Global Prevalence of Diabetes

Estimates for the year 2000 and projections for 2030

  1. Sarah Wild, MB BCHIR, PHD1,
  2. Gojka Roglic, MD2,
  3. Anders Green, MD, PHD, DR MED SCI3,
  4. Richard Sicree, MBBS, MPH4 and
  5. Hilary King, MD, DSC2
  1. 1Public Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland
  2. 2Department of Non-Communicable Diseases, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark
  4. 4International Diabetes Institute, Caulfield, Victoria, Australia
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Sarah Wild, Public Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG, Scotland. E-mail: sarah.wild{at}


OBJECTIVE—The goal of this study was to estimate the prevalence of diabetes and the number of people of all ages with diabetes for years 2000 and 2030.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Data on diabetes prevalence by age and sex from a limited number of countries were extrapolated to all 191 World Health Organization member states and applied to United Nations’ population estimates for 2000 and 2030. Urban and rural populations were considered separately for developing countries.

RESULTS—The prevalence of diabetes for all age-groups worldwide was estimated to be 2.8% in 2000 and 4.4% in 2030. The total number of people with diabetes is projected to rise from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030. The prevalence of diabetes is higher in men than women, but there are more women with diabetes than men. The urban population in developing countries is projected to double between 2000 and 2030. The most important demographic change to diabetes prevalence across the world appears to be the increase in the proportion of people >65 years of age.

CONCLUSIONS—These findings indicate that the “diabetes epidemic” will continue even if levels of obesity remain constant. Given the increasing prevalence of obesity, it is likely that these figures provide an underestimate of future diabetes prevalence.


  • S.W. received honoraria for speaking engagements from Bayer Corporation. A.G. is a paid consultant of Novo Nordisk.

    Additional information for this article can be found in an online appendix at

    A table elsewhere in this issue shows conventional and Système International (SI) units and conversion factors for many substances.

    • Accepted January 26, 2004.
    • Received October 18, 2003.
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