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Diverticulosis of the colon is a very common condition. Described as early as the 17th century, most of the information we now have is based on much of the work during the 20th century. Age, sex, race, and geography all play a specific role in the development of diverticula. It is the merging of these factors that changes the prevalence of diverticula and their manifestations. Symptomatic diverticula can lead to serious complications requiring both medical and surgical interventions to treat these complications when they occur. This review will focus on the history and epidemiology of diverticulosis in regard to age, sex, race, geography, and the epidemiology of complicated diverticular disease.