The Atlas of MS is the most extensive worldwide study of the epidemiology of MS and the global availability and accessibility of resources for people with MS.
In September 2008, MSIF and the World Health Organization (WHO) published Atlas: Multiple Sclerosis Resources in the World 2008, and developed the first Atlas of MS website, which enabled users to search the data online.
In 2012/2013 we carried out a second survey in order to update the Atlas, and the 2013 data was added to the 2008 information online.
The main finding from the second survey was that the estimated number of people with MS had increased from 2.1 million in 2008 to 2.3 million in 2013. The global median prevalence used to calculate this figure had increased from 30 (in 2008) to 33 per 100,000 (in 2013). It is not clear if this increase is due to better diagnosis and reporting, or to other causes.
MSIF has started a project to reassess the global prevalence of MS. Since we published the second edition of the Atlas of MS in 2013, a number of studies have been published that provide more updated estimates of country-specific prevalence. This includes the 2018 Global Burden of Disease study and the 2019 study funded by the National MS Society in the USA, which states that the prevalence of people with MS in the US is 500,000 higher than previously estimated. We will publish a comprehensive update of global prevalence in 2020.
Search 2013 data
Data in the Atlas of MS database for 2013, although the most up-to-date at the time of publication, may sometimes be based on unpublished studies or studies completed between 2008 and 2013. Care should be taken when making direct comparisons between 2008 and 2013 data.
Please check with MSIF's head of international scientific and medical research before publishing direct comparisons between 2008 and 2013 data from the Atlas of MS.
Please note that in 2008 data we use male/female ratio and in 2013 data we use female/male ratio.