Allergy Statistics and Facts


Medically Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar, MD on December 12, 2021

How many people in the U.S. are allergic — to ragweed pollen, cat dander, or food? What sort of impact do allergies have on society? What about asthma? Here’s a rundown of some of the most important allergy statistics — based on the best available data.


  • Percentage of adults who have allergies in the U.S.: 30%
  • Percentage of children who have allergies in the U.S.: 40%.
  • More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies each year.
  • Rank of  allergies among other leading chronic diseases in the U.S.: 6th.
  • One estimate of the annual cost of allergies to the  health care system and businesses in the U.S.: $18 billion.
  • Odds that a child with one allergic parent will develop allergies: 30% to 50%.
  • Odds that a child with two allergic parents will develop allergies: 60% to 80%.
  • Number of weeks by which the ragweed pollen season increased between 1995 and 2015 in U.S. and Canada, likely because of global warming: From 1 to 3 1/2.
  • Number of people who visit the ER each year because of food allergies: 200,000.
  • Percentage of the people in the U.S. who have a  food allergy: roughly 11% of adults and 71/2% of children.
  • Average amount of time that Americans spend indoors: 90%. 
  • Percentage of indoor pollutants in U.S. homes versus outdoor pollution: 2 to 5 times higher.
  • Percentage of U.S. households with one or more dogs (2017-18): 48%.
  • Percentage of U.S. households with one or more cats: (2017-18) 38%.
  • Percentage of all U.S. households with detectable levels of dog and cat allergens: 90%.
  • Percentage of children in the U.S. that have  asthma: 7%.
  • Percentage of adults in the U.S. that have asthma: 8%.
  • Total number of Americans that have asthma: More than 25 million.
  • Percentage of white children in the U.S. with asthma: 7.5%.
  • Percentage of African-American children in the U.S. with asthma: 13.5%.
  • Number of emergency room visits for asthma each year: 1.8 million.
  • Number of deaths each year in the U.S. from asthma: About 3,500.
  • Percentage of children in 2018 diagnosed with hay fever: 7.2%.
  • Percentage of children in 2018 who reported skin allergies (eczema, hives) in previous 12 months: 9.2 million. 
  • Percentage of children in 2018 who reported food allergies in previous 12 months: 6.5% or 4.8 million.
  • Percentage of adults in 2018 who reported hay fever in previous 12 months: 7.7%.

Show Sources

SOURCES: American Academy of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology. American Lung Association. Asthma and Allergy Foundation. CDC. American Pet Products Association; 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey. EPA. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Jay M. Portnoy, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI); chief, section of allergy, asthma and immunology, Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics in Kansas City, Mo.

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