Dialog Box

Facts and figures

Understanding motor neurone disease (MND) – the symptoms, the treatments and the prognosis – can be tricky and confronting. We’ve pulled together a brief snapshot to help you understand the facts and figures, so you can be prepared whether you’ve just been diagnosed, you’re experiencing symptoms, you’re a carer or you have a loved one with MND.

Remember, you’re not alone. We’re here to arm you with expert information and provide you with support and care to ensure you or your loved one can live the best life at each stage of the MND journey.

MND Snapshot

The following information provides a snapshot of MND in Australia.

MND in Australia
  • MND 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

Over the last decade there has been an increase in the number of deaths from MND in Australia. While the reasons for this increase are largely unknown, they may relate in part to the ageing population in our country. However, 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 fact, there is a wealth of new scientific understanding around MND. And dedicated researchers have made significant progress in understanding how the disease works, and how to best diagnose and treat it. There are more and more studies being undertaken in Australia and across the world to develop additional treatments and to look for a cure.

*In 2016, 791 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
  • 2014 -  680 persons
  • 2015 -  758 persons 
  • 2016 -  791 persons

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. 

Available supports and services

When you’re facing a diagnosis of MND, have a loved one who is or are a carer or support worker, you may feel worried and alone. But there is help available. As a leading MND organisation we’re wholly focused on supporting people living with MND. From expert information to help with equipment to increase independence, we’re here to ensure you experience the highest quality of life possible.

Review our support services and see how we can help today.

You're not alone

Whether you’re looking to understand symptoms, have just been diagnosed with MND or are a carer, loved one or health care worker, we’re here to help you with your MND journey.

Call our free helpline service 1800 777 175 or REQUEST A CALL BACK



Information and statistics about Motor Neurone Disease (MND or ALS) from MND Queensland who provide expert MND support and services