On the basis of the GBD (Global Burden of Disease) 2013 Study, this article provides an overview of the global, regional, and country-specific burden of stroke by sex and age groups, including trends in stroke burden from 1990 to 2013, and outlines recommended measures to reduce stroke burden. It shows that although stroke incidence, prevalence, mortality, and disability-adjusted life-years rates tend to decline from 1990 to 2013, the overall stroke burden in terms of absolute number of people affected by, or who remained disabled from, stroke has increased across the globe in both men and women of all ages. This provides a strong argument that “business as usual” for primary stroke prevention is not sufficiently effective. Although prevention of stroke is a complex medical and political issue, there is strong evidence that substantial prevention of stroke is feasible in practice. The need to scale-up the primary prevention actions is urgent.