Organ Donation Facts

Organ Donation Facts

In the United States, there is a large shortage of organ donors. Those on the organ donor transplant list can be waiting anywhere from several months to years. A shocking number of patients on the waiting list die every year. You can help save lives by registering as an organ donor and spreading the word to your family and friends.

One donor can make a significant difference in multiples people's lives. It's important to know the impact you can make by registering as an organ donor. One day it could be you who needs an organ transplant.

Important Organ Donation Statistics

There are some shocking statistics about organ donation. In the United States alone:

  • Someone is added to the organ donation waiting list every 8 minutes.
  • Approximately 17 people die every day waiting for an organ.
  • More than 103,000 people are waiting for an organ.

Statistics on Specific Organs

If you're interested in data relating to a specific type of organ donation, these statistics may interest you. The following numbers indicate the number of patients on the organ donation waiting list:

  • Kidney: 89,916 people.
  • Liver: 9,847 people.
  • Heart: 3,347 people.
  • Lung: 1,077 people.
  • Pancreas: 866 people.

The most commonly transplanted tissue in the United States is the cornea. There are more than 44,000 corneal transplants completed every year. For more information, visit our Corneal Transplants and Organ Donation page.


  • More than 89,916 people are waiting for a kidney.
  • Nearly 3,000 people are added to the kidney waiting list every month. On average, this is 1 person every 14 minutes.
  • Approximately 13 patients die every day while waiting for a kidney.
  • In 2013, 3,381 patients died while on the waiting list.

For more information, visit our Kidney Transplants and Organ Donation page.


  • 9,847 peoplein the United States need a liver transplant.
  • More than 1,700 people die every year while waiting for a liver.
  • About 15,000 children are diagnosed with a liver disease or disorder every year. These disorders could ultimately require a liver transplant.

For more information, visit our Liver Transplants and Organ Donation page.


  • 3,347 people are waiting for a heart transplant.
  • Every year, only about 2,000 donors are available.
  • After a transplant, most recipients resume a close-to-normal lifestyle.
  • More than 75% of recipients live for at least another 5 years following surgery.

Help Improve These Numbers

Registering as an organ donor will improve these statistics by lowering the number of people waiting for an organ.

As a registered organ donor, your donation has the potential to save or improve more than 50 lives. One donor can provide:

  • Kidneys.
  • Pancreas.
  • Liver.
  • Lungs.
  • Heart.
  • Intestinal organs.

In 2013, there were 14,257 organ donations, which resulted in 28,953 organ transplants. Unfortunately, this number is only a fraction of the number of people in need of a transplant.

Most Americans say they support organ donation, but only a small number know how to register.

Registration is simple. You can either register when you apply for or renew your driver’s license, or do so online at your state's organ donor registry.

Once you're registered, be sure to share this link with your friends and family members, as they may also be interested in registering. Someone you love may be the one who needs an organ donation in the future.

Statistical Resources

The information on this page was sourced from:

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