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.
- 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.
36,528 transplants were performed in 2018 – a new record high for the sixth consecutive year.
- Each day, about 80 people receive organ transplants. Of these recipients, the breakdown of ethnic backgrounds includes:
- In 2018, 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 2018, there was a total of 17,553 donors; 10,722 were deceased donors and 6,831 were living donors.
- 35% of deceased donors in 2018 were over the age of 50.
- 61% of deceased donors in 2018 were male, 39% 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 2018, more than 145 million people over the age of 18 had registered as organ donors. That's more than half of all U.S. adults. (58 percent)***
- In 2018, registered donors authorized through state registries accounted for:
- 49% of recovered organs
- 55% of recovered tissues
- 56% of recovered eyes
(Other donations were authorized by family/next of kin consent.)
- States with the highest percentage of registered donors (2018):
- Montana (93% of the population is registered)
- Alaska (92%)
- Washington (89%)
Donate Life America Annual Report (PDF - 27.9 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. Data on this page is current as of July 2019. For the most recent statistics, please visit the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) Data Reports.
** OPTN data as of July 22, 2019.
*** From: DLA Donor Designation Report update released October 2018.