National Minority Donor Awareness Month: Donation and Transplantation Statistics

August is National Donor Minority Awareness Month. Recent data highlight the need for more people of minority communities to register as organ, eye and tissue donors:


  • In 2019, nearly 40,000 transplants brought renewed life to patients and their families and communities (from nearly 11,900 deceased and nearly 7,400 living donors).
  • More than 113,000 men, women and children await lifesaving organ transplants.
  • Nearly 60% of patients awaiting lifesaving transplants are minorities.
  • Another person is added to the nation’s organ transplant waiting list every 10 minutes.
  • 8,000 people die each year because the organs they need are not donated in time.
  • More than 80% of patients on the waiting list are waiting for a kidney. The average waiting time for a kidney from a deceased donor is 3 to 5 years. A kidney from a living donor offers patients an alternative to years of dialysis and time on the national transplant waiting list (the living donor’s remaining kidney will enlarge, doing the work of two healthy kidneys).
  • 12% of patients waiting need a liver. Living donation of part of the liver can help these patients (the remaining portion of the donor liver will regenerate and regain full function).
  • More than one-third of all deceased donors are age 50 or older; 7% are 65 or older.
  • Each year, there are approximately 30,000 tissue donors and more than 1.75 million tissue transplants; the surgical need for donated tissue is steadily rising.
  • A single tissue donor can help more than 75 people.
  • More than 85,000 corneas are provided for sight-restoring corneal transplants each year.
  • More than 156 million people, approximately 60% of the U.S. adult population, are registered organ, eye and tissue donors. (Does not include living donors.)
  • To learn more and register your decision to save and heal lives, visit

Data from the Donate Life America Registry Overview Report and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) as of Jan. 15, 2020.