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.1
One Donor Can Save Eight Lives.
As of March 2020, there are more than 112,000 candidates for transplant on the U.S. national waiting list.
- 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.
- Over 67,000 people (59 percent) on the list are ethnic minorities.
See current data by age, ethnicity, health status, gender, average waiting times, candidates vs. registrants, and more at OPTN Data Reports.
39,718 transplants were performed in 2019 – a new record high for the seventh consecutive year.
- Each day, about 80 people receive organ transplants. Of these recipients, the breakdown of ethnic backgrounds includes:
- In 2019, about 62% of organ recipients were male; 38% female.
- More than 85,000 corneal transplants were performed in 2018.
- More than 1 million tissue transplants are performed each year.
For current data reports on transplants performed, including by recipient age, ethnicity, gender, or state, visit the OPTN Data Reports.
In 2019, there was a total of 19,267 donors; 11,870 were deceased donors and 7,397 were living donors.
- 36% of deceased donors in 2019 were over the age of 50.
- 60% of deceased donors in 2019 were male, 40% female.
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.
In 2020, more than 156 million people over the age of 18 had registered as organ donors. That's more than half of all U.S. adults. (60 percent)3
- In 2018, registered donors authorized through state registries accounted for:
- 50% of recovered organs
- 56% of recovered tissues
- 61% of recovered eyes
(Other donations were authorized by family/next of kin consent.)
Donate Life America Annual Report (PDF - 11.5 MB)
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?
1 Some statistics in this section are updated annually and based on the latest available reports. Data on this page is current as of March 2020. For the most recent statistics, please visit the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Data Reports.
2 OPTN data as of March 6, 2020.
3 From: DLA Donor Designation Report update released September 2019.
4 Data from the 2019 National Survey of Organ Donation Attitudes and Practices.