Diabetes Statistics

Diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate in the United States. According to the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control) National Diabetes Statistics Report for 2020 cases of diabetes have risen to an estimated 34.2 million. Below is a summary of the latest diabetes statistics included in the CDC’s report.

How many people have diabetes?

  • 34.2 million people, or 10.5% of the U.S. population, have diabetes. An estimated 26.8 million people – or 10.2% of the population – had diagnosed diabetes. Approximately 7.3 million people have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed (2018).
  • Diabetes impacts all social, economic, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Type 1 diabetes accounts for about 5.2% of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, affecting approximately 1.6 million people.

New Cases of Diabetes in Adults and Children

  • In 2018, an estimated 1.5 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed among U.S. adults aged 18 years or older.
  • This includes approximately 210,000 children and adolescents younger than age 20 years.
  • During 2014-2015, the estimated annual number of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes in the U.S. included 18,291 children and adolescents younger than age 20*.
  • The annual number of children and adolescents age 10 – 19 years diagnosed with type 2 diabetes was 5,758.

Incidence of Diabetes Complications

  • Diabetes can affect many parts of the body and is associated with serious complications, such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure, and lower-limb amputation, among other conditions.


  • In 2016, a total of 7.8 million hospital discharges were reported with diabetes as any listed diagnosis among U.S. adults aged 18 years or older.
  • 1.7 million discharges for major cardiovascular diseases, including 438,000 for ischemic heart disease and 313,000 for stroke
  • 130,000 discharges for lower-extremity amputation
  • 209,000 discharges for hyperglycemic crisis

Emergency Department Visits

  • In 2016, a total of 16 million emergency department visits were reported with diabetes as any listed diagnosis among adults aged 18 years or older.
  • 235,000 visits for hypoglycemia (severe low blood sugar)
  • 224,000 for hyperglycemic crisis (severe high blood sugar)

Kidney Disease

  • Among U.S. adults aged 18 years or older with diagnosed diabetes, the estimated prevalence of chronic kidney disease was 37.0% during 2013-2016.
  • In 2017, there were 58,372 new cases of end-stage kidney disease with diabetes as the primary cause.

Diabetes is a deadly disease

  • Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2017 based on the 83,564 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death.
  • Diabetes was listed as the underlying or contributing cause of death on 270,702 death certificates in 2017.

The Cost of Diabetes

  • In 2017, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. was $327 billion.
  • Total direct estimated costs of diagnosed diabetes increased from $188 billion in 2012 to $237 billion in 2017; total indirect costs increased from $73 billion to $90 billion in the same period (2017 dollars).
  • Between 2012 and 2017, excess medical costs per person associated with diabetes increased from $8,417 to $9,601 (2017 dollars)

More about Diabetes

Diabetes is caused by the body’s inability to create or effectively use its own insulin, which is produced by islet cells found in the pancreas. Insulin helps regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels – providing energy to body cells and tissues.

  • Without insulin, the body’s cells would be starved, causing dehydration and destruction of body tissue.
  • People with type 1 diabetes must have insulin delivered by injection or a pump to survive.
  • Many people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose by following a healthy meal plan and a program of regular physical activity, losing excess weight, and taking medications. Medications for each individual with diabetes will often change during the course of the disease. Insulin also is commonly used to control blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes.

Source: Centers for Disease Control National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020; National Institutes of Health *SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study

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