Number of worldwide users of cocaine by region 2011-2017

According to the latest estimates there were around 21 million cocaine users worldwide with the highest number found in the Americas. Cocaine is made from the leaves of the coca plant and is an addictive stimulant that is usually snorted as a powder. Although it is illegal in most countries it is still commonly used recreationally.

Cocaine worldwide

As of 2017, it was estimated that around a quarter of the population worldwide had used cocaine at some point in their lifetime. However, more people reported using alcohol, cannabis, and MDMA. With so many users it is unsurprising that the illegal cocaine market is extremely lucrative. Worldwide illicit cultivation of cocaine covers some 213 thousand hectares, with most of the world’s cocaine produced in South America.

Cocaine in the United States

According to the most recent figures almost six million people in the United States had used cocaine in the previous year. Moreover, around 40.5 million Americans have used cocaine at some point in their lifetime. In 2017, there were around 14,560 deaths involving cocaine in the United States, a significant rise from previous years. However, it is important to note that a large portion of deaths from cocaine involve the use of other drugs, specifically opioids.

Number of cocaine users worldwide from 2011 to 2017, by region (in millions)*

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Release date

June 2019



Survey time period

2011 to 2017

Age group

15-64 years

Supplementary notes

* The figures given here are maximum estimates. Figures for 2011-2015 were taken from the report's previous editions.

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