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Global DMFT for 12-year-olds: 2001

The estimated global caries burden of disease in September 2001, for the indicator age of 12-year-olds expressed using the DMFT index:

  • Global weighted mean DMFT value for 12 year olds: 1.74
  • Per cent of countries having 3 DMFT or less: 70% (128 countries). 
  • These 128 countries represent 85 % of the World population.

Below find corresponding calculations made excluding China and India, the two most populated countries that have a very heavy impact on the weighted global values:

  • Global weighted mean DMFT value for 12 year olds: 2.21 (excluding China & India).
  • Per cent of countries having 3 DMFT or less: 68% (126 countries).
  • These 126 countries represent 48 % of the World’s population (excluding China & India).

Notes by D. Bratthall on the above data:

Data sources: 

Population estimates are based on the World Fact Book. Most values are for the year 2000 or 1999. Caries data are DMFT values from most recent studies presented in the CAPP in September 2001. The mean of the range was taken for some countries (6 out of a total of 184 countries) where the DMFT was expressed as a range.

World population: 

About 2 per cent of the World's population was not included in the calculations due to lack of DMFT values, which means that our information is based on 5 957 849 141 out of a total of 6 080 671 215 individuals in the world.

The World Fact Book also estimates the fractions of the population in the 0-14 years age group. The proportions of this age group to the total population range from 14 % up to 51 %, giving a mean of 31.6%. When calculating the number of children in the 0-14 years group, the mean value of 31.6% was used for 4 countries, all islands in the Pacific, where information was missing.

When calculating the weighted mean DMFT for 12-year-olds, we used the population estimates for 0-14 years instead of the 12-year-age population estimates as the latter values were not available.

When Dr D.E. Barmes first presented a global estimate* he used the word "guesstimate" to illustrate the approximate character of such calculations.

* Leclercq MH, Barmes DE, Sardo-Infirri J. Oral Health: Global trends and projections, World health statistics quarterly
(Wld hlth statist quart), 1987; 40: 116-128.

Last updated by Marie Nordström