National Statistics

All reported statistics on this page are based on the National Health Interview Survey, which collects data on a broad range of health topics through personal household interviews with US adults.

Arthritis Prevalence

During 2019 – 2021, about 1 in 5 US adults (21.2%) or about 53.2 million people had doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Arthritis was (age-adjusted):

  • More common among women (20.9%) compared to men (16.3%)2
  • More common among veterans (24.2%) than non-veterans (18.5%)2
  • Less common among adults with a college degree or higher (15.3%) than those with some college (20.3%), high school (20.2%), or less than high school education (20.3%)2
  • Arthritis prevalence increased with age2
Arthritis-Attributable Limitations
  • Arthritis can have substantial impacts on function. About 44.0% of adults with doctor-diagnosed arthritis had limitations in their usual activities due to their arthritis, based on 2016-2018 NHIS data.1
  • Learn more about arthritis-attributable limitations.
Arthritis Prevalence by Physical Activity Levels
  • Arthritis prevalence was highest among adults reporting no leisure time physical activity (30.9%) compared to those who are insufficiently active (27.0%) or who meet physical activity recommendations (18.8%).1
  • Arthritis symptoms can be a barrier to physical activity, and inactivity among people with arthritis is associated with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and functional limitations. However, regular physical activity can be an important way to reduce pain, improve function, and manage symptoms for people with arthritis and other chronic conditions.
  • Learn more about the importance of physical activity on our physical activity for arthritis page.
  1. Theis KA, Murphy LB, Guglielmo D, et al. Prevalence of arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation — United States, 2016–2018. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2021;70:1401–1407. doi:
  2. Fallon EA, Boring MA, Foster AL, et al. Prevalence of diagnosed arthritis—United States, 2019–2021. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2023;72:1101–1107.
  3. Hootman JM, Helmick CG, Barbour KE, Theis KA, Boring MA. Updated projected prevalence of self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitation among US adults, 2015–2040.  Arthritis & Rheumatol. 2016;68(7):1582–1587. doi: 10.1002/art.39692. PubMed PMID: 27015600.