Skip to navigation Skip to content

MS Prevalence

Nearly one million people are living with MS in the United States, more than twice the original estimate.

Featured Video

Society President and CEO Cyndi Zagieboylo shares what this means for the MS Movement.

Watch now


Prevalence = the number of people living with a diagnosis of MS at a particular point in time, in a particular place.

Incidence = the number of people NEWLY diagnosed with MS within a given period of time.


Prevalence of MS More Than Doubles Estimate

A study funded by the National MS Society has confirmed that nearly one million people are living with MS in the United States, more than twice the original estimate. This breakthrough is a pivotal moment in the MS movement as a scientifically sound measure of prevalence helps us better understand the disease and its impact. With twice as many people living with MS, solutions for MS are now twice as important.

In addition to the main paper outlining these results, two companion papers providing background information on prevalence in the U.S. and reviewing the study methods were also published in the February 15, 2019, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

In May 2023, a team of researchers funded by the Society analyzed information from health insurance claims to estimate the prevalence of MS in the U.S., which includes data for each state. The team also estimated the prevalence of how many people of different races and ethnicities live with MS. This new information confirms that anyone can develop MS.

Twice as Many People Now Need Solutions and a Cure

Until we end this disease forever, we will do whatever it takes to accelerate breakthroughs. Whether you are one of the one million people living with MS or want to make a difference for someone who is, we need you to join us.

Sign Up for Updates

We Are a Movement By and For People Affected by MS

We’ve taken what we’ve heard from thousands of people affected by MS – and we asked ourselves: Who are we at our core? What do we believe? And who do we aspire to be for people affected by MS? Here’s what we came up with. This is our promise to you.


© 2024 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is a tax exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Its Identification Number (EIN) is 13-5661935.