Statistical Summary of Near-Death
Based upon reports from the International
for Near-Death Studies (IANDS)
By Vince Migliore
A sample of 787 near-death
experience (NDE) reports collected by the International Association for
Near-Death Studies (IANDS)
are summarized in this document. Accounts date from the 1960s to 2001. The
sample is not representative of the US population, as it was
collected over the Internet, by mail, and by verbal reports from around the
world. Respondents are more often female and in the younger
age groups than both the US and world populations. The sheer number of
cases, however, makes this a valuable resource for researchers
and investigators. The database of reports supplied by IANDS required
editing and coding in order to adapt it to statistical data processing.
This summation of survey
results lists major findings and cross-tabulations, without speculation or
attempts to formulate a theory of how
NDEs relate to human or spiritual
Some of the more
interesting significant cross-tabulations appear below. For further details
see the cross-tab notes after each table,
and in the appendices.
Most NDE events are considered
wonderful, 54.0%, while 37.3% have mixed perceptions. Only 8.6% describe
their experience as frightening.
Sometimes, an important finding is that
there are no significant differences between groups. No differences in
near-death experiences were found for
white versus non-white
respondents. Similarly, there were very few differences between those
experiences occurring inside versus outside of the
The NDE contains many common elements.
Two thirds report an out-of-body experience, and almost as many see a
light. More than half report strong
emotional tone and receiving
knowledge. Almost half report seeing unearthly beings.
The out-of-body experience is more often
reported by those under 40 years of age. For the total sample 67.7%
report an out-of-body episode,
but this is significantly lower at 59.6%
for those aged 40 to 49, and 48.4% for those 50 and older. The highest
incidence is 76.2% in the 10 to 19
year age group. An out-of-body is
also more often associated with clinical death, 75.1% versus 63.0% for
those with a non-life threatening event.
Encountering unearthly beings is higher
for females, 53.1%, compared to males, 40.3%.
Reports of both darkness and void drop
off significantly after age 50. Darkness and void are higher for those
reporting a frightening experience.
A life review is least common for those
aged 50 and over. Their rate of reporting is 10.9%, about half of the
total sample, 21.6%. The life review is
also higher for those who report
Changes in feelings about death are
reported highest for those who also report a wonderful experience, 86.5%
versus 75.4% for those with a frightening
experience. It was also
highest for those who reported clinical death, 87.8% compared to 83.0%
for the whole sample.
The development of healing and psychic
abilities is significantly higher among women, 71.4%, compared to men,
60.7%. Such abilities occur most often
for those who report clinical
death, 75.5%, compared to 61.9% for those with a non-life threatening
Appendix A: Gender, Age,
Appendix B: U.S. vs. Other,
Health Status, Frightening NDE, Religious Type Cross-tabs
Positive After-effects Cross-tabs
Note: Appendices are several
hundred pages of cross-tabulation tables and are too numerous to post all of
Only Appendix A is shown. Please contact us if you would like a copy of the