18+ Tuberculosis Statistics & Facts (2021)

Last modified: February 14, 2021

Throughout the years, we’ve seen a significant decrease in worldwide tuberculosis, or TB, incidence rates. This has been achieved through lengthy work and research in a tough battle that has not yet completely eliminated the disease.

The medical condition known as tuberculosis is caused by bacteria known as Mycobacterium tuberculosisAs menacing as it may sound, tuberculosis is treatable and curable—or at the very least, it can be kept in check.

Nevertheless, tuberculosis is still a major threat to human health, and raising awareness about the disease is more than necessary. Hence, we’ve put together these tuberculosis statistics. After all, nowadays there are several variants of the disease, each with its respective preventive measures and treatment options.

The following facts and stats provide a better understanding of the current global situation at hand, which will hopefully result in a big step toward the ultimate goal of eradicating this condition.

TB Statistics & Data – (2021 update) 

  • TB cases are recorded in all 50 US states.
  • Non-US-born residents have a 15 times higher TB incidence rate than those born in the US.
  • Asians face a 33 times greater risk of getting TB than whites.
  • TB is among the top 10 leading causes of death globally.
  • 95% of TB cases are recorded in developing countries.
  • Nearly 8% of TB cases globally are attributed to tobacco use.
  • Two-thirds of TB cases are recorded in a total of 8 countries worldwide.
  • The total cost of TB treatment in 2017 in the US was $463 million.
  • The preventive treatment for latent tuberculosis costs only $600.
  • People with HIV are 20 to 30 times more likely to get TB.

1. Annually around 10 million people become infected with tuberculosis as of tuberculosis statistics 2019.

(WHO)

Tuberculosis is one of the leading causes of death across the globe, resulting in around 1.4 million deaths in the year 2019 alone. People with HIV, malnutrition, diabetes, or those who smoke tobacco are at a higher risk of acquiring the infection. That being said, it is equally infectious for people across the globe in all age groups, including children.

2.TB infected individuals can spread the infection to over 15 people in one year.

(WHO)

Like most other infectious diseases, TB, too, can spread through close contact. If an infected person sneezes in a room full of people, the germs spread in the air. Even if a person inhales just a few of those germs, they are likely to get infected.

3.  TB has a 45% mortality rate in TB infected individuals that are HIV-Negative.

 (WHO)

In 2019 alone, TB was responsible for 1.4 million deaths globally. The tuberculosis death rate increases to nearly 100% for HIV positive individuals who develop tuberculosis. 

·4. There are 13 million people in the United States with latent TB infection.

(CDC)

People with the latent infection do not experience tuberculosis symptoms, nor can they spread the infection. However, if left untreated, it can turn into an active infection in the future. In fact, 1 in every 10 individuals with the latent infection may turn into active TB patients in their lifetime, and more than 80% of those infected with the latent infection in the United States do develop active TB disease.

5. As of 2019, 71.4% of TB infected individuals in the United States are non-US born.

(CDC)

Common countries of birth among infected individuals in the US include China, India, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Mexico. The majority of infected cases in the US came from racial and ethnic minority groups, with Asians making up the largest portion, followed by Hispanics and African/American persons.

6.  4.6% of those infected with TB globally have multidrug-resistant tuberculosis.

 (Lancet + CDC +WHO)

Multidrug-Resistant TB (MDR TB) is one of the biggest challenges for healthcare service providers across the globe. Though MDR TB cases are rare in the United States, they are turning into a major healthcare crisis in countries like Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Kyrgyzstan, where the infection rate is over 25%. The total global cases of MDR TB rose to 206 030, a 10% increase from 2018.

7. Ending tuberculosis globally by 2030 is one of the targets set by the United Nations.

(WHO)

 In a global conference held in 2018, the United Nations sat down to discuss the strategy to eliminate Tuberculosis globally. The targets include a 90% decrease in the tuberculosis death rate and an 80% decrease in TB incidence rates globally.

8. Alcohol and tobacco use increase the risk of acquiring TB by 3.3 and 1.6.

Excessive tobacco and alcohol use increase the risk factor for acquiring tuberculosis infection. Other risk factors include a weak immune system (HIV positive individuals), diabetes, and malnutrition.

TB Rates in the US

9. According to the latest research and tuberculosis statistics, cases of tuberculosis are found across all 50 states in the US.

The latest research has shown that, despite the best of efforts, cases of tuberculosis have been recorded in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC). In this regard, DC and New York City, along with eleven states, have recorded rates higher than the national average of 2.8 cases per 100,000 residents. Nearly half of the total incidence rate of tuberculosis outbreak in the US is limited to just four states: California, New York (New York City included), Texas, and Florida.

Source: CDC

10. At this time, there is little chance of achieving the goal of total disease elimination by the turn of the century. 

In 2017 there were a total of 9,105 TB cases, according to the latest numbers on reported tuberculosis cases and the subsequent stats on TB in the US. When compared to records from 2016, numbers show only a 1.6% decrease in total cases over the course of the whole year.

In terms of the national US incidence rate, 2.8 cases per 100,000 residents were noted in 2017, showing a 2.3% incidence rate decrease from 2016. Unfortunately, according to estimates, there needs to be a 3.9% yearly decrease in the national rate if we want to see TB eliminated by the end of the century.

Source: CDC & Infectious Disease Advisor

11. The TB rates in US-born and non-US-born residents differ greatly in terms of TB infection cases. 

In fact, there’s a drastic difference. The recorded case rate is approximately 15 times higher among those not born in the US (14.7 cases per 100,000 individuals) than it is among US-born persons (1 case in 100,000 individuals). For the most part, such an increase is noted due to the fact that many travelers, as well as immigrants, come from countries with high TB rates.

Source: CDC

12. Demographics reports show that the TB case rate among Asians is 33 times greater than it is among whites in the US.

Other races or ethnicities are also noted to have shown higher case rates of TB. For African Americans, there’s a nine times greater case rate than whites, while for Hispanics/Latinos, it is eight times greater.

TB Statistics Worldwide

13. TB is the leading cause of death in HIV-positive patients.

So far, this bacteria is known to bring its most disastrous consequences on those infected with the HIV virus. In addition, TB places at the top among the leading infectious medical conditions responsible for causing death in the world, and HIV isn’t far below it.

Source: WHO

14. Throughout the world, how many people have tuberculosis?

Country Incidence Rate per 100,000 People Mortality Rate per 100,000 People (HIV+TB excluded) Mortality Rate per 100,000 People (HIV+TB only)
Australia 6.8 0.22 0.02
Belarus 37 0.81 0.61
Botswana 300 19 33
Brazil 44 2.4 0.91
Cambodia 326 19 2.6
Central African Republic 423 68 58
Congo 376 63 43
China 63 2.6 0.12
Cuba 7.1 0.42 0.1
Djibouti 269 28 2.8
Equatorial Guinea 191 22 27
Finland 4.9 0.47 0.02
Ghana 152 36 18
Guatemala 25 1.8 0.41
Hungary 7.7 0.55 0.02
Indonesia 319 40 3.5
Japan 15 2.2 0.01
Latvia 32 3.2 0.52
Libya 40 8.4 0.4
Malta 11 0.46 0.01
Mexico 22 1.6 0.6
Morocco 99 8.1 0.18
Nepal 152 23 0.87
Philippines 554 25 0.36
Rwanda 57 4.9 2.6
Senegal 122 18 2.2
Somalia 266 69 1.4
Spain 11 0.54 0.12
Sri Lanka 64 3.2 0.08
Sweden 5.7 0.26 0.04
Switzerland 7.2 0.2 0.1
Turkey 17 0.51 0.02
Uganda 201 26 32
UK 8.9 0.53 0.1
Uruguay 31 2.4 0.81
Yemen 48 6.8 0.1

Source: WHO

15. TB is ranked among the top 10 global causes of death.

More precisely, about a quarter of the world’s population is currently estimated to be infected with TB, though this includes cases of latent TB. Out of the whole lot, 10 million people have been infected in 2019 alone, and 1.4 million were reported to have died from this medical condition.

Source: TBFacts

16. Developing countries with high TB rates make up 95% of all recorded TB cases and deaths. 

The causes of this generally include the lack of proper healthcare infrastructure, poor social and economic stability, low living standards, and the like. Apart from these macro-causes, there are additional risks that contribute to the higher TB rates among specific populations worldwide.

Tobacco use, for one, is a major cause, with 7.9% of TB cases attributed to this cause globally. Countries with high rates of homeless people, as well as higher recorded cases of diabetes and HIV are at greater risk. According to tuberculosis statistics, 4.6% of recorded TB cases in 2017 were among the homeless, 19.9% suffered from diabetes, and 5.5% of all 2017’s TB cases had been co-infected with HIV.

Source: WHO & CDC

17. Globally, the tuberculosis demographics show that the majority of patients are adults (individuals aged 15 or older, in this case).

90% of all reported cases in 2017 were adults, and 64% of the cases were male patients. Further supporting the previous statistic, about two-thirds of TB cases at the time were recorded in eight countries total: India (27%), China (9%), Indonesia (8%), the Philippines (6%), Pakistan (5%), Nigeria (4%), and South Africa (3%).

Source: TBFacts

The Cost of Tuberculosis

18. Treatment of tuberculosis in America cost the government a total of $463 million in 2017. 

With tuberculosis, the cost of treatment increases exponentially depending on the gravity of the TB strain that the patient suffers from. In this regard, the direct cost per treatment for XDR TB, according to official data from 2017 amounts to $526,000, while the treatment cost per case of MDR TB is $164,000. The regular strain of TB, on the other hand, incurs much lower expenses for the US government, just $19,000 per case treatment.

Source: CDC

19. Treating a latent TB infection more efficiently is the most effective way to lower costs and reduce TB rates. 

TB prevalence in the US has encouraged researchers to come up with a more efficient preventive measure. They’ve discovered a way to reduce the timeframe of LTBI treatment and consequently get more patients to complete their treatments fully. For this purpose, they’re proposing a single dose that patients need to take once a week over the course of 12 weeks. It’s estimated to cost about $600 and should reduce other major costs, while also reducing the number of full-on TB disease patients.

Source: CDC

TB Infection Rates and HIV

20. People with HIV are 20 to 30 times more likely to contract TB than those with strong immune systems.

Since the HIV virus attacks the immune system, HIV patients become much more susceptible to bacteria like the one causing TB. The bacteria attacks the lungs first. Once it reaches the bloodstream, it could ultimately cause complete organ failure, focusing on the kidneys, brain, and spine.

Source: WHO & TBFacts

21. TB stats on mortality recorded about 300,000 deaths of HIV-associated TB patients in 2017.

The 2017 tuberculosis statistics have shown that an estimated 374,000 people who were already infected with the HIV virus died after contracting TB. When presented in international terms, these deaths are solely attributed to HIV, which is why there is no precise number.

Source: WHO & TBFacts

22. In 2017, 6% of TB patients in the US also tested positive for HIV.

According to tuberculosis statistics in the US, when TB patients were also tested for HIV, 90% took the test and 6% tested positive for both the virus and a specific strain of TB.

Source: CDC

Conclusion

Historically, tuberculosis has been one of the most lethal threats to human life. It didn’t remain confined to less developed, rural areas. Instead, it spread throughout the world thanks to the lack of awareness among the people of the time.

Nowadays, tuberculosis seems to be somewhat tamed, although the latest reports show that progress is still far from the desired amount needed to completely eliminate the disease.

Making people understand the risks of infection, the consequences, and the likelihood of contracting this disease should help push people in the desired direction. Learning the latest tuberculosis statistics from the world’s most reliable organizations helps build an even stronger case, and hopefully, it might even save a life or two.

FAQs

What are some interesting facts about tuberculosis?

There are several TB facts mentioned in the article. However, the most important one is that the disease is treatable and curable in most HIV-negative TB patients, provided the patient seeks treatment on time.

What percentage of the population has tuberculosis?

As of 2020, nearly a quarter of the world’s population is infected with TB. That said, only a fraction of those are active cases.

What percentage of TB patients die?

Out of the 10 million people who acquired TB, 1.4 million lost their lives, indicating that 14% of TB infected individuals lose their lives. However, the incidence and death rate are both falling every year.

How many deaths are there in the US from tuberculosis in 2019?

In 2019, the United States saw the lowest TB infection rate marking a 1.7% decrease in TB incidence rates since 2018.  There were a total of 542 tuberculosis deaths in the US in 2018.

What state has the highest TB rate?

As of 2019, Alaska has the highest reported cases of tuberculosis infections at an 8.1 TB incidence rate per 100,000 individuals.

Which country has the highest rate of deaths from tuberculosis?

Africa remains one of the countries heavily burdened with TB, reporting over 454,000 deaths for HIV negative and HIV positive individuals in 2019.

When was tuberculosis at its worst in the US?

Since 1993, tuberculosis cases have reduced in the United States. In fact, between 1992 and 2011, the number of cases dropped by 61%, which is a record low. The number of tuberculosis deaths per year in the USA is also declining.

Is tuberculosis contagious by touch?

No, you cannot get infected by touching an infected person. TB germs don’t stick to the skin or to clothes, they hang in the air, and the only way to get infected is by inhaling TB germs.

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