Asthma Facts and Statistics GraphAs you may know, asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lung airways that causes coughing, chest tightness, wheezing or shortness of breath.

Some people have a severe case of asthma that limits their lifestyle and mobility, while others have acute problems that flare up at unexpected moments.

In the United States alone, more than 24 million adults and children suffer from asthma, and it’s one of the leading causes for missing work and school.

Interestingly, there’s a big difference between how men and women are affected by asthma, as well as various ethnic groups.

Sadly, this disease is also responsible for about 10 deaths every single day.

Below is a comprehensive list of the top asthma facts and statistics. You’ll find data on how many people suffer from this disease, who is most at risk and the costs associated with asthma conditions.

Note: Many people confuse asthma and bronchitis with each other. To find out how they differ visit our page on Asthma vs Bronchitis: How to Spot the Differences.

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General Asthma Statistics

  • 1 in 13 people have asthma.1
  • An estimated 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma and that number is expected to grow by more than 100 million by 2025.18
  • 17.7 million American adults have asthma.2
  • 6.3 million American children have asthma.2
  • About one out of every 10 school-aged children have asthma.6
  • In children, boys are more likely to have asthma than girls.6
  • Asthma is the leading chronic disease in children and is the top reason for missed school days.6
  • Adult women are diagnosed with asthma more than adult men.3
  • Asthma prevalence is higher in females (9.2 percent) than males (7.0 percent).14
  • There’s a trend of increasing asthma prevalence in relation to weight for adults aged 60 and older: 7 percent among normal weight adults; 9.1 percent among overweight adults; 11.6 percent among adults with obesity.17
  • Asthma is often hereditary.15
  • Weather conditions such as extremely dry, wet or windy weather can worsen an asthma condition.16
  • 70 percent on people with asthma also have allergies.18
  • Work-related asthma differs by age and is highest among people aged 45–64 years (20.7%).19

Doctor and Hospital Visits Related to Asthma

  • Each year, asthma causes more than 14 million doctor visits.5
  • About 10.5 million doctor office visits each year result in asthma being the primary diagnosis.2
  • Each year, asthma causes more than 439,000 hospital stays.5,12
  • The average length of stay in a hospital due to asthma is 3.6 days. 6
  • Asthma is the third leading cause of hospital stays in children.6
  • About 1.8 million emergency room visits each year are due to asthma related symptoms.4,12
  • In 2009, 1 in 5 children with asthma went to the emergency room.7

Asthma and Mortality Rates

  • Around 10 Americans die each day from asthma.5
  • In 2014, 3,651 people were reported to have died from asthma.5
  • Women make up almost 65% of asthma related deaths.8
  • Asthma related death rates are on the decline. Since 1999, asthma deaths are down by 26 percent.9
  • Adults are nearly 7x more likely to die from asthma than children.11
  • The asthma death rate is highest for people aged 65 or older.5

Costs Associated With Asthma

  • The estimated economic cost of asthma is $56 billion annually.14
  • In 2008, more than half of children missed school due to their asthma.7
  • In 2013, asthma accounted for more than 13.8 million missed school days for children ages 5 to 17.1, 13
  • In 2008, more than one-third of adults missed work due to their asthma.7
  • Asthma accounts for 14.2 million lost work days for adults.13

Ethnic Groups Affected Most By Asthma

  • Puerto Ricans have the highest rate of asthma compared to all other ethnic groups.6
  • About 3 million Hispanics in the United States have asthma. 6
  • 1 in 6 African American children have asthma and this number is on the rise. 7
  • African Americans are 3x more likely to die from asthma.7
  • African American women are more likely to die from asthma than any other group.8
  • 16% of African American children have asthma compared to 8% of white children.4
  • In 2011, African-Americans had a 47% higher rate for asthma than for whites.4

If you or someone you live with has asthma, you may want to consider getting an air purifier for your home. Air purifiers help clean the air from the toxins that trigger asthma symptoms. You can learn about all of the benefits air purifiers have for asthmatics and find out what the best HEPA air purifier for asthma is here.


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[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma.
[2] National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma. 2014.
[3] National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. Asthma.
[4] United States Environmental Protection Agency. Asthma Facts. March 2013.
[5] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most Recent Asthma Data. National Data/State Data. 2013.
[6] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Surveillance of Asthma: United States, 2001-2010.
[7] Heron M, Hoyert D, Murphy S, etc. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Vital Statistics Reports. Death: Final Data for 2006. 2009 April;57(14).
[8] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. CDC Wonder On-line Database, 1999-2009. 2012. Series 20. No 20.
[9] Trend in Mortality and Morbidity. American Lung Association. September 2012.
[10] Barnett S and Numagambetov T. Costs of asthma in the United States: 2002-2007. JACI. 2011 Jan:127(1);145-152. DOI.
[11] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma Facts: CDC’s National Asthma Control Program Grantees. 2013 July.
[12] FastStats – Asthma (CDC)
[13] AsthmaStats – Asthma-related Missed School Days among Children aged 5-17 Years (CDC)
[14] Asthma Management and the Allergist: Better Outcomes at Lower Cost (ACAAI)
[15] Asthma Society of Canada
[16] Everyday Health
[17] Akinbami LJ, Fryar CD. Asthma prevalence by weight status among adults: United States, 2001-2014. NCHS data brief, no 239. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2016.
[18] World Health Organization. Global surveillance, prevention and control of chronic respiratory diseases: a comprehensive approach, 2007.
[19] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Work-related Asthma in 22 States. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2015; 64: 13: 343.