Prevalence and demographics

Prevalence

Based on estimates from a study of US college students the prevalance of compulsive hoarding is roughly 2 - 4%.

Data extrapolated from the number of those with OCD presenting with compulsive hoarding, supplies a figure of less than 1 in 200 or 0.5%.  OCD has a lifetime prevalence of 1 - 2% of the population and around 25% to 30% of patients with OCD are clinical compulsive hoarders

To our knowledge there have not been any major epidemiological studies on the prevalence of hoarding on its own. 

We suspect that this is a very conservative estimate and it is much, much higher, probably nearer 5%

Demographics

Education.  It is suspected that those who have a higher level of education, may be more likely to hoard things.

Age.  It seems that hoarding behaviour begins in childhood or adolescence, however it often doesn't become a problem until the later years of life.  The problem has always been there it is just that no-one has noticed.

Marital status. People with this problem tend to be single. Those who get married, tend to get divorced and live alone. Hoarders are often very isolated people.

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