Who is affected by type 2 diabetes

The number of people who have diabetes is growing quickly. Experts predict that the number of people who have the disease will double from 171 million in 2000 to 366 million in 2030.1 In the United States alone, approximately 23.6 million people have diabetes. Of those, it is estimated that 90% to 95% have type 2 diabetes.2

  • The risk of type 2 diabetes increases with age.
  • Type 2 diabetes is more common in African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders than in whites.

Children with type 2 diabetes

The number of children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is increasing.

  • Until recently, the only type of diabetes that was common in children was type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes has become much more common in children.
  • Most children who have type 2 diabetes have a family history of diabetes, are overweight, and are not very physically active.
  • In children, type 2 diabetes usually develops around puberty.


It is estimated that in the United States at least 57 million adults have prediabetes.2


  1. American Diabetes Association (2005). Physical activity, cardiovascular risk factors, and mortality among Finnish adults with diabetes. Diabetes Care, 28(Suppl 4): 799–805.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2008). National Diabetes Fact Sheet. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Available online: http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2007.pdf.

Last Updated: July 15, 2009

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