Minorities & Donation

Some diseases of the kidney, heart, lung, pancreas and liver are found more frequently in minority groups than in the general population. As a result, people from these minority groups tend to have a particularly high need for organ transplants.

Although organs are not matched by race or ethnicity, everyone who is waiting for an organ transplant will have a better chance of receiving one if there are large numbers of donors from their racial and ethnic background. This is because compatible blood and tissue types are more likely to be found among members of the same ethnicity. That is why it is especially important for people from minority groups to sign up for organ and tissue donation.

Organ and Tissue Donation Statistics for African-Americans

  • 13% of the population is African-American.
  • 30% of those currently waiting for a life-saving organ transplant are African-American.
  • 33% of patients awaiting kidney transplant are African-American.
  • 22% of all transplant recipients are African-American.
  • 77% of African-American transplant recipients received kidneys.
  • 16% of deceased donors were African-American.

Organ and Tissue Donation Statistics for Hispanics/Latinos

  • 17% of the population is Hispanic/Latino.
  • 19% of patients awaiting a life-saving organ transplant is Hispanic/Latino.
  • 16% of all those who received transplants were Hispanic/Latino.
  • 67% of Hispanic/Latino transplant recipients received kidneys.
  • 20% of Hispanic/Latino transplant recipients received livers.
  • 14% of deceased donors were Hispanic/Latino.

Organ and Tissue Donation Statistics for Asians, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islanders

  • Pacific Islanders are 5 times more likely than Caucasians to be on the organ transplant waiting list.
  • 71% of Asians, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander transplant recipients received kidneys.
  • 19% of Asian, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander transplant recipients received livers.
  • 3% of deceased donors were Asian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

National Minority Donor Awareness Week

Observed in August of each year, National Minority Donor Awareness Week encourages donor registration and promotes healthy living and disease prevention to decrease the need for transplantation among African - Americans and Hispanics. The week’s programs and activities include prayer breakfasts, health walks and donor drives. Learn more about National Minority Donor Awareness Week.

National Minority Organ Tissue Transplant Education Program (MOTTEP®)

National MOTTEP educates ethnic minority Americans about the need for organ, tissue and blood donations to achieve their mission of decreasing the number of minority Americans waiting for transplants. Learn more about National MOTTEP.