30 Diabetes Statistics Everyone Should Be Aware of

written by / June 22, 2020

Diabetes and its many complications, economic costs, and fatalities are having an increasingly severe impact throughout the world. Statistics have shown that this is especially true in the United States, as the obesity epidemic is significantly prevalent there. So what is diabetes, and what are the most important diabetes statistics and facts relevant to it?

Diabetes is a complex chronic disease that occurs as a result of the pancreas no longer being able to produce insulin (or when the body is unable to use the insulin it produces appropriately). The main role of insulin is to transport glucose (from various digested foods) from the bloodstream to the cells, thus producing energy. In simpler terms, diabetes is a serious disease indicated by increasingly high blood sugar levels. 

To bring the topic closer and find out all that needs to be understood when it comes to diabetes, here are the most important statistics and facts. 

The Top 8 Most Important Diabetes Statistics

  • 10.5% of the population in the United States had diabetes in 2018.
  • Each year, 1.5 million American citizens are newly diagnosed with diabetes.
  • According to the type 1 diabetes facts worldwide, the highest rate of incidence is found in Finland.
  • 90% of the individuals around the world who have diabetes have the type 2 variant.
  • It’s anticipated that the total worldwide deaths from type 2 diabetes will double by 2030.
  • About 14.7% of American Indians and Alaska Natives aged 18 years or older suffer from diabetes.
  • There’s a tendency for type 2 diabetes to run in families.
  • In 2012, the total direct and indirect estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States was $245 billion.

General Statistics and Diabetes Facts

Diabetes Statistics - Featured

There are three facts everyone needs to know about diabetes. First, three main types of diabetes exist: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and gestational diabetes. Furthermore, all three types of the disease are serious and need daily care. Last, diabetes doesn’t present itself in a single age group, gender, or ethnic group. Anyone can develop it.

1. 10.5% of the population in the United States had diabetes in 2018.

According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other diabetes facts from 2018, there were more than 100 million adults in the United States with either diabetes or prediabetes. The report also found that as of 2018, around 34.2 million American citizens (10.5% of the population) had this serious condition.


2. 26.8% of US seniors suffer from diabetes.

Researchers at the American Diabetes Association found that the human body handles insulin differently over a lifetime. The National Diabetes Statistics Report from 2017 found that younger individuals are usually diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, while older people usually suffer from type 2. The reason the elderly are increasingly prone to the condition is simple: they have been exposed to sugar longer than others, so their chances of hyperglycemia are greater. The numbers have shown that the prevalence in seniors in America is quite high, at 26.8% (or 14.3 million seniors).


3. Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the US.

Diabetes is an extremely serious condition, and over time, it can cause significant damage to the heart, eyes, kidneys, and blood vessels. One of the more concerning diabetes facts is that diabetes is among the most common causes of death in the US. Also, adults with the condition have a double or even three-fold increased risk of attaining a fatal heart-related disease.


4. 0.24% of Americans with diabetes are individuals under the age of 20.

The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth study dealt extensively with the prevalence of diabetes among individuals under the age of 20. Researchers looked into various cases from 2002 to 2012 among around 4.9 million youths at five clinical centers across the United States. These diabetes statistics, and their 2017 evaluation by the National Institutes of Health, showed that of the 4.9 million, there were more than 11,000 youths under 20 who were suffering from type 1 diabetes, as well as 2,800 youths between the ages of 10 and 19 who had type 2 diabetes.


5. Each year, 1.5 million American citizens are newly diagnosed with diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association collected statistics that show an extremely disturbing trend: around 1.5 million individuals living in the US are diagnosed with the condition every year.


6. Between 2% and 10% of pregnancies in the United States are affected by gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes is one of the three types of diabetes, referring to the high blood sugar that develops during the different stages of pregnancy. The diabetes stats demonstrate that even though it can happen at any time during pregnancy, it’s usually diagnosed during the second or third trimester. Overweight women who are expecting are most commonly at risk of gestational diabetes. The statistics have shown that between 2% and 10% of pregnancies in the United States will be affected by the condition annually.


Facts About Type 1 Diabetes

Diabetes Statistics - Facts

7. The prevalence rate of Americans under the age of 20 diagnosed with type 1 diabetes increased by 21% between 2001 and 2009.

The prevalence of type 1 diabetes among younger generations is alarming—200,000 people in this age group have it. This is especially a concern because less than a third of the individuals with type 1 diabetes manage to consistently achieve ideal blood glucose levels.

(Beyond Type 1)

8. According to the type 1 diabetes facts worldwide, the highest rate of incidence is found in Finland.

Research found that from an epidemiological standpoint, Finland has the highest incidence of type 1 diabetes in the world. It’s followed closely by the island of Sardinia, in Italy. As for the US, there’s an incidence of 40,000 newly diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes each year.


Type 2 Diabetes Statistics

9. 90% of the individuals around the world who have diabetes have the type 2 variant.

The International Diabetes Federation found that more than 371 million people around the world suffer from either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. On a global level, 90% of the population is living with type 2 diabetes. However, it’s estimated that more than half of these individuals are unaware of their condition.


10. It’s anticipated that the total worldwide deaths from type 2 diabetes will double by 2030.

The diabetes statistics worldwide from 2017 found some shocking results. In future years, diabetes will remain a significant health crisis in the United States, despite prevention efforts and medical advances. Researchers anticipate around double the number of deaths from type 2 diabetes by 2030.


11. About 32% of individuals with type 2 diabetes develop cardiovascular disease.

The type 2 diabetes statistics demonstrate that those with type 2 diabetes may have to deal with an increase in fatty deposits or clots on the inside of the blood vessel walls. If these symptoms are not treated on time, the clots may narrow and block the blood vessels in the brain. This automatically leads to a stroke, and potentially death.

(Stroke Foundation)

The Youth and Diabetes

There’s a good reason that type 1 diabetes was formerly called juvenile diabetes. Even though the complex condition can develop at any time during an individual’s life, type 1 diabetes is most prevalent with children and young adults under 20. According to statistics on diabetes, some of the most common symptoms that help identify the condition early on are increased thirst and urination, constant hunger, rapid weight loss, fatigue, blurred vision, and irritability. A yeast infection is common with diabetic girls. Upon noticing the very first symptoms of diabetes, parents are urged to bring their child to the doctor immediately for consultation and screening.

12. Over 80% of children or adolescents with type 2 diabetes are overweight.

The facts about type 2 diabetes show that even though this variant of the disease is most prevalent among adults, the condition is becoming more and more common among children and adolescents. It was also found that more than 80% of children or young adults with type 2 diabetes are overweight. The main reason for this obesity epidemic is a lack of exercise and a poor diet. Further type 2 diabetes facts verify that 40% of the children or adolescents with type 2 diabetes are clinically obese.


13. Young individuals under 25 who suffer from obesity are 4 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

Researchers have found a clear link between obesity and type 2 diabetes among the younger generations: obese individuals under 25 are four times more likely to develop the condition, according to the statistics on diabetes.

(Oxford Academic)

Diabetes Costs

One of the most ignored topics in modern-day health care is the cost of diabetes care. Even though many clinicians and scientists seldom dwell on the topic, it’s still a serious one to consider. The statistics below show some of the most shocking costs impacting the economy, not to mention the families with a member suffering from diabetes. 

14. In 2012, the total direct and indirect estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States was $245 billion.

The well-known diabetes stats show that the illness is an increasing economic burden. Even though many studies have looked into this, one study in particular found that in 2012, the average cost of diagnosed diabetes was $245 billion, which included $176 billion in direct medical costs and $69 billion in reduced productivity.


15.  In 2012, the productivity lost due to reduced work performance from diabetes was 113 million days, or $20.8 billion.

Similar stats on diabetes found that the productivity loss caused by the reduced performance of diabetics at work in 2012 was around 113 million days, which equals $20.8 billion.


16. The annual per capita health care costs attributed to institutional care has decreased from 50% to 36% for diabetes patients.

According to the type 2 diabetes statistics from 2017, the numbers show a smaller fraction of annual per capita health care expenditures for diabetic individuals. In addition, the percentage attributed to outpatient services—besides medications and supplies—showed only a slight increase from 23% to 26%.


17. 30% of medical costs for diabetes are related to circulation problems reducing blood flow to the limbs.

This is one of the more disturbing diabetes statistics in America. The condition is known to affect different parts of the body, thus it’s natural that the medical costs span various areas of speciality. The American Diabetes Association displayed the shocking statistic that around 30% of medical costs associated with the disease are for these types of circulation problems. Also, another 28% of these medical costs are for various conditions related to the nervous system.

(Medical News Today)

Diabetes and Ethnicity

Diabetes, either type 1 or type 2 can be developed by anyone, no matter the age, gender, or ethnicity. Nevertheless, diabetes statistics worldwide have shown that members of certain ethnic minorities display a much higher prevalence of the condition than others. This fact may be explained by multiple factors, some biological and some clinical, as well as the health system and social factors. 

18. About 14.7% of American Indians and Alaska Natives aged 18 years or older suffer from diabetes.

According to research from the CDC, most diabetes stats indicate that the highest prevalence of the condition for both genders occurs among American Indians and Alaska Natives. The data shows 14.5% for men and 14.8% for women when numbers for these groups are combined throughout all regions in the US.


19. 12.5% of people of Hispanic origin suffer from diabetes.

According to additional data from the CDC, diabetes statistics indicate that individuals of Hispanic descent over the age of 18 have been shown to display a significant percentage of diagnosed diabetes. The statistics have shown that Mexicans are the most prone to the condition (14.4%), immediately followed by Puerto Ricans (12.4%) and Central/South Americans (8.3%).


20. 11.7% of non-Hispanic blacks aged 18 years or older are diabetics.

In addition, among the US adults, 7.5% of non-Hispanic whites are diabetics, and 9.2% of Asian Americans suffer from this disease.



Diabetes Statistics - Treatment

Here are some of the most important statistics and facts on how to treat the chronic disease. 

25. There is no cure for type 1 diabetes, nor has any cause been established.

One of the more interesting facts about diabetes is that scientists haven’t yet come up with a cure for it. Nevertheless, there are different treatments patients with the illness may try, such as various medications, significant lifestyle changes, and other alternative methods. The goal of the treatment for individuals with diabetes is to return blood sugar levels to a normal threshold.


26. Animal insulin is used to treat around 20,000 people. The remaining majority is treated with synthetic “human” (analogue) insulin.

Nearly all stats of diabetes have displayed the fact that the most prevalent way to treat diagnosed diabetes is with insulin. Insulin, a hormone needed for the pancreas to function optimally, is delivered either through an insulin pump, needle and syringe, pen, inhaler, or jet injector.


27. Type 2 diabetes can be improved by at least 150 minutes of exercise every week.

Here’s one of the happier facts about diabetes! Studies have shown that making different positive lifestyle changes such as eating a healthier diet and exercising regularly decreases the risk of progressing to type 2 diabetes. The numbers show an astonishing 58% success rate.


28. There’s a tendency for type 2 diabetes to run in families.

The most common causes of diabetes include genetics and general lifestyle habits. Thus, the combination of these two factors determines the insulin resistance in the body, leading to the development of this chronic illness. Child type 2 diabetes statistics have found that genetics is a major factor in developing type 2 diabetes, but it is still uncertain as to which genes are responsible for the disease.


29. Patients with diabetes are 10-20% more likely to have lower-extremity amputations than individuals without diabetes.

Equally important, but much more disheartening, data relating to diabetes concerns diabetes and amputations. Statistics compared the incidence of vascular lower-limb amputation in the diabetic and nondiabetic general population and concluded that the incidence of initial unilateral amputations per 100,000 was 192 for diabetic women and 197 for diabetic men.


30. Treatment with ginger extracts can lead to a 35% reduction in blood glucose levels.

Ginger, native to Africa, India, and China, has been commonly used for centuries as a spice in various dishes, as well as an alternative herbal treatment for different illnesses. One study on diabetes statistics and ginger examined its effects on individuals with diabetes. The study, published in 2012 suggested that ginger may help improve blood sugar control for patients with type 2 diabetes. A previous study in 2009 reported that two different ginger extracts (spissum and an oily extract) interact with a patient’s serotonin receptors, making it possible to reverse the insulin secretion.



Diabetes is a chronic disease that’s present in individuals who are unable to use and store glucose in their bodies. Individuals who are diagnosed with diabetes need to see an endocrinologist or diabetologist at least once every six months and get appropriate treatment. Also, diabetes statistics have shown that individuals with the condition must learn how to monitor their blood sugar levels. Do not forget that uncontrolled diabetes may lead to serious health complications. Daily testing is important to make sure that the correct meal plan, exercise routine, and medication are all working optimally to keep blood sugar levels normal.


What population has the highest rate of diabetes?

The highest rate of diabetes was noticed among American Indians/Alaska Natives, amounting to 14.7%. They were followed by people of Hispanic origin with 12.5% and non-Hispanic blacks with 11.7%.


What percentage of the US population has diabetes?

In 2018, it was estimated that about 10.5% of the population in the US had diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes was even higher among US adults, amounting to about 13%.


What is type 1 diabetes?

How does one define type 1 diabetes and what produces insulin? Type 1 diabetes, formerly called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes is a serious autoimmune disease. The condition is caused by the human body attacking the pancreas with antibodies, commonly diagnosed in early childhood. Individuals who suffer from type 1 diabetes have a damaged pancreas, thus the organ is unable to make insulin. There are a couple of reasons why an individual may develop the condition. Some studies have found that type 1 diabetes is genetically inherited, while others found that the condition is the result of defective beta cells in the pancreas.

What is type 2 diabetes?

As opposed to type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes is known as adult-onset diabetes and non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Even though it’s much milder than the other diabetes types, it’s still considered extremely serious, and it may cause a variety of health complications. For instance, one of the most common health complications type 2 diabetes causes is heart disease and stroke. Even though both types of diabetes deal with insulin deficiency, with type 2 diabetes, the pancreas typically produces a small amount of insulin. However, the amount is not enough for the various needs of the body, or the cells may even be resistant to it (this refers to insulin resistance). 

What is the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes?

Many wonder what the difference between type 1 vs type 2 diabetes is. Type 2 diabetes is commonly called non-insulin-dependent diabetes. The pancreas of the individuals with this form of the illness still produces a small amount of insulin. Type 2 diabetes is also considered a much milder form of diabetes compared to type 1.

What is prediabetes?

Prediabetes refers to cases in which an individual’s blood glucose is high but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Individuals who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes usually experience symptoms of prediabetes first. Luckily, individuals with prediabetes can delay and even prevent the illness from developing into type 2 by making smart lifestyle changes.

What are the best preventative measures for diabetes?

For how to prevent diabetes, there are a few lifestyle and habit changes that can help. These include cutting out refined sugar and carbohydrates from the diet, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water, quitting smoking, watching portion sizes, and potentially even following a keto or a low-carb diet. Some researchers have found a vital link between diabetes and sleep, thus many doctors advise patients to get at least seven hours of sleep every night.

How can you tell if you have diabetes?

As for how to know if you have diabetes, some of the earliest signs that you or a loved one may have diabetes include the frequent urge to urinate, feeling thirsty or hungry (even though you may have just eaten), extreme fatigue, blurry vision, and rapid weight loss. Lack of sleep and diabetes often go hand in hand: insomnia may be explained by decreased blood sugar levels. If you notice some of these symptoms, remember to consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

How many carbs per meal are best for diabetes type 2?

Does sugar cause diabetes and how many carbs are allowed daily? One of the best ways to manage blood sugar levels when suffering from type 2 diabetes is by counting your daily carbohydrate intake. Even though carbohydrates are needed for a balanced diet, individuals with type 2 diabetes need to watch their daily intake. Because carbohydrates turn into sugar when digested, they can easily increase your blood glucose level. It’s recommended that individuals with type 2 diabetes eat around 45–60 grams of carbohydrates per meal (or less—think keto!)

How common is gestational diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that’s prevalent among pregnant women who do not already have diabetes. It is estimated that around 2%–10% of pregnant women in the United States are diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

What causes diabetes?

Many researchers have found that type 1 diabetes is a result of the immune system attacking and eliminating the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes may be triggered by genes, viruses, and different diseases. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes is usually caused by factors such as lifestyle (poor diet and exercise) and genes. Recent obesity and diabetes statistics found that obese individuals are at a particularly high risk of developing this type of diabetes.