Diabetes, a chronic health condition affecting millions worldwide, poses a significant public health challenge. In this post, we explore the latest global statistics on diabetes, sourced from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Our aim is to raise awareness about diabetes, its prevalence, types, mortality rates, and economic impact.

Global Diabetes Overview

Prevalence of Diabetes

Currently, 537 million adults globally live with diabetes. This number is expected to rise to 643 million by 2030 and 783 million by 2045. A majority of these cases are found in low- and middle-income countries.

Incidence Rates

While specific global incidence rates are not detailed, the rising prevalence indicates an increasing number of new cases annually.

Mortality Rates

Diabetes resulted in 6.7 million deaths in 2021, equating to one death every five seconds due to diabetes or its complications.

Economic Impact

The economic burden is staggering, with USD 966 billion spent on diabetes in 2021, a 316% increase over the past 15 years.

Statistic CategoryData or PercentageYear of Data
Global Prevalence537 million adults2021
Projected Prevalence by 2030643 million adults2030
Projected Prevalence by 2045783 million adults2045
Mortality Rate6.7 million deaths2021
Economic ImpactUSD 966 billion2021

Regional Insights on Diabetes

As of 2021, there are 537 million adults worldwide living with diabetes. The distribution varies significantly by region:

  • North America and Caribbean: 51 million, projected to rise to 63 million by 2045.
  • South and Central America: 32 million, increasing to 49 million by 2045.
  • Africa: 24 million, expected to reach 55 million by 2045.
  • Middle East and North Africa: 73 million, rising to 136 million by 2045.
  • Europe: 61 million, anticipated to be 69 million by 2045.
  • South-East Asia: 90 million, increasing to 152 million by 2045.
  • Western Pacific: 206 million, projected to rise to 260 million by 2045.

This data reveals the widespread impact of diabetes and its growth, especially in regions like Africa and the Middle East. For more detailed information, visit IDF Diabetes Atlas .

Type 1 vs. Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 Diabetes, an autoimmune condition, affects about 8% of all diabetes cases. It's characterized by the body's inability to produce insulin and is commonly diagnosed in childhood or young adulthood. Management includes lifelong insulin therapy and careful monitoring of blood sugar levels.

Type 2 Diabetes, the more prevalent form affecting approximately 90% of those with diabetes, often develops in adults over 40. It's linked to lifestyle factors like obesity and physical inactivity. Management varies, ranging from lifestyle changes and oral medications to insulin therapy in some cases. Unlike Type 1, Type 2 diabetes can sometimes go into remission with significant lifestyle changes.

  • Prevalence: Type 1 diabetes affects about 8% of those living with diabetes, whereas Type 2 accounts for approximately 90%.
  • Age of Onset: Type 1 is often diagnosed in childhood or young adulthood, but it can occur at any age. Type 2 typically develops in adults over 40, but the risk starts increasing after age 25 in certain ethnic groups.
  • Risk Factors: Genetic factors play a role in both, but Type 2 is also strongly linked to lifestyle factors such as obesity.

For more detailed statistics and information, you can refer to Diabetes UK.

Risk Factors for Diabetes

  • Genetic and Lifestyle Factors: Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are influenced by genetics. Type 2 diabetes, in particular, has strong links to lifestyle factors, including obesity, physical inactivity, and poor diet.
  • Socioeconomic Factors: The prevalence of diabetes varies with educational levels and income, indicating a socioeconomic component to the risk. Lower education and income levels are associated with higher diabetes rates.
  • Age and Ethnicity: The risk of developing Type 2 diabetes increases with age. It's also more prevalent in certain ethnic groups, including American Indian, Alaska Native, non-Hispanic Black, and Hispanic adults.

Prevention of Diabetes

  • Lifestyle Changes: For Type 2 diabetes, lifestyle modifications such as maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and a balanced diet can significantly reduce the risk.
  • Regular Health Check-ups: Early diagnosis and management of prediabetes can prevent its progression to Type 2 diabetes.
  • Awareness and Education: Increasing public awareness about the risk factors and symptoms of diabetes is crucial for early detection and management.

In addition to the previously mentioned factors, the following are crucial in understanding the risk profile for diabetes:

  • Obesity and Overweight: A major risk factor for Type 2 diabetes. Higher body fat, especially around the waist, increases the risk significantly.
  • Physical Inactivity: Lack of physical activity is another significant risk factor. Regular exercise helps control weight, uses up glucose as energy, and makes cells more sensitive to insulin.
  • Family History: Having a parent or sibling with diabetes increases the risk, especially for Type 2 diabetes.
  • Ethnicity: Certain ethnic groups, including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, and Asian Americans, are at a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes.
  • Age: The risk of Type 2 diabetes increases with age, especially after 45 years. However, it's becoming more common in younger people due to rising obesity rates.
  • Gestational Diabetes: Women who have had gestational diabetes have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Women with this condition are at a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Statistical Data

  • Prevalence Among Different Ethnic Groups (U.S.): For example, non-Hispanic Asian adults have a prevalence of 9.2%, with subgroups like Asian Indian and Filipino adults showing higher rates (10.8% and 12.2%, respectively). Hispanic adults have a prevalence of 10.3%, with Puerto Rican adults at 13.3%.
  • Obesity and Overweight Statistics (U.S.): The CDC's data indicates a clear correlation between obesity and diabetes. Specific statistics detailing this relationship can provide further insight into the impact of body weight on diabetes risk.

These statistics underline the importance of preventive measures and early diagnosis in managing diabetes. For detailed insights and data, consider referencing the CDC's National Diabetes Statistics Report and the NIDDK Diabetes Statistics.

The State of Diabetes Among Youth

  • Prevalence in Youth: Approximately 0.35% of Americans under the age of 20, or around 352,000 individuals, have been diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Recent Incidence Rates: Annually, about 18,200 young Americans are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and another 5,300 are found to have Type 2 diabetes, based on data from 2017-2018.

Diabetes Across Different Ethnicities

  • Varied Prevalence by Ethnicity: Diabetes prevalence among adults in the U.S. shows significant variation across ethnic groups. American Indians/Alaskan Natives report the highest rates (13.6%), followed by non-Hispanic Black (12.1%), Hispanic (11.7%), Asian American (9.1%), and non-Hispanic White adults (6.9%).
  • Within Ethnic Groups:
    • Asian American Adults: Filipino individuals have a 12.2% prevalence rate, while Asian Indians show a 10.8% rate. Other groups like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese range between 6.1% and 7.1%.
    • Hispanic Adults: Puerto Ricans are at a 13.3% prevalence, Mexican or Mexican Americans at 11.1%, with Dominicans and Cubans at 9.4% and 9.0%, respectively. Central and South Americans and other Hispanic groups range from 5.0% to 7.3%.

The Impact of Diabetes: Mortality and Economic Costs

  • Diabetes as a Cause of Death: In 2021, diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death on over 103,000 death certificates, making it the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S. It was mentioned as a contributing factor in nearly 400,000 death certificates.
  • Economic Burden: The total cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. in 2022 was $412.9 billion, with direct medical costs accounting for $306.6 billion and indirect costs, like lost productivity, adding another $106.3 billion. People with diagnosed diabetes incur medical expenditures approximately 2.6 times higher than what would be expected in the absence of diabetes.

This overview provides a snapshot of the current landscape of diabetes in the U.S., reflecting its prevalence, the disproportionate impact on certain ethnic groups, and its significant economic and health toll.


At Diabetic Me, we are committed to delivering information that is precise, accurate, and pertinent. Our articles are supported by verified data from research papers, prestigious organizations, academic institutions, and medical associations to guarantee the integrity and relevance of the information we provide. You can learn more about our process and team on the about us page.

  1. Diabetes Atlas Diabetes around the world
  2. Diabetes.org.uk Differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  3. NIH Diabetes Statistics

Leave a Reply

About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville, and I am the founder of Diabetic Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996, I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I currently use a Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM and a MiniMed 780G insulin pump with Humalog insulin.

View All Articles