TB Statistics - incidence, prevalence, high burden

TB statistics summary

The global TB statistics are that there were an estimated 10.0 million new cases of TB disease (also known as active TB) in 2018.

TB affects all countries and age groups. Overall the best estimates are that in 2018 ninety per cent were adults (aged > or = 15). Fifty seven per cent were adult males. Thirty two per cent were adult women. Eleven per cent were children. 8.6% were people living with HIV.

Two thirds were in eight countries:

  • India (27%),
  • China (9%),
  • Indonesia (8%),
  • the Philippines (6%),
  • Pakistan (6%),
  • Nigeria (4%),
  • Bangladesh (4%),
  • South Africa (3%).

There is more about TB in India, TB in China, TB in Pakistan TB in Nigeria  & TB in South Africa

Only 6% of cases were in the World Health Organisation (WHO)  European Region and the WHO Region of the Americas, each of which had 3% of cases. There is more about TB in the United States.

The global TB statistics show that in 2018 there were an estimated one million one hundred and twenty thousand cases of TB in children ©Tobias Hofass

The global TB statistics show that in 2018 there were an estimated one million one hundred and twenty thousand cases of TB in children ©Tobias Hofass

In 2018 the TB statistics show that an estimated one million one hundred and twenty thousand children became ill with TB.

The severity of national epidemics varies widely. In 2018 there were under 10 new cases per 100,000 population in most high income countries. There were 150-400 in most of the 30 high TB burden countries, and above 500 in a few countries including Mozambique, the Philippines and South Africa.


TB related deaths

TB is one of the top ten leading causes of death worldwide and the leading cause from a single infectious agent, ranking above HIV/AIDS.

In 2018 the TB statistics show that there were a total of 1,491,000 TB related deaths, 1.24 million among HIV negative people and an additional 251,000 among HIV positive people.  People who have both TB and HIV when they die, are internationally classified as having died from HIV.

An estimated 205,000 children died of TB in 2018 including children with HIV associated TB. Of these children 173,000 were HIV negative, and 32,000 HIV positive.

There is more about deaths from TB  in different countries.

World Health Organisation (WHO) TB statistics

All countries are asked to report their TB figures to the WHO. The people with TB page gives the reported (notified) figures for almost every country in the world.

WHO uses the reported figures to produce estimated TB incidence statistics for each country.

What does TB incidence mean?

TB incidence means the number of people who are estimated to have developed TB in a given period of time, which is normally a year. There will always be various assumptions made in compiling estimates, which is why they can sometimes provide very different figures from the TB statistics based on reported cases. It is estimated figures from WHO that are given on this page.

What does TB prevalence mean?

TB prevalence refers to the number of people with TB that are present in a particular population at a given time. Prevalence includes newly diagnosed people, plus people who were diagnosed in the past, and people who haven't even been diagnosed. Prevalence is usually, but not always given as a percentage of the population.1“Basic Statistics: About Incidence, Prevalence, Morbidity, and Mortality - Statistics Teaching Tools”, Department of Health, New York State www.health.ny.gov/diseases/chronic/basicstat.htm.  The best estimate of prevalence comes from surveys but because of the cost these are only produced for a limited number of countries.

TB statistics for drug resistant TB

Globally in 2018 there were an estimated 500,000 new cases of rifampicin (RR-TB) resistant TB.  Drug resistant TB is now an increasing problem in the worldwide control of TB and in the attempts to end TB.

The three countries with the largest share of the global burden in 2018 were:

  • India (27%),
  • China (14%)
  • the Russian Federation (9%).

Globally 3.4% of new TB cases and 18% of previously treated cases had MDR/RR-TB. The highest proportion (>50% in previously treated cases) were in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Bovine TB statistics

It is estimated that in some developing countries up to ten percent of human tuberculosis is due to bovine TB.

Regional TB statistics

WHO RegionEstimated TB Incidence
Eastern Mediterranean810,000
South-East Asia4,370,000
Western Pacific1,840,000
Global Total10,000,000

TB incidence for “high burden” countries

Of all the countries that report their TB statistics to WHO, there are a group of countries that are referred to as the TB “high burden” countries. These countries have been prioritized at a global level since 2000. In 2015 it was decided by WHO that the group would be revised and there is more about this on the TB high burden countries page.

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

Rates are per 100,000 population
CountryTotal TB IncidenceHIV prevalence in Incident TB (%)Population (millions)
Central African Republic540265
DPR Korea5130.17256
DR Congo3211184
Papua New Guinea4327.39
Russian Federation5420146
Sierra Leone298138
South Africa5205958
UR Tanzania2532856
Viet Nam1823.496
Total for High Burden Countries1808.24,830

Page Updating

This page was last updated in May 2020.
Author Annabel Kanabus

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Major Sources for TB Statistics