Estimated Worldwide Number of People Who Inject Drugs
"The UNODC/WHO/UNAIDS/World Bank joint estimate of the number of PWID in 2016 is 10.6 million (range: 8.3 million to 14.7 million), corresponding to 0.22 per cent (range: 0.17 to 0.30 per cent) of the global population aged 15–64 years. This estimate is based on the most recent and highest quality information currently available to UNODC. It does not imply that there has been a change in the global number of PWID compared with those published in previous editions of the World Drug Report. Based on data from 107 countries, the estimate covers 88 per cent of the global population aged 15–64 years.
"The extent of injecting drug use is less certain or unknown in some subregions due to the paucity of data: in the Caribbean, information is available only for Puerto Rico; for all of Oceania, there are data for Australia and New Zealand only; while for Africa, data are available for countries comprising 58 per cent of the population aged 15–64 years, and for the Near and Middle East, only 17 per cent of that population.
"The subregions where the largest numbers of PWID reside are Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, with 17 per cent of the global total number of PWID and where the prevalence of injecting drug use is highest at 3.8 times the global average; North America, with 17 per cent of the global total of PWID and where the prevalence of injecting drug use is 2.5 times the global average; and East and South-East Asia, with 30 per cent of the global total of PWID, but where the prevalence of injecting drug use is relatively low
and is below the global average.
"Almost half of all PWID worldwide in 2016 were estimated to reside in just three countries: China, the Russian Federation and the United States. Although these three countries combined account for just 27 per cent of the global population aged 15–64 years, together they are home to 45 per cent of the world’s PWID, an estimated 4.8 million people."