Frequently Asked Questions

What is Prevalence?
chalkboard with a question mark drawn on it
  • “Prevalence” is the percentage of a population with a specific characteristic, such as domestic violence victimization, in a given time period.
    • Prevalence is calculated when there is information on the characteristics of the entire population of interest.
    • Prevalence is estimated when there is information on the characteristics of a sample of the population of interest.
  • Prevalence is generally determined by:
    • Randomly selecting a sample that is representative of the entire population.
    • For a simple representative sample, prevalence is the number of people in the sample with the characteristic of interest, divided by the total number of people in the sample.
Note. Adapted from National Institute of Mental Health. (n.d.). What is prevalence? Retrieved from
How is Prevalence Reported?
How is Prevalence Different from Incidence?
What Else Do I Need to Know about Prevalence?


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