Who lives in nursing homes? According to a National Medical Expenditure Survey, of the 1.5 million people living in nursing homes, 44% suffer from dementia, either alone (30%) or in combination with other mental disorders (14%). About 16% had other mental problems without dementia. Marked differences were found between men and women and between older and younger residents. Women made up the majority of all age groups, tended to be older than the men, have four or more limitations in activities of daily living, and were more likely to suffer from dementia. More younger residents had mental disorders than dementia, a trend that reversed as the ages increased. The level of disability varied according to the type of facility. Residents in small nursing homes, noncertified facilities, and retirement centers were less severely disabled than those in large nursing homes, certified facilities, and hospital-based nursing homes [Research Activities: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research. 1990; 135:4061.