Facts and figures

The following information provides a snapshot of motor neurone disease (MND) in Australia.

MND in Australia

  • Blue cornflower – symbol of hope for the MND communityMND is a progressive, terminal neurological disease
  • MND can strike anyone
  • There is no known cure and no effective treatment for MND 
  • Each day in Australia two people die from MND 
  • Each day in Australia two people are diagnosed with MND 
  • People with MND progressively lose the use of their limbs and ability to speak, swallow and breathe, whilst their mind and senses usually remain intact
  • Average life expectancy is 2.5 years* 
  • More than 2,000 people have MND in Australia of whom 60% are male and 40% are female* 
  • Mean time from onset to confirmation of diagnosis is 10 to 18 months*
  • Prevalence of MND in 2015 was 8.7 per 100,000 people or 1 per 11,434 Australians*  
  • Approximately 58% of people with MND are under the age of 65*
  • The total cost of MND in Australia was $2.37 billion in 2015. This equates to $1.1 million per person*
  • For every person diagnosed with MND it is estimated that a further 14 members of their family and their friends will live with the effect of MND forever 
*Source: Deloitte Access Economics report Economic Analysis of MND in Australia

Incidence of MND in Australia

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, over the last decade there has been an increase in the number of deaths from MND in Australia. The ageing population and interventions that improve life expectancy in MND are likely to result in a steady increase in the number of people living with MND in Australia. 
*In 2013, 787 people with MND died compared with 592 people with MND who died in 2001. The cause of this increase is mostly unknown.
  • 2001 – 592 persons
  • 2002 – 609 persons
  • 2003 – 645 persons
  • 2004 – 623 persons
  • 2005 – 609 persons
  • 2006 – 663 persons
  • 2007 – 704 persons
  • 2008 – 740 persons
  • 2009 – 737 persons 
  • 2010 – 761 persons
  • 2011 – 790 persons
  • 2012 – 795 persons
  • 2013 – 787 persons 
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. View full data.
*Dying with or dying from MND. What's the difference?

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MND Australia would like to advise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander users that this website may contain images or names of deceased persons.