BACKGROUND: Epidemiologic research on intentional burns in the United States has mainly been based on small, geographically restricted populations. The current study presents the descriptive epidemiology of intentional burns using data from a large, geographically diverse population of burn patients. METHODS: The National Burn Repository (NBR) was queried for patients with intentional burns and analyzed data pertaining to their demographic and medical characteristics; primarily comparing the prevalence proportions of these variables according to specific injury intent. RESULTS: From a total of 54,219 burn patients, 1601 patients who sustained intentional burns were identified; 49% were self-inflicted, and 51% were assault-related. Compared to all other burn patients, intentional burn patients had a larger mean total body surface area (TBSA) burned (22.0% versus 11.3%, p<0.0001), longer hospital stay (19.8 days versus 12.5 days, p<0.0001), and higher mortality (13.9% versus 2.5%, p<0.0001). Self-inflicted compared to assault-related burns were associated with a larger TBSA burned (27.5% versus 16.8%, p<0.0001) and higher mortality (20.8% versus 7.2%, p<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: Data from this national cohort of burn patients support findings from smaller studies that patients who suffer intentional burns experience excess morbidity and mortality.