteria for an Axis I disorder also meet the criteria for an Axis II disorder.
UK 2009-2010 Personality Disorder Hospital Admissions
The chart below gives UK National Health Service 2009-2010 Breakdown of Personality Disorder Diagnoses per hospital admission. Diagnoses are based on the World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).
It can be seen from the chart that a majority (75%) of all hospital admitted personality disorder diagnoses in the UK are for Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD) - which is known internationally as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).
UK 2009-2010 Personality Disorder Hospital Admissions by Gender
The chart below gives UK National Health Service 2009-2010 Breakdown of Personality Disorder Diagnoses by gender per hospital admission. Diagnoses are based on the World Health Organization (WHO) International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).
The data shows that about 70% of in-patient personality disorder cases in the UK are diagnosed in females and 30% in males. Borderline and Histrionic Personality Disorders are more commonly diagnosed among females while Antisocial, and Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder are more commonly diagnosed among males.
Self Harm Statistics
British Medical Journal 2002 Study on Self-Harm in Adolescents
A 2002 survey of 15 and 16 year old students in 41 schools in England found that 6.9% reported acts of deliberate self-harm in the previous year, with a significantly higher prevalence in females (11.2%) than in males (3.2%).
In 2004, suicide was the 11th leading cause of death in the US. There were 32,439 recorded suicides, or 109 suicides for every million people (0.01% of the population). It is estimated that about 25 suicides are attempted for every death recorded.
Women report 3 times as many suicide attempts as men. However, men account for the majority (79.4%) of actual suicide deaths.
In the US, an estimated 903,000 children (1.2% of all children) were victims of abuse and neglect in 2001. 19% of reported and substantiated child abuse cases result in the child being removed from the home.
Child Abduction - Child Abduction is a serious, yet common occurrence when people who suffer from personality disorders become involved in a custody dispute. Approximately 82% of more than 200,000 child abductions every year are perpetrated by family members.
U.S. Department of Justice statistics show that 9% of reported missing children cases are the result of child abductions and that 82% of reported child abductions in the US are determined to have been committed by family members.
*Stereotypical kidnappings are the particular type of non family abduction that receives the most media attention and involves a stranger or slight acquaintance who detains the child overnight, transports the child at least 50 miles, holds the child for ransom, abducts the child with intent to keep the child permanently, or kills the child.
Family Member Child Abduction Prevalence
An estimated 203,900 children were victims of a family
abduction in 1999. In 43% of these cases, the whereabouts of the abducted child was known to the child's caretaker.
In 78% of cases one of the child's parents is the abductor with abduction by the father occurring 2 times as often as abduction by the mother. However, it should be noted that in disputed custody cases, the child's mother is 7 times more likely to be granted sole custody than the child's father, which heavily influences the numbers.
In most cases, family child abductions are short-lived and will not serve the abductor well. Most courts look unfavorably on anyone who abducts children or tries to deny another parent access in that way.
Many people believe that mothers are naturally better caregivers than fathers. And the US courts seem to agree. US Divorce Statistics show that a divorcing mother is 7 times more likely to retain sole custody of her children than a father:
Five years ago, a photographer, an engineer, a writer, an office manager, a grandmother, a graphic artist, a law student, a husband, a librarian, and a stained-glass artisan came together to connect a diverse, isolated population in search of information, support, and growth as they strive to cope with a family members, spouses or partners who suffer from a personality disorder. Since its launch on November 1, 2007, Out Of The FOG has grown from a fledgling discussion group with 10 participants, to a vibrant community of over 4000 registered members world-wide, with new members joining every day.
On August 31 2012, the Out of the FOG Support Forum crossed two significant milestones - 100,000 member posts and 10,000 topics. Thanks to all who participate and contribute to the OOTF support board, which is a unique source of support to non-personality-disordered individuals all over the world.