Deaths from TB

Can TB kill you?

Many people are killed by TB. The mortality from TB, that is the number of deaths, is that TB is the tenth leading cause of death worldwide.  TB is the leading cause from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS.

In 2017 an estimated 1.3 million people who were HIV negative died of TB.

In addition there were 300,000 deaths resulting from TB disease among people who were HIV positive. So there were a total of 1,600,000 TB related deaths.

An estimated 234,000 children died of TB in 2017.

In 2017 the best estimate of the proportion of people with TB who died from the disease was 16%. There is considerable variation among countries, from under 5% in a few countries to more than 20% in most countries in the WHO African Region. This illustrates large inequalities among countries in access to TB diagnosis and treatment. The number of people dying from the disease needs to fall to 10% by 2020 to reach the first milestones of the End TB strategy.

Children - deaths from TB

An estimated 234,000 children died of TB in 2017.

All countries are asked to report their TB figures to the World Health Organisation (WHO). WHO then use these notified figures to help produce estimated total TB statistics for each country, region, globally, by HIV status and by age. The WHO figures for the estimated number of deaths from TB in children in each WHO region for 2017 are given below.

Estimates are shown separately for HIV positive and HIV negative children, given that the cause of TB deaths among HIV positive people is internationally classified as being HIV.

Globally in 2017, there were an estimated 234,140 deaths from TB among children.

Estimated WHO Children's TB deaths for 2017
WHO Region Total HIV negative

TB Mortality Male 0 - 14 Years

HIV negative

TB Mortality Female 0 - 14 Years

HIV positive

TB Mortality Male 0 - 14 Years

HIV positive

TB Mortality Female 0-14 Years

Africa 95,000 31,000 27,000 20,000 17,000
Americas 4,160 2,000 1,700 250 210
Eastern Mediterranean 14,490 7,800 6,500 110 90
Europe 4,830 2,400 2,300 70 60
South-East Asia 77,260 41,000 35,000 680 580
Western Pacific 38,400 21,000 17,000 220 180
Global Total 234,140 105,000 89,000 21,000 19,000

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Deaths in adults

There were an estimated 842,000 TB deaths among men, and 497,480 among women in 2017.

Estimated WHO Regional TB statistics for 2017
WHO Region Total HIV negative TB Mortality Male > 14 Years HIV negative TB Mortality Female > 14 Years HIV positive TB Mortality Male > 14 Years HIV positive TB Mortality Female > 14 Years
Africa 571,000 229,000 127,000 116,000 99,000
Americas 19,700 9,600 4,600 4,100 1,400
Eastern Mediterranean 76,780 41,000 33,000 2,000 780
Europe 23,900 13,000 6,100 3,700 1,100
South-East Asia 589,400 363,000 199,000 20,000 7,400
Western Pacific 58,700 37,000 17,000 3,600 1,100
Global Total 1,339,480 692,600 386,700 149,400 110,780

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TB deaths for “high burden” countries

Of all the countries that report their TB statistics to WHO, there are 22 countries that were referred to as the TB “high burden” countries. Some people refer to these as the high risk countries. These countries had been prioritized at a global level since 2000. Between them they accounted for 83% of all estimated incident cases of TB worldwide in 2014. In addition to the main list there were two other lists, a list of high burden TB/HIV co-infection countries, and a third list of high burden MDR-TB countries.

In 2015 it was decided by WHO that the lists would be revised but that there would still be three lists. Each list would contain 30 countries. There is more about this on the TB high burden countries page.

The country with the highest estimated number of deaths is India with an estimated 410,000 deaths in HIV negative adults and 11,000 in HIV positive adults. This does though need to be considered in the context of India's very large population. There is more about TB in India. South Africa has the highest estimated number of HIV positive deaths.

The following is the estimated mortality from TB for each of the 30 countries in the main high TB burden list.

Statistics for TB in "High Burden" Countries 2017
Country HIV negative  TB Mortality HIV positive TB Mortality Population
Angola 20,000 7,800 30,000,000
Bangladesh 59,000 170 165,000,000
Brazil 5,100 1,900 209,000,000
Cambodia 3,100 410 16,000,000
Central African Republic 3,200 2,700 5,000,000
China 37,000 1,800 1,410,000,000
Congo 3,300 2,300 5,000,000
DPR Korea 16,000 40 25,000,000
DP Congo 49,000 7,500 81,000,000
Ethiopia 25,000 3,600 105,000,000
India 410,000 11,000 1,340,000,000
Indonesia 107,000 9,400 264,000,000
Kenya 25,000 18,000 50,000,000
Lesotho 1,000 4,600 2,000,000
Liberia 2,700 910 5,000,000
Mozambique 22,000 27,000 30,000,000
Myanmar 27,000 4,900 53,000,000
Namibia 750 800 3,000,000
Nigeria 120,000 35,000 191,000,000
Pakistan 54,000 2,200 197,000,000
Papua New Guinea 4,300 930 8,000,000
Philippines 26,000 3,800 105,000,000
Russian Federation 10,000 1,700 144,000,000
Sierra Leone 3,000 780 8,000,000
South Africa 22,000 56,000 57,000,000
Thailand 9,300 2,900 69,000,000
UR Tanzania 27,000 22,000 57,000,000
Viet Nam 12,000 840 96,000,000
Zambia 5,000 13,000 17,000,000
Zimbabwe 2,000 6,300 17,000,000
Total for High Burden Countries 1,110,000 247,000 4,760,000,000

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Major Sources for Deaths from TB