TBI Statistics

Facts About TBI in the USA

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults from ages 1 to 44.

Brain injuries are most often caused by motor vehicle crashes, sports injuries, or simple falls on the playground, at work or in the home.

Every year, approximately 52,000 deaths occur from traumatic brain injury.

An estimated 1.5 million head injuries occur every year in the United States emergency rooms. a

An estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports-related TBIs occur each year.

At least 5.3 million Americans, 2% of the U.S. population, currently live with disabilities resulting from TBI.

Moderate & severe head injury (respectively) is associated with a 2.3 and 4.5 times increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Males are about twice as likely as females to experience a TBI.

The leading causes of TBI are falls, motor vehicle crashes, struck by or against events, and assaults, respectively.

TBI hospitalization rates have increased from 79% per 100,000 in 2002 to 87.9% per 100,000 in 2003.

Exposures to blasts are a leading cause of TBI among active duty military personnel in war zones.

Veterans’ advocates believe that between 10 and 20% of Iraq veterans, or 150,000 and 300,000 service members have some level of TBI.

30% of soldiers admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center have been diagnosed as having had a TBI.


aLanglois, J. ScD, MPH; Rutland-Brown, W. MPH; Wald, M. MLS, MPH;  The Epidemiology and Impact of Traumatic Brain Injury: A Brief Overview; Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, Vol. 21, No. 5, pp. 375378 2006

bMMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2007; 56:167-170

cIraq & Afganistan Veterans of America

dEmery, Erin; Hidden wounds plague GIs, Denver Post; April 16, 2007