Borderline Personality Disorder Statistics

Despite increasing knowledge of the prevalence of borderline personality disorder (BPD) in the general population, and rising awareness of mental disorders both as a categorical and a dimensional construct, research is still lacking on the prevalence of the number of BPD symptoms and their associated consequences, such as comorbidity, disability, and the use of mental health services) in the general population. This article shall look at borderline personality disorder statistics.

The American Psychiatric Association describes BPD as “a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects and marked impulsivity, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts.” To truly understand the impact of BPD, it helps to learn some borderline personality disorder statistics.

If you have been recently diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), you may feel overwhelmed, scared, and alone. But BPD is much more common than you probably think.

Prevalence of Borderline Personality Disorder

Like other personality disorders, BPD is challenging to track as the condition is misdiagnosed, underdiagnosed or the individual never seeks treatment for their symptoms. Based on the best estimates, the prevalence of borderline personality disorder in the United States is about 1.6 percent, but this number could actually be quite higher at 5.9 percent, based on borderline personality disorder demographics.

Different clinical settings yield higher numbers of people with BPD. For example, in outpatient mental health settings, people with borderline personality disorder make up about 10 percent of the population. In inpatient psychiatric hospitals, the number climbs to 20 percent.

Symptoms of BPD usually begin in early adulthood and may decrease later in adulthood as people in their 30s and 40s achieve stability. Studies from different countries reveal varied prevalence rates of BPD.

In the United States, recent research has shown that 1.6% of the population has BPD.1 That number may seem small, but when you consider just how large the United States is, you may realize that 1.6% represents quite a large number of people.

That percentage means that over four million people have BPD in America alone. While BPD is not as well known as other disorders, it is actually more common than illnesses like schizophrenia.

Gender Differences

Women are far more likely to be diagnosed with BPD than men. In fact, about 75% of people diagnosed with BPD are women; that’s a ratio of 3 women to 1 man diagnosed with BPD.1 Researchers do not know why there is this gender difference.

It may be that women are more prone to BPD, women may be more likely to pursue treatment, or there are gender biases when it comes to diagnosis. For instance, men with symptoms of BPD may be more likely to be misdiagnosed with another condition like post-traumatic stress disorder or major depressive disorder.

In addition, between 8 and 10% of people with BPD will complete suicide; this rate is more than 50 times the rate of suicide in the general population. Why these rates are so high is currently unknown. It may be because people with BPD don’t know where to turn for treatment or are misdiagnosed and not treated appropriately.


While 1.6% is the recorded percentage of people with BPD, the actual prevalence may be even higher. In a recent study, over 40% of people with BPD had been previously misdiagnosed with other disorders like bipolar disorder or major depressive disorder.

These illnesses are often cited, potentially because they are more well-known and more easily treated with medications than borderline personality disorder. It’s also common for those with BPD to have comorbidities or other illnesses along with BPD.

In fact, as many as 20% of people with BPD have also been found to have bipolar disorder, making their diagnosis and treatment more complicated than treating one disease.


While BPD is a serious mental illness, it is by no means a life sentence. Research has shown that the prognosis for BPD is actually not as bad at once thought. Almost half of people who are diagnosed with BPD will not meet the criteria for a diagnosis just two years later. Ten years later, 88% of people who were once diagnosed with BPD no longer meet the criteria for a diagnosis.

I hope you find this article helpful.

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A Public Speaker and Freelancer who is Interested in Writing articles relating to Personal Development, Love and Marriage.