Graphic of Allergy Facts, Figures and StatisticsAs you probably already know, an allergy is a natural response of your immune system when you come into contact with a foreign substance that it considers to be harmful.

This irritant can enter the body either through the lungs, stomach, injection or by touch.

Reactions to allergies can range anywhere from a simple cough, runny nose, itchy eyes or sneezing, to more serious issues like hives, breathing trouble or choking, and even death.

Currently, there is no cure for allergies. The only way to mitigate the associated problems is through prevention or treatments.

Here are the common methods:

  • Nasal allergies can be treated with medication and/or the use of a home air purifier. Air purifiers designed for allergies are excellent at removing the harmful irritants from the air that cause symptoms. See our best allergy air purifier list to find out more.
  • The best treatment for food allergies is abstaining from eating the allergy-inducing food or anything that has come into contact with it.
  • Drug allergies and insect stings often require quick medical attention to prevent any severe health issues.

Below, is a list of the top allergy facts, figures and statistics. This list will help shine some light on how many people actually suffer from different types of allergies, sickness and death facts, the costs associated with the disease and more.

If you’re curious about what causes allergies in the first place, you can read our article What are the Causes of Allergies to find out more.

Feel free to share these facts on your own website, through social media, in presentations, etc. We only ask that you kindly place a reference link back to this web page so that others can make use of these statistics too.

How Many People Are Affected By Allergies?

  • An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from nasal allergies.18
  • 30% of all people worldwide are affected by allergic rhinitis.17
  • Adults affected by allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is on the rise. In 2012, 17.6 million adults were diagnosed with hay fever. In 2014, this number raised to 19.1 million.8
  • 25% of households in the United Kingdom include at least one person with allergies.25
  • In 2014, 6.1 million (or 8.4%) of children reported some form of respiratory allergies.8
  • In the United States, allergies are the 6th leading chronic disease in the United States for all ages.1
  • Allergies are the 3rd most chronic disease in children under 18 years of age.1
  • In Europe, allergies are the most common chronic disease, affecting over 150 million people and is expected to affect 50% of the population by 2021.25
  • 1 out of 5 Americans have either allergy or asthma-related symptoms.21
  • 55% of Americans test positive for one or more allergen.21
  • There is a 70% chance that a child with two allergic parents will also develop allergies. This number drops to a 33% chance if only one of the parents has allergies.21
  • About 15 million people (or 3-4%) in the United States have diagnosed food allergies, while a 15% of all Americans believe they have a food allergy.[19 and 21]
  • A 2013 study by the CDC reported that food allergies among children increased 50% between 1997 and 2011.24
  • 5% of the worldwide population have allergies related to insect stings.13
  • In the United States, around 40 deaths occur annually  due to a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to insect stings.14
  • In about 50% of all homes in the United States, there are at least 6 detectable allergens in the environment.23

How Many People Get Sick or Die from Allergies?

  • Around 21 million people in the United Kingdom (or 1 in 3) have a disease where allergies may be involved.25
  • In the United Kingdom, around 7 million people have allergy severe enough to require specialist allergy care.25
  • In the United States, food allergies account for an estimated 200,000 visits each year to the emergency room. That’s 1 visit every 3 minutes.16
  • Around 10,000 people stay in a U.S. hospital each year because of food allergies.16
  • Having a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to medicines is the major cause of allergy-related deaths, followed by food allergies and insect stings.11
  • The elderly and African-Americans are the most susceptible to deadly allergic reactions to food, medicines and other unknown allergens.5
  • Death from a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) can occur in as little as 15 minutes without treatment.20
  • Food allergies are the leading cause of anaphylaxis outside of a hospital setting.19
  • An estimated 100 people die annually from allergic (anaphylaxis) reaction to insect stings.24
  • An estimated 63 to 99 deaths occur each year in the United States due to anaphylaxis.26
  • There has been 615% increase in hospital visits for anaphylaxis in the United Kingdom between 1992 to 2012.25

What Are the Costs Associated with Allergies?

  • The estimated cost of allergies on the health care system and businesses in the United States is $18 billion dollars.22
  • More than 6 million work and school days are missed each year due to allergies.6
  • The cost of food allergies average an estimated $25 billion each year.7
  • In the United Kingdom, £900million is spent each year by primary care due to allergies.25
  • Allergies in the U.K. account for an average of £68million per year for hospital stays.25

What Facts Are Connected With Food Allergies?

  • 8 types of food account for 90% of all food allergy reactions. These include peanuts, milk, eggs, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.19
  • Peanuts are the most common food allergen. Milk is second. Shellfish is third.9
  • Peanut, fish and shellfish allergies are usually lifelong.19
  • The number of children with a food allergy to peanuts tripled between 1997 to 2008.19
  • In 2014, an estimated 4 million children in the United States had some form of food allergies.8
  • 30.4% of children with food allergies are allergic to multiple types of foods.1
  • A food allergy can start at any age.19

What Are the Statistics On Drug Allergies?

  • Around 10% of people are allergic to Penicillin, a common antibiotic medication.11
  • About 400 deaths occur each year from a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to Penicillin.23
  • 10% of the global population is affected by drug allergies.3
  • 20% of all hospital patients are reported to have an allergic reaction to drugs.3


[1] American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Allergy Facts.

[2] Jackson K, Howie L, Akinbami L. CDC. Trends in Allergic Conditions Among Children: United States, 1997-2011. NCHS Data Brief. No 121.

[3] Clark S, Espinola J, Rudders S, etc. Frequency of US emergency department visits of food-related acute allergic reactions. J Allergy Clin Immunol.

[4] Wood R, Camargo C, Lieberman P, etc. Anaphylaxis in America: the prevalence and characteristics of anaphylaxis in the United States. J Allergy Clin Immunol. Feb 2014; 133(2): 461-7. Doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2013.08.016.

[5] Einstein. Anaphylaxis Research: Comprehensive Study of Allergic Deaths in US Finds Medications are Main Culprit.–finds-medications-are-main-culprit/

[6] Schaffer F. National Impact of Allergies. Academy of Allergy and Asthma in Primary Care.

[7] Gupta R, Holdford D, Bilaver L, etc. The economic impact of childhood food allergy in the United States. Jama Pediatr. 2013 Nov; 167(110):1026-31. Doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2376.

[8] CDC. National Center for Health Statistics.FastStats: Allergies and Hay Fever.

[9] American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. Allergy Statistics.

[10] Gupta R, Springston E, Warrier M, etc. The Prevalence, Severity, and Distribution of Childhood Food Allergy in the United States. Pediatrics. April 2011. Doi:10.1542/peds.2011-0204.

[11] American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Types of Allergies: Drug Allergies.

[12] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gateway to Health Communication and Social Marketing Practice. Latex Allergy.

[13] American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. The Rise of Deadly Insect Sting Allergies: Is There a Cure?

[14] American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Types of Allergies: Insect Stings.

[16] Clark S, Espinola J, Rudders S, etc. Frequency of US emergency department visits of food-related acute allergic reactions. J Allergy Clin Immunol.

[17] MedicineNet. Hay Fever (Allergic Rhinitis)

[18] Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Allergy Facts and Figures.

[19] Food Allergy Research & Education. Facts and Statistics.

[20] MedilinePlus. Allergic Reactions.

[21] WebMD. Allergy Statistics and Facts.

[22] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gateway to Health Communication and Social Marketing Practice. Allergies.

[23] Healthline. Allergy Statistics and Facts.

[24] Achoo Allergy. Allergy Statistics.

[25] AllergyUK. Allergy Statistics.

[26] Ma L, Danoff T, Borish L. US National Library of Medicine. National Institutes of Health. Case Fatality and Population Mortality Associated with Anaphylaxis in the United States.

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