Information For The Community

Organ Donation Statistics

How many people are waiting for a transplant? Who receives organs and what organs are most needed? This section introduces you to the data and connects you to more detailed statistics on the waiting list, transplantation, organ donation, and registration.*

Statistics at a Glance

Current number of men, women and children on the national transplant waiting list.
transplants were performed in 2015.
people die each day waiting for a transplant.
of U.S. adults support organ donation
but only
are actually signed up as donors.
every 10 minutes
another person is added to the waiting list.
Peoples icon
only 3 in 1,000
people die in a way that allows for organ donation.
the waiting list grows
Each year, the number of people on the waiting list continues to grow, while the number of donors and transplants grows slowly.
Graph that shows the growing number of people on the waiting list while the number of donors and transplants grows slowly.

Data from and OPTN/SRTR Annual Report. OPTN has current, in-depth statistics. Click to view.

Description of Gap Continues to Widen Graph

One Donor Can Save Eight Lives.

One organ donor save 8 lives image
One person can donate up to 8 lifesaving organs.
8 lifesaving organs

More Statistics You Should Know

Currently there are
candidates for transplant on the U.S. national waiting list.
  • Nearly 2 out of every 3 people on the waiting list are over the age of 50.
  • Almost 2,000 children under 18 are on the waiting list.
  • Almost 70,000 people (58%) on the list are ethnic minorities.

STATS FOR GRAPHIC ABOVE:Waiting List by (lowercase) Ethnicity (9/2016)Caucasian – 41.9%African American – 29.7%Hispanic – 19.0%Asian – 7.5%Other – 2.2%

STATS FOR GRAPHIC ABOVE:Organs People Are Waiting For (9/2016)Kidney – 81.8%Liver – 11.4%Heart – 3.2%Lung – 1.1%Other – 2.5%

See current data by age, ethnicity, health status, gender, average waiting times, candidates vs. registrants, and more at OPTN Data Reports.

30,973 transplants were performed in 2015 – the first year we have exceeded more than 30,000 transplants.

  • Each day, about 80 people receive organ transplants. Of these recipients, the breakdown of ethnic backgrounds includes:

STATS FOR GRAPHIC ABOVE:Transplant Recipients by (lowercase) Ethnicity (2015)Caucasian – 55.5%African American – 21.8%Hispanic – 15.5%Asian – 5.3%Other – 1.9%

  • In 2015, about 63% of organ recipients were male; 37% female.
  • More than 48,792 corneas were transplanted in the U.S. in 2015.
  • More than 1 million tissue transplants are performed each year.

STATS FOR GRAPHIC ABOVE:Transplants Performed in 2015 by OrganKidney (singular) – 17,879Liver – 7,127Heart – 2,804Lung – 2,057Kidney/Pancreas – 719Pancreas – 228Intestine – 141Heart/Lung – 15

For current data reports on transplants performed, including by recipient age, ethnicity, gender, or state, visit the OPTN Data Reports.

In 2015, a total of 30,970 organs were donated. Organ donors can be deceased or living.

  • About 4 out of 5 donations came from deceased donors, and 1 out of 5 donations from living donors.

STATS FOR GRAPHIC ABOVE:Organs Donated by (lower case) Deceased and Living Donors (2015)Living – 5,990Deceased – 24,980

  • Nearly 6 in 10 donors are deceased and about 4 out of 10 are living donors.

STATS FOR GRAPHIC ABOVE:Deceased Donors by (lowercase) Ethnicity (2015)Caucasian – 65.7%African American – 16.3%Hispanic – 13.6%Asian – 2.5%Other – 1.8%

  • More than 1 in 3 deceased donors in 2015 was over the age of 50. (35%)
  • 60% of deceased donors in 2015 were male, 40% female.

STATS FOR GRAPHIC ABOVE:Deceased Donors by (lowercase) Ethnicity (2015)Caucasian – 65.7%African American – 16.3%Hispanic – 13.6%Asian – 2.5%Other – 1.8%

For current statistics about deceased and living donors, including age, race/ethnicity, gender, state and more, visit the OPTN Data Reports.

People Registered as Donors in the U.S.

As of 9/1/16, more than 130 million people over the age of 18 had registered as organ donors. That's more than half of all U.S. adults. (51%)***

Registered Donors In The US (3/2015)

  • Registered donors authorized through state registries accounted for:
    • 43% of recovered organs
    • 49% of recovered tissues
    • 52% of recovered eyes

(Other donations were authorized by family/next of kin consent.)

  • States with the highest percentage of registered donors (2014):
    • Montana (86% of the population is registered)
    • Alaska (84%)
    • Washington (82%)

Registered Donors by State: Donate Life America Annual Report

Donate Life America's Donor Designation Report

The Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN) has current, in-depth statistics and data about the waiting list, donors, and transplants. Visit the OPTN site >

What can be done to save more lives?

Register in your state
Just one donor can save up to 8 lives.
Talk to your family and friends
Make your wishes known to your friends and family.
Get the word out on social media
Help raise awareness of the importance of donation.
There are lots of organizations that could use your help.

*Some statistics in this section are updated annually, and based on latest available reports. Other statistics, such as those from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Data Reports are updated daily.

** Data include deceased and living donors.

*** From: DLA Donor Designation Report update released 3/31/15

Sign Up as a Donor

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Take a few minutes to sign up online and leave behind the gift of life.

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