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.*
One Donor Can Save Eight Lives.
- 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 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.
34,770 transplants were performed in 2017 – a new record high for the fifth consecutive year.
- Each day, about 80 people receive organ transplants. Of these recipients, the breakdown of ethnic backgrounds includes:
- In 2017, about 62% of organ recipients were male; 38% female.
- More than 84,000 corneal transplants were performed in 2017.
- 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 2017, a total of 42,609 organs were donated. Organ donors can be deceased or living.
- More than 4 out of 5 donations came from deceased donors, and 1 out of 5 donations from living donors.
- Nearly 6 in 10 donors are deceased and about 4 out of 10 are living donors.
- 34% of deceased donors in 2017 was over the age of 50.
- 60% of deceased donors in 2017 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 2017, more than 138 million people over the age of 18 had registered as organ donors. That's more than half of all U.S. adults. (54 percent)***
- In 2016, registered donors authorized through state registries accounted for:
- 46% of recovered organs
- 51% of recovered tissues
- 54% of recovered eyes
(Other donations were authorized by family/next of kin consent.)
- States with the highest percentage of registered donors (2015):
- Montana (89% of the population is registered)
- Alaska (86%)
- Washington (85%)
Donate Life America Annual Report (PDF - 4.3 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?
*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 3/31/16