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72 Must-Know Brain Tumor Statistics (2024)

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In this article, we present a comprehensive overview of brain tumors with the help of statistics on incidence rates by demographic: ethnicity, age, gender, and risk factors. We break down the different types of brain tumors and brain cancers as well as discuss current treatment options.

With over 300,000 cases reported annually on a worldwide basis, brain tumors are a consistently pressing concern for the international medical community. While some brain tumors may be benign, many can invade the normal brain and develop into brain cancer. This article provides an overview of up-to-date knowledge regarding brain tumors. It renders scientific data accessible to readers from different backgrounds who want to learn more about this subject.

Understanding brain tumors is key to advancing public health, as prevention starts on an individual basis by being informed of the risks and signs of this dangerous illness. As doctors and neurosurgeons work to improve treatment options and prognoses for brain tumor patients, the general public can also benefit by learning from what the research has to offer. Thanks to rapid technological advancements such as the use of AI technologies in medicine, doctors can identify and predict brain tumor occurrence with increasing certainty and speed.

Our goal here is to advocate for awareness about brain tumors and to centralize relevant information on the topic in an approachable format, fostering an understanding of what brain tumors are through the most current information at our disposal.

Brain and Central Nervous System Statistics

1. Brain and other CNS tumors rank as the fifth most common form of cancer. []

2. Almost one-third (27.9 percent) of brain and CNS tumors are malignant. []

3. There exist more than 100 distinct types of primary brain and CNS tumors. [].

4. Brain and CNS tumors constitute the most prevalent cancer among children aged 0-14. []

5. The highest incidence rate for brain and CNS tumors occurs among individuals aged 85 years and older. []

6. Among adolescents and young adults (ages 15-39), brain and CNS tumors stand as the third most common cancer and the third leading cause of cancer-related death within this age group. []

7. The meninges serve as the most common site for primary brain and CNS tumors, representing 37% of cases. []

Brain Tumor Diagnosis Statistics

8.  Approximately 90,000 people receive a primary brain tumor diagnosis annually. []

9.  Over 1 million individuals live with a primary brain tumor diagnosis. []

10. Each year, around 12,800 adolescents and young adults (aged 15-39) receive a primary brain tumor diagnosis. []

11. Annually, more than 12,000 individuals receive a diagnosis of a primary brain tumor, including 500 children and young people – equivalent to 33 people every day. []

12. Only 12% of adults manage to survive for five years following a brain tumor diagnosis. []

13.  Survival following a diagnosis of a primary brain tumor exhibits significant variability, influenced by factors such as age, histology, molecular markers, and tumor behavior. []

14.  The median age for the diagnosis of all primary brain tumors is 59 years. []

15.  Every year, around 5,000 children receive a diagnosis of a brain or central nervous system (CNS) tumor. Notably, about 4% of all annually diagnosed brain tumor cases occur in children under the age of 14. []

16. Brainstem Gliomas: Diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG), a subtype of brainstem glioma, carries a particularly grim prognosis, with most children surviving less than 2 years post-diagnosis.  

17.  This year, it is estimated that over 4,800 children and adolescents, aged 0-19, will receive a diagnosis of a primary brain tumor. []

18.  Presently, over 28,000 children in the United States have a diagnosed brain tumor. []

19. Around 80,000 new cases of primary brain tumors, originating within the brain, are diagnosed annually in the United States. []

20. Brain tumors impact individuals across all ethnicities. For every 100,000 people diagnosed with a primary brain tumor in the U.S: []

  • 24% are African American
  • 24% are White
  • 22% are Hispanic or Latino
  • 19% are Asian or Pacific Islander American 
  • 14% are American Indian or Alaskan Native 

21. Approximately 3,400 children (aged 0-14) are diagnosed with a primary brain tumor each year. []

  • 58% of the population identifies as African American

  • 24% of the population is White, while 22.12% is Hispanic or Latino

  • 19.52% of the population consists of individuals who identify as Asian or Pacific Islander American

  • 14.63% of the population identifies as American Indian or Alaskan Native

Meningiomas Statistics

22. Meningiomas, constituting approximately 38% of all cases, stand as the most prevalent primary brain tumors. Typically benign, they exhibit slow growth. 

23. The most prevalent types of primary brain tumors include gliomas, meningiomas, and pituitary adenomas. []

24. Meningiomas account for 36.6% of all primary brain tumors, establishing them as the most prevalent type. In 2017, an estimated 27,110 new cases were anticipated. []

25. Meningiomas are 2.5 times more likely to develop in women compared to men. []

26. Meningiomas, typically benign tumors that develop on the meninges, the protective layers surrounding the brain, exhibit a 5-year survival rate of approximately 85%. []

Gliomas Statistics

27. Astrocytomas, inclusive of glioblastomas, contribute to about 75% of all gliomas. []

28. Glioblastomas make up 14.9% of all primary brain tumors and 55.4% of gliomas, holding the highest number of cases among malignant tumors. An estimated 12,390 new cases were expected in 2017. []

29. Glioblastomas are 60% more prevalent in men than in women. []

30. Glioblastomas, characterized as aggressive brain tumors, demonstrate a considerably lower 5-year survival rate of around 5%. []

31. Advanced high-grade gliomas including anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas have a worse prognosis. Only 15-30% of children with high-grade gliomas survive 5 years

Malignant Brain Tumors Statistics

32. About 17,200 people die from malignant brain tumors annually. []

33. The overall incidence rate of primary malignant brain tumors is approximately 7 per 100,000 individuals annually

34. Approximately 18,280 adults succumb to primary malignant brain tumors each year in the U.S. []

35. The 5-year relative survival rate for all patients with malignant brain tumors hovers around 36%, displaying considerable variation based on age, tumor type, and other factors. 

Survival Rate Statistics

36. Low-grade gliomas, known for their slower growth and reduced aggressiveness, can achieve a 5-year survival rate exceeding 90% in certain cases. []

37. Medulloblastoma: This common brain cancer in children has a 70-75% 5-year survival rate. Survival rates vary by tumor risk, with higher-risk cases having lower survival rates. 

38. Low-Grade Gliomas: Children affected by low-grade gliomas, characterized as less aggressive tumors, often achieve excellent 5-year survival rates, frequently surpassing 90%. 

39. Ependymoma: The 5-year survival rate for children with ependymoma ranges from 50-75%, contingent on factors such as tumor location and the feasibility of complete surgical removal. 

40. Astrocytomas and other pediatric spinal cord tumors have different survival rates depending on grade. More low-grade spinal cord astrocytomas survive than high-grade ones. 

41. Childhood Brain and Spinal Cord Tumor Tumor Types and 5-Year Survival Rates 

  • Astrocytoma pilocytic: 95%

  • A diffuse astrocytoma: Between 80% and 85%

  • Amorphous astrocytoma: 25%

  • Glioblastoma: 20% or thereabouts

  • Oligodendroglioma: 90% 

  • Anaplastic ependymoma and ependymoma: 75%

  • Tumors of the embryo (medulloblastoma included): Between 60% and 50% 

42. Adults between the ages of 20 and 44 are susceptible to these types of tumors with the following 5-year survival rates: 

  • Anaplastic astrocytoma: 58% 

  • Anaplastic oligodendroglioma: 76% 

  • Ependymoma: 92%

  • Glioblastoma: 22% 

  • Low-grade (diffuse) astrocytoma: 73%

  • Meningioma: 84% 

  • Oligodendroglioma: 90% 

43. Adults between the ages of 45 and 54 are susceptible to these types of tumors with the following 5-year survival rates:

  • Anaplastic astrocytoma: 29%
  • Anaplastic oligodendroglioma: 67% 
  • Ependymoma: 90%
  • Glioblastoma: 9%
  • Low-grade (diffuse) astrocytoma: 46% 
  • Meningioma: 79%
  • Oligodendroglioma: 82%

44. Adults aged 55 to 64 years old are more likely to have these types of tumors with the following 5-year survival rates: 

  • Anaplastic astrocytoma: 15%

  • Anaplastic oligodendroglioma: 45%

  • Ependymoma: 87%

  • Glioblastoma: 6%

  • Low-grade (diffuse) astrocytoma: 26%

  • Meningioma: 74%

Additional Brain Tumors Statistics

45. Brain tumors encompass a wide array of neoplasms, with identification of over 120 different types

46. About 25% of initial brain tumors and 80% of malignant ones are gliomas. With treatment, glioblastoma, the most malignant tumor, has a median survival duration of 15 months

47. Brain tumors rank as the most prevalent solid tumors in children and stand as the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among individuals under 20 years old. 

48. The 5-year survival rate for children with brain tumors exhibits a wide range, contingent on tumor type and other factors, ranging from less than 20% for certain aggressive tumors to over 90% for some low-grade tumors

49. Brain tumors stand as the leading cause of cancer-related fatalities among individuals under the age of 40

50. The annual toll of lives claimed by brain tumors surpasses 5,300. []

51. The current estimate suggests that at least 88,000 children and adults are living with a brain tumor in the UK. []

52. On average, brain tumors reduce life expectancy by 27 years, marking the highest impact among all cancer types. []

53. Brain tumors make up approximately 1.4% of all cancers reported in the United States. []

54. Malignant (cancerous) tumors constitute about 36% of all primary brain tumors. []

55. The incidence of brain tumors is slightly higher among men than women. []

56. Increasing with age, the highest rates of brain tumors occur in individuals over the age of 65. []

57. The 5-year relative survival rate for all primary brain tumors stands at approximately 36%.  []

58.  This comprises slightly over 25,000 cases of primary malignant tumors and nearly 60,000 cases of non-malignant brain tumors. []

59. Among individuals aged 0-14, brain tumors rank as the most prevalent cancer and represent the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. []

60. Gliomas, a comprehensive category encompassing tumors originating from the supportive brain tissue, constitute 24.7% of all primary brain tumors, with 74.6% of them classified as malignant. []

61. Nerve sheath tumors, including acoustic neuromas, comprise approximately 8.2% of all primary brain tumors. []

62. Pituitary tumors represent nearly 16% of all primary brain tumors and rarely undergo malignant transformation. Projections for 2017 suggest around 14,230 new cases of pituitary tumors. []

63. Lymphomas make up 2% of all primary brain tumors. []

64. Oligodendrogliomas constitute nearly 2% of all primary brain tumors. []

65. Medulloblastoma embryonal/primitive tumors account for 1% of all primary brain tumors. []

66. Malignant and non-malignant brain tumors impact approximately 23–24 individuals per 100,000 in the U.S. []

67. Meningioma, which accounts for around 38.3 percent of the total number of brain tumors, is the benign brain tumor that is reported the most commonly to medical professionals. []

68. In the age group of 0 to 19 years, brain tumors affect approximately 6.14 individuals per 100,000. []

69. Brain tumors impact individuals of various ages, ethnic backgrounds, and genders. Fortunately, the majority of these tumors, approximately 71%, are benign, with the remaining 29% classified as malignant. []

70. Additionally, there is a higher incidence of brain tumors in females (58%) compared to males (approximately 42%). It's important to highlight that certain types of brain tumors exhibit gender-specific prevalence. Brain tumors and other forms of nervous system cancers rank as the 10th leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. []

71. Brain tumors and other forms of nervous system cancers rank as the 10th leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. []

72. The overall 5-year survival rate for primary brain tumors stands at around 36%. However, in patients aged 40 years and younger, this figure notably rises to 70%. []


This article delves into the statistics of brain tumors, of which there are over one hundred. Through specific demographic-based research, we are able to develop a clearer image of who is affected by the different types of brain tumors and how they are affected, whether that be based on their age, gender, or family history.

Doctors and scientists need support in order to continue making advancements in the study of brain tumors and their treatment. Funding clinical trials and experimental research are key to expanding what we know about these diseases, as well as in fighting for a better outcome for those affected.

Given the constant developments in the field of neuroscience specifically regarding brain tumors and cancers, we will update this article annually to make sure the information reflects the most current data available.