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Hepatitis B Facts and Figures

Hepatitis B is a global public health threat and the world’s most common serious liver infection. It is up to 100 times more infectious than the HIV/AIDS virus. It also is the primary cause of liver cancer (also known as hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC), which is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the world.

globe2Hepatitis B Around the World

    • Two billion people have been infected with the hepatitis B virus (one out of three people).
    • Approximately 1.5 million people become newly infected each year.
    • Almost 300 million people are chronically infected.
    • Approximately 10% of infected individuals are diagnosed.
    • An estimated 820,000 people die each year from hepatitis B and related complications such as liver cancer.¹
    • Approximately two people die each minute from hepatitis B.

USA 513Hepatitis B In the United States

    • Up to 2.4 million people are chronically infected.
    • Rates of acute hepatitis B infection have risen 50%-450% in states impacted by the opioid crisis.
    • For many countries, chronic hepatitis B rates are higher in males than females and have declined over the past three decades, but no consistent pattern is seen between rates for U.S. immigrants and residents. 
    • More than 50% of people living with chronic hepatitis B are of Asian, Pacific Islander or African descent. Hepatitis B and the resulting liver cancer are among the largest health disparities for these groups.
    • The weighted average chronic hepatitis B prevalence for all foreign-born people in the U.S. in 2018 was about 3%. Around 59% of those U.S. residents with chronic hepatitis B in the U.S. in 2018 emigrated from Asia, 19% from the Americas and 15% from Africa.
    • Only 25% of infected individuals are diagnosed.
    • Thousands of people die each year from hepatitis B.


1. In 2019, there were approximately 820 000 [450 000–950 000] people who died from hepatitis B-related causes globally: Web Annex 1. Key data at a glance. In: Global progress report on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections, 2021. Accountability for the global health sector strategies 2016–2021: actions for impact. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2021. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.