The global TB statistics show that as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a large drop in the number of people newly diagnosed and reported as having TB.
TB burden 2021
In 2021 an estimated 10.6 million people fell ill with TB. This was an increase of 4.5% from 10.1 million in 2020.
Globally the number of people newly diagnosed with TB, and reported to national governments, dropped from 7.1 million in 2019 to 5.8 million in 2020. The three countries that accounted for most of the reduction in 2020 were India, Indonesia and the Philippines (67% of the global total). They made partial recoveries in 2021 but still accounted for 60% of the global reduction compared with 2019.
TB Incidence in high Burden Countries
Following large falls in 2020, the reported number of people newly diagnosed with TB in 2021 recovered to 2019 levels (or beyond) in five high TB burden countries: Bangladesh, the Congo, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Uganda.
There is more about TB in India.
A WHO recommended rapid molecular test was used as the initial diagnostic test for only 1.9 million (33%) of the 5.8 million people newly diagnosed with TB in 2020.
TB related deaths in 2020
There was an increase in TB deaths in 2020. The increase in TB deaths in 2020 is believed to have resulted from disruptions to diagnosis and treatment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
TB is the second leading cause of death from a single infectious agent, ranking second to COVID-19.
In 2020 the TB statistics show that there were an estimated 1.3 million TB related deaths. 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 these 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.
Declines in TB incidence (the number of people developing TB each year) have slowed almost to a halt.
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. 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
Drug resistant TB is now an increasing problem in the worldwide control of TB and in the attempts to END TB.
Globally in 2021 the burden of drug resistant TB is estimated to have increased with 450,000 new cases of rifampicin resistant TB.
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 Region||Estimated TB Incidence|
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.
|Country||Total TB Incidence||Rate per 100,000 population
|Central African Republic||26,000||540|
|Papua New Guinea||39,000||441|
This page was last updated in February 2023.
Author Annabel Kanabus
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- “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
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