National Minority Donor Awareness Week Begins Today

Today, August 1, starts National Minority Donor Awareness Week, to increase awareness of the need for more organ, eye, and tissue donors, especially among minorities.  56% of those persons on the donor waiting list are minorities.

organ donor statistics One organ donor can save 8 lives and a tissue donor impacts up to 50 lives.  Someone is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes.  Each day an average of 79 people receive organ transplants while an average of 18 people die waiting for transplants.

The need for additional minority donors is affected by a disproportionate demand due to higher incidences of diseases resulting in the need for an organ transplant. The table below illustrates the disparity.   

organ donor statistics African Americans comprise 13% of the population; however they represent 34% of those waiting for a kidney, and 22% waiting for a heart.  Similarly, Hispanics/Latinos comprise 16% of the population, but equate to 19% of those waiting for a kidney, and 17% waiting for a liver.  Asians are 5½ times more likely than Caucasians to develop hepatitis B and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders are 7 times more likely to develop chronic liver disease and 3 times more likely to develop diabetes. 

Even though race/ethnicity is not the deciding factor in matching organs there is a higher likelihood of someone waiting for an organ transplant receiving one if there are large numbers of donors from their racial/ethnic background. This is because the critical qualities of compatible blood types and tissue markers are more likely to be found among members of the same ethnicity.

organ donor statistics Data based on information found on

May 2013-Composition of the Organ Donor Waiting List

Percentage of deceased donors for 2012

Difference between need and availability of same race donors

44% Caucasian

66% Caucasian

22% more than needed

30% African American

17% African American

13% less than needed

18% Hispanic/Latino

13% Hispanic/Latino

5% less than needed

7% Asian/Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander

3% Asian/Native Hawaiian/other Pacific Islander

4% less than needed


organ donor statistics According to the United Network for Organ Sharing ( waiting list of candidates as of 7/29/2013 at 12:27pm:



















*All candidates will be less than the sum due to candidates waiting for multiple organs

> More about African Americans and organ donation
> More about Asians, and Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders and organ donation
> More about Hispanics/Latinos and organ donation
> Learn about National Minority Donor Awareness Week