Donate Life ECHO Post 3: What Percentage of People Need A Transplant?

In a previous blog post, I mentioned that 58% of people waiting for a new organ are people of color (a broad term for people who are not white). How did I get this percentage? Did I pull it out of my butt? No. The following image is based on statistics from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network as of April 14, 2017.

A doughnut chart with different sections in green and blue with the percentages of people waiting for a transplant based on ethnicity.
Image description: A doughnut chart with different sections broken down to represent what percentage of people from the transplant waiting list are of a specific ethnicity.

100 minus 42 equals 58. 42% of people on the transplant list are white. 30% are African-American/Black. 19% are Hispanic/Latinx (Latinx is an inclusive term for Latino/Latina and is used to be inclusive of people who identify as gender non-binary). 8% are Asian or Pacific Islander. 1% of waiting recipients are Native American or Alaska Native. Finally, less than 1% of people waiting for a new organ belong to two or more races.

So why am I raising awareness for multicultural communities to donate? Here’s an answer from Donate Life’s FAQ page on why it’s important to become a donor.

Although donation and transplantation can take place successfully between individuals from different racial or ethnic groups, transplant success is often better when organs are matched between people of the same racial or ethnic background.

People of African American/Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native and multiracial descent currently make up nearly 58% of individuals on the national organ transplant waiting list. These communities are in great need of more organ and tissue donors.


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