OCD Statistics & Facts

  1. Approximately 2.3% of the global population suffers from OCD.
  2. OCD affects both men and women equally.
  3. The average age of onset for OCD is around 19 years.
  4. OCD is a chronic condition, with symptoms lasting for many years in most cases.
  5. It is estimated that 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children have OCD.
  6. OCD often coexists with other mental health disorders, such as anxiety or depression.
  7. Individuals with OCD often experience significant impairment in their daily functioning.
  8. On average, it takes about 7 to 10 years for individuals with OCD to receive proper diagnosis and treatment.
  9. Genetic factors play a role in the development of OCD, as it tends to run in families.
  10. Approximately 25% of individuals with OCD have a close family member who also has the disorder.
  11. Childhood trauma or abuse may increase the risk of developing OCD later in life.
  12. OCD is recognized as one of the top 20 causes of disability worldwide.
  13. People with OCD are more likely to be unemployed or have difficulty maintaining employment.
  14. The most common obsessions in OCD include contamination fears, fear of harm or violence, and concerns about order or symmetry.
  15. Compulsions commonly associated with OCD include excessive cleaning, checking, and counting.
  16. The presence of OCD can significantly impact an individual's romantic relationships.
  17. Research suggests that OCD symptoms can be triggered or worsened by stress.
  18. OCD is associated with high levels of anxiety and distress.
  19. Only about 10% of individuals with OCD receive appropriate and effective treatment.
  20. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is considered the gold standard treatment for OCD.
A Guide to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Statistics and Treatment

How Common Is OCD?

Many people wonder how many people have OCD, the answer may surprise you - between 1% to 2% of the worldwide population has OCD. At least 1 in 200 – or 500,000 – kids and teens have OCD. This is around the same number of children who are diagnosed with diabetes.

  • Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) is a specific form of CBT that is highly effective in treating OCD.
  • Medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), are commonly prescribed to alleviate OCD symptoms.
  • Around 50% of individuals with OCD experience some degree of improvement with medication treatment.
  • OCD can significantly impact a person's sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or disrupted sleep.
  • Hoarding disorder is often considered a subtype of OCD, affecting approximately 2-6% of the population.
  • People with OCD may have an increased risk of suicide compared to the general population.
  • OCD-related compulsions can be time-consuming, taking up several hours per day.
  • About 25% of individuals with OCD have a moderate to severe form of the disorder.
  • Studies suggest that women may be more likely to develop OCD during pregnancy or postpartum.
  • The prevalence of OCD varies across different cultures and countries, ranging from 1% to 3%.
OCD Action week
  • Individuals with OCD often struggle with decision-making due to excessive doubts and concerns.
  • The economic burden of OCD, including healthcare costs and lost productivity, is substantial.
  • OCD symptoms can wax and wane over time, with periods of remission and relapse.
  • Research indicates that early intervention for OCD leads to better treatment outcomes.
  • Children with OCD may experience academic difficulties or school avoidance.
  • People with OCD are often aware that their obsessions and compulsions are irrational, but they feel unable to control them.
  • The presence of comorbid psychiatric conditions in individuals with OCD is high, with depression being the most common.
  • Roughly 40% of adults with OCD experience symptom onset during childhood or adolescence.
  • OCD is considered a neurobiological disorder, involving abnormalities in brain structure and function.
  • The impact of OCD on quality
  • of life is comparable to other chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and arthritis.
  • The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlines specific criteria for diagnosing OCD.
  • It is estimated that 50-60% of individuals with OCD respond well to CBT alone.
  • OCD symptoms can be exacerbated by substance abuse or alcoholism.
  • People with OCD may engage in "mental rituals," which are covert, repetitive thoughts or mental acts aimed at reducing anxiety.
  • The stigma surrounding mental health conditions like OCD can prevent individuals from seeking help.
  • Perfectionism is a common trait among individuals with OCD.
  • The prevalence of OCD is similar across different racial and ethnic groups.
  • Environmental factors, such as streptococcal infections, have been linked to the development of a specific subtype of OCD known as Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS).
  • Studies suggest that about 40% of individuals with OCD experience a significant reduction in symptoms with medication treatment.
  • Research into new treatments, such as deep brain stimulation and virtual reality therapy, is ongoing and shows promise for individuals with treatment-resistant OCD.
Teach OCD in middle school health classes – The Black and White

What Percentage Of People Have OCD?

OCD affects 2.5 million adults or 1.2% of the U.S. population.

OCD Prevalence In Adults

The prevalence of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) among adults varies across studies and populations. Here are some estimates of OCD prevalence among adults:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that the lifetime prevalence of OCD among adults worldwide is around 2%.
  • The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in the United States reported that about 2.3% of adults in the country have OCD.
  • According to the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), the 12-month prevalence of OCD among adults in the United States is approximately 1.2%.
  • A meta-analysis of global studies published in 2014 found an estimated pooled prevalence of OCD among adults of 1.6%.
  • A large-scale study conducted in Europe reported a lifetime prevalence of OCD among adults to be 1.5%.
  • A community-based study in Australia found the 12-month prevalence of OCD among adults to be 1.1%.
  • In a survey conducted in South Korea, the prevalence of OCD among adults was estimated to be 2.3%.
  • A study conducted in China reported a prevalence rate of 1.7% for OCD among adults.
  • The National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing in New Zealand found that approximately 2.3% of adults had experienced OCD in their lifetime.
  • A study conducted in Brazil estimated the prevalence of OCD among adults to be 3.3%.

Prevalence rates may vary due to differences in study methodologies, diagnostic criteria, and cultural factors. These estimates provide a general understanding of the prevalence of OCD among adults but may not capture the full range of variability in different populations.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder with Impairment Among Adults

Here are some statistics regarding Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) with impairment among adults:

  • OCD can cause significant impairment in various areas of an adult's life, including work, social relationships, and daily functioning.
  • Studies have shown that approximately 50% of adults with OCD experience moderate to severe impairment in their daily lives.
  • The impact of OCD on functioning is comparable to or even greater than that of other chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis.
  • OCD-related impairments can lead to difficulties in maintaining employment, resulting in higher rates of unemployment or work disability.
  • Individuals with OCD may have a higher likelihood of occupational impairment, including reduced productivity and increased work-related stress.
  • OCD-related impairments can affect an adult's social life, including difficulties in forming and maintaining relationships.
  • Adults with OCD may experience challenges in participating in social activities or pursuing personal goals due to their symptoms.
  • OCD-related impairment can extend to family relationships, with increased stress and strain on familial bonds.
  • The severity of OCD symptoms is positively correlated with the level of impairment experienced by adults.
  • The presence of comorbid mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety disorders, can further contribute to functional impairment in adults with OCD.
  • The burden of impairment caused by OCD can have a negative impact on an adult's overall quality of life and well-being.
  • Cognitive impairments, such as difficulties with decision-making or cognitive flexibility, are often reported in adults with OCD.
  • The impairments associated with OCD may lead to increased healthcare utilization and higher healthcare costs.
  • Delayed diagnosis and treatment of OCD can exacerbate impairments and prolong the negative impact on an adult's life.
  • Access to appropriate treatment, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication, can significantly reduce impairment and improve functioning in adults with OCD.

These statistics highlight the significant impact that OCD can have on the lives of adults, underscoring the importance of early detection, accurate diagnosis, and effective treatment to mitigate impairments and improve overall well-being.

How Common is OCD?

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a relatively common mental health condition. Here are some estimates of the prevalence and commonality of OCD:

  • Global Prevalence: OCD affects approximately 2-3% of the global population. It is estimated that over 200 million people worldwide have OCD.
  • United States: In the United States, the prevalence of OCD is around 2.2%. This means that about 2.2% of adults and 1-3% of children and adolescents in the U.S. are affected by OCD.
  • Lifetime Risk: The lifetime risk of developing OCD is estimated to be around 2-3% worldwide.
  • Gender Distribution: OCD affects both men and women equally, with no significant difference in prevalence between the two genders.
  • Age of Onset: OCD can develop at any age, but it often starts in late childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. The average age of onset for OCD is around 19 years.
  • Children and Adolescents: OCD is relatively common among children and adolescents. It is estimated that 1-3% of children and adolescents worldwide have OCD.
  • Comorbidity: OCD frequently coexists with other mental health conditions, such as anxiety disorders, depression, and tic disorders. The presence of comorbid conditions can vary but is relatively common among individuals with OCD.
  • Cross-Cultural Variations: Prevalence rates of OCD may vary across different cultures and countries, ranging from 1-3% in most populations. The specific manifestation and symptoms of OCD may also vary across cultures.
  • Impact on Quality of Life: OCD can significantly impact an individual's quality of life, social functioning, and occupational performance. It is considered one of the leading causes of disability worldwide.
  • Treatment Gap: Despite its prevalence, OCD often goes undiagnosed and undertreated. Research suggests that only a minority of individuals with OCD receive appropriate and effective treatment.

These statistics provide a general understanding of the commonality and impact of OCD. Specific prevalence rates may vary depending on the population studied, diagnostic criteria used, and cultural factors.

OCD and Co-occurring Mental Health Conditions

Here are some statistics regarding Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and its co-occurring mental health conditions:

  • Anxiety Disorders: Up to 76% of individuals with OCD have been found to have at least one comorbid anxiety disorder, with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and panic disorder being the most common.
  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): Approximately 30-60% of individuals with OCD also experience symptoms of depression, leading to a higher prevalence of comorbid MDD in this population compared to the general population.
  • Bipolar Disorder: The comorbidity rate of bipolar disorder and OCD is estimated to be around 10-20%, indicating a higher prevalence of bipolar disorder in individuals with OCD compared to the general population.
  • Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Comorbid ADHD occurs in approximately 20-40% of children and adolescents with OCD. The coexistence of OCD and ADHD can complicate diagnosis and treatment.
  • Tic Disorders: The prevalence of Tourette syndrome in individuals with OCD is estimated to be around 10-40%, indicating a relatively high comorbidity rate between these conditions.
  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD): BDD is estimated to co-occur with OCD in approximately 10-37% of cases, suggesting a significant overlap between these two disorders.
  • Hoarding Disorder: Hoarding symptoms are commonly associated with OCD, with comorbid hoarding disorder being present in approximately 20-30% of individuals with OCD.
  • Eating Disorders: Comorbid eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder, have been found in approximately 7-27% of individuals with OCD.
  • Substance Use Disorders (SUD): The prevalence of comorbid SUD in individuals with OCD varies widely across studies, ranging from 11% to 40%. Substance use may be a coping mechanism for managing OCD symptoms.
  • Personality Disorders: Comorbid personality disorders, particularly obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), are found in approximately 23-32% of individuals with OCD.

These statistics demonstrate the significant co-occurrence of various mental health conditions with OCD. Remember that the prevalence rates may vary across studies and populations, and individual experiences may differ.

Proper assessment and diagnosis by a qualified mental health professional are necessary to identify and address any co-occurring conditions effectively.

What Is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), OCD affects approximately 1-2% of the population in the United States. This means that millions of people in the US alone suffer from this condition.

OCD is characterized by intrusive thoughts, images, or urges (obsessions) that cause anxiety or distress, and repetitive behaviors or mental acts (compulsions) that are aimed at reducing the anxiety or distress caused by the obsessions.

These compulsions may include behaviors such as excessive cleaning, checking, or counting, or mental acts such as repeating a certain phrase over and over again.


In conclusion, OCD is a common and often debilitating mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. While the exact causes of OCD are not fully understood, effective treatments are available that can help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life for those affected by this condition.

It is important to raise awareness about OCD and to reduce stigma surrounding mental health conditions so that those who are affected can access the help and support they need.


  1. https://www.singlecare.com/blog/news/ocd-statistics/
  2. https://www.therecoveryvillage.com/mental-health/ocd/ocd-statistics/
  3. https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/facts-statistics
  4. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd
  5. https://www.zippia.com/therapist-jobs/demographics/