Brain Injury Statistics

head x-rays for a brain injury

Brain injuries (also known as traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs) are very serious. Unfortunately, they occur more often than many people realize. TBIs range from mild to severe, but all are dangerous and can cause medical problems for years.

Looking for more statistics? View our accident statistics page.

National Traumatic Brain Injury Facts

The following are several TBI statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • About 1.7 million people suffer a brain injury every year – 52,000 people die and 85,000 suffer long-term disabilities.
  • Traumatic brain injuries are a contributing factor in nearly one-third (30.5%) of the injury-related deaths in the U.S.
  • Approximately 5.3 million Americans currently are living with a disability caused by a TBI. Nearly half of the people hospitalized for a TBI have a related disability a year later.
  • The most common causes for TBIs include: falls (35.2%), motor vehicle/traffic (17.3%), struck by/against events (16.5%), and assaults (10%).
  • Falls are the leading cause of brain injuries in the U.S. Half of traumatic brain injuries among children ages 0 to 14 years are caused by falls.
  • All brain injuries, including concussions, can be serious. Even those recovering from a "mild brain injury" can experience symptoms that last over a year following the injury and are more likely to suffer another TBI.
  • Approximately 300,000 children and teens suffer a sports- or recreation-related brain injury. But, that number only includes those who lost consciousness. Because 90% of athletes don't lose consciousness, that number is expected to be much higher.
  • Once you sustain any type of brain injury, you're at a higher risk for another one.
  • The recovery time for head injuries is much higher for children and teens than it is for adults.
  • Young adults and the elderly are the age groups at highest risk for a brain injury.
  • Approximately 15% of people with a mild TBI, including concussions, have symptoms that last one year or more: fatigue, headaches, memory loss, visual problems, sleep disturbances, dizziness, loss of balance, emotional problems, depression, and seizures.
  • Many mild TBIs are not diagnosed until the person begins to have problems down the road – usually doing something that was once an easy task or in a social situation.
  • About 75% of the head injuries that occur are concussions or mild TBIs.
  • TBI rates are higher for males than for females.
  • Most concussions occur without losing consciousness.

Brain Injury Resources

Did you, or someone you love, suffer a brain injury? Do you want to learn about TBIs? Follow these links for more information:

Statistics from Centers for Disease Control, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
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