How Much Do You Know About PTSD Statistics?

September 5, 2012 Michele Rosenthal

Pop quiz, peeps! While everyone knows that veterans struggle with PTSD, do you really know how many? Or who PTSD affects more, men or women? And did you know these important stats about children?

As many as 100% of children who witness a parental homicide or sexual assault develop PTSD.According the the National Center for PTSD: “Studies have shown that as many as 100% of children who witness a parental homicide or sexual assault develop PTSD. Similarly, 90% of sexually abused children, 77% of children exposed to a school shooting, and 35% of urban youth exposed to community violence develop PTSD.”

Some Amazing PTSD Statistics

I used to be a professor at a university and I think learning should be fun, so today: A short quiz to see how much you know about PTSD statistics (don't worry, you can cheat via the answers at the bottom of this post!).

1. The annual cost to society of anxiety disorders is:
a) Over $2.8 million
b) Over $347.5 million
c) Over $42.3 billion

2. True or False: People with PTSD have among the highest rates of healthcare service use.

3. True or False: 70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced some type of traumatic event at least once in their lives (PTSD results from many types of trauma)

4. True or False: Up to 20% of these people go on to develop PTSD.

5. True or False: An estimated 8% of Americans – that’s 24.4 million people – have PTSD at any given time.

6. True or False: An estimated 5 out of 10 women develops PTSD.

7. True or False: Women are about twice as likely as men to develop.

8. True or False: Among people who are victims of a severe traumatic experience 60 –80% will develop PTSD.

9. True or False: Almost 50% of all outpatient mental health patients have PTSD.

10. Compared to Caucasians in the United States somewhat higher rates of PTSD have been found to occur in:
a) African Americans
b) Hispanics
c) Native Americans
d) All of the above

11. Lifetime occurrence (prevalence of PTSD) in combat veterans is:
a) 0-10%
b) 10 – 30%.
c) 50-70%

12. True or False: Studies estimate that 1 in every 5 military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has PTSD.

13. The number of soldiers who’ve been deployed in the past 6 years who now have PTSD is:
a) 5%
b) 20%
c) 53%

14. True or False: 71% of female military personnel develop PTSD due to sexual assault within the ranks.

15. The number of veterans estimated returning from Afghanistan with PTSD is:
a) 6 – 11%
b) 22-28%
c) 37-43%

16. The number of veterans estimated returning from Iraq with PTSD is:
a) 12 – 20%
b) 30-35%
c) 65-70%

17. True or False: 15-43% of girls and 14-43% of boys will experience a traumatic event

18. True or False: 3-15% girls and 1-6% of boys will develop PTSD

19. True or False: As many as 30 – 60% of children who have survived specific disasters have PTSD

20. True or False: 3 - 6% of high school students in the U.S. who survive a specific disaster develop PTSD

21. True or False: More than 33% of youths exposed to community violence will experience PTSD

1. C
2. True
3. True (As of today that’s approximately 223.4mm)
4. True (As of today, that’s approximately 31.3 mm)
5. True
6. False (It’s actually 1 out of 10)
7. True
8. True
9. True
10. D
11. B
12. True
13. B (As of today that’s over 300,000)
14. True
15. A
16. A
17. True
18. True
19. True
20. True
21. True

Michele is the author of Your Life After Trauma: Powerful Practices to Reclaim Your Identity. Connect with her on Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and her website,

APA Reference
Rosenthal, M. (2012, September 5). How Much Do You Know About PTSD Statistics?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Michele Rosenthal

October, 23 2017 at 11:20 am

I and my brother were regularly beaten with straps, belts, red face mother lasting about 15 mins. The result is living fear anxiety depression paranoia and god knows what else. I became a minister and have developed strong empathy insight support ability and God who save me from a lot of suicidal ideas- this week I visit my brother who I have not seen in 20 years- the result of mutual distrust We made it- we recovered- now we get together me 68 him 73 and My faith gives God the credit

john gavin
July, 25 2013 at 2:31 pm

I lived a very traumatic childhood. My father hated me forever and beat me by punching, strapping and kicking kicking me in my rear when I was on the floor as a result of the blows. I urinated uncontrolably and screamed because of the trauma he inflected on my 6 or 7 year old little body. My mother who heard all of this never even checked to see if I was still alive on the floor in the next room. She never even acknowledged in happened forget about stopping it. I am now 80 years old and have lived with a very sever case of PTSD all my life. I said good by to my mother after my father died because I hated the way I felt toward her. She lived for another 22 years and I didn't miss her at all because she was never a mother to me. I was never a kid and I never had loving parents ever in my life. I went through two periods where I came within a few seconds of committing suicide.Life has been a 70 odd year struggle for me. I feel the pain every day all day and have for 72 or 73 years now.
Thank you for listening to me.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Michele Rosenthal
July, 27 2013 at 1:51 pm

@John -- I'm so sorry to hear that you've been unhappy. It's never too late to find relief. If you're interested in how to feel better there's a lot of great info about recovery processes here: Plus, my radio show also has a slew of free podcast archives with ideas that you can do on your own:

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

John Gavin
July, 28 2013 at 8:07 am

Hi M,R
Tks for your reply. My situation is a little different than most and I feel its because I lived with my physical abuse and severe neglect for around 70 years and just repressed it. Only after a phase where I found myself entertaining the thoughts of ending it all for the second time did I finally allow myself the luxury of thinking overtly about about my past.I have seen many therapists and psychiatrists in the last 5 years. I don't have a clue as to who the real me is and my young past has destroyed in my view any possibly of finding anything that resembles normalcy and that's a big problem. I will look into the things you suggest in your reply. Thank you for your hard work and efforts. John

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

June, 24 2014 at 8:09 am

Hi John, I'm 35 an could have shared the same story you did almost exactly.
I've never really found any help but need to as it really affects my life in such bad ways.
I have a lovely wife and 3 young children but my past keeps holding me back that I'm not sure who I am. I hope you find peace in your last years of life, I know what it feels like to be robbed of a childhood and how it continues to be a big factor.
Its after midnight and I have work tomorrow but again my past keeps me awake. Currently my big battle is to either find help or beat the living shit out of the MF who stole from my life. I'm not a violent person but I get angrier by the day.
16 years of beatings and torture. Not being allowed out of my bed for days on end . Being told you are a piece of shit every day. Never being touched lovingly. Going to school stinking of piss. Doing all the work in the house since I could walk. That SOB just smoked weed and fucked my life.
I'm a bit all over the place at the moment john, but I want to thank you for sharing your story. I'm guttered somebody else went through a similar experience but it feels good also knowing I'm not alone. I hope God makes up for it in the next life.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

john gavin
August, 21 2014 at 3:52 pm

Hi Robbie
yes I know what your feeling and its not good. what I did to survive is to prommis myself never to quit and prove I am worth it. I have been a super achiever all my life and even now at 81 I still cant turn it off. My right foot is to the floor so to speak. Many people that know me say take it easy now you have earned it. I became a licensed aircraft mechanic with the FAA,a commercial radio electronics officer in the merchant marine,an unrestricted licensed builder, septic system installer, inspector, own 6 pieces of heavy construction equipment, worked as a tech in metallurgy at MIT in cambridge mass and many, many other jobs way to many to mention all of them here. I very simply put prove my worth every day all day and cant stop and never will. Thats how I cope and will to the second I go from this earth. tks for listening to me...................

September, 5 2012 at 9:10 am

I got 18 out of 21. The scope of PTSD is a very sobering fact.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Michele Rosenthal
September, 5 2012 at 10:39 am

You're so right -- PTSD's scope is very sobering, and not one that we always recognize. You know more than most, though -- 18 correct answers? Wow, wish everyone was as educated as you.

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