Estimated number of adults with diabetes in China 2015-2045

In 2019, it was estimated that China had about 116 million diabetics aged from 20 to 79 years, which was the highest number of any country. The figure would very likely climb to 147 million by 2045. Diabetes is one of the leading death causes across the globe.

An overview of diabetes

Diabetes mellitus, commonly known as diabetes, is an incurable chronic health condition in which dangerously high levels of glucose flood the body due to the lack of insulin production (type 1 diabetes) or the body’s inability to use insulin to regulate blood sugar levels (type 2 and gestational diabetes). Globally, the number of people suffering from this chronic disease amounted to 463 million in 2019. The largest number of diabetics were from China, followed by India and the United States in that year. In terms of diabetes prevalence, Germany, Mexico, and Portugal had the highest rates. With regard to diabetes-related health expenditure, China alone spent over half of the amount spent by the entire Western Pacific region.

Key figures of diabetes in China

Back in the 1980s, less than one percent of the Chinese population was said to have diabetes. In the recent decade, the prevalence rate has jumped to an alarming level, and nearly one in four of all adult diabetes sufferers worldwide were in China. Records from 2019 show that most of such patients in the country fell within the age group of 20 to 79 years - mainly type 2 diabetes. Some experts point out the nation’s economic growth coupled with unhealthy diets and reduced physical activity as major risk factors which cause type 2 diabetes. It is worth noting that the awareness and control rates of diabetes were relatively low in China compared with the situations in other strong economies.

Estimated number of people with diabetes mellitus in China between 2015 and 2019 with forecasts until 2045

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Release date

November 2019



Survey time period

2015 to 2019

Age group

20-79 years

Supplementary notes

Figures for 2015 and 2017 were retrieved from the previous publications.

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Statistics on "Diabetes in China"

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