Allergies represent a hypersensitive response from the body. Our immune systems simply overreact to certain substances that come into contact with our bodies. Pollen, peanuts, latex, basically—if it provokes an allergic reaction, it’s an allergen.

Sometimes they are just annoying—you get a bit itchy, and you sneeze a lot. Other times you can enter into shock, have your throat closed off, and start suffocating. Allergies are no laughing matter. Being properly informed can sometimes represent the difference between life and death.

We’ve collected some of the key allergy statistics and various facts that might further educate you on allergies themselves. The article below will provide you with an overview of allergies, how widespread they actually are, and how dangerous they can be.

Top Allergy Statistics and Facts to Remember:

  • Roughly 3 out of 10 people in the United States are allergic to both cats and dogs.
  • People are twice as allergic to cats when compared to dogs.
  • Massachusetts, Tennessee, New York, Texas, and Kentucky have the highest pollen concentrations in America.
  • Food allergies in children are on the rise, being at 3.4% in 1997, and reaching 5.1% in 2011.
  • There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog or cat.
  • Around 7.8% of all Americans suffer from hay fever.
  • Despite widespread reports, there have been only 16 peanut-allergy related deaths in the US since 1996.
  • Around 25 million Americans have asthma.
  • There is research that vitamin D supplements can help with allergies.
  • Climate change is making pollen allergies worse.

Pet Allergy Statistics

1. Around 33% of people with allergies in America are allergic to cats and dogs.

(Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America)

The relevant cat and dog allergy statistics gathered by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America notes that of all the people that have allergies in the United States, more than one-third is allergic to either cats or dogs.

2. Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies.

(Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America)

New cat allergy statistics might help all those fence-sitters that can’t decide whether they are a dog or a cat person. Namely, cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. Furthermore, around 1 in 7 children between the ages of 6 and 19 have problems with cat allergies.

3. You are not allergic to your pet’s hair—but to proteins and dander.

(Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America)

An interesting fact that many people are not aware of is that you are not actually allergic to your pet’s fur or hair. Rather, according to animal allergy statistics and data gathered by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, you actually react to the proteins found in your pet’s saliva, dander, or urine (which is, admittedly, found mostly on its fur).

4. Hypoallergenic breeds of cats and dogs do not exist.

(American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology)

This is a very common myth dispelled by all relevant allergy statistics and data. Namely, there are no hypoallergenic breeds according to the American Academy Of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

Its an interesting pet fact that the dander, what most often causes allergic reactions, of animals, is not affected by shedding, nor by the length of the animal’s fur or hair. However, we should point out that there are breeds that cause less intense reactions. It’s these breeds that are often conflated for actual hypoallergenic pets.

5. Immunotherapy, nasal sprays, and antihistamines can help you with animal allergies just as much as with other issues.

(American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)

Sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, coughing, chest tightness, and hives are all common allergic reactions to animal allergies. However, you won’t have to get rid of your pets just yet. Visit your doctor’s office, and you will definitely get some help when it comes to your allergies.

6. Research points towards birds potentially causing allergies just like other allergenic pets.

(The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology)

A paper published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Allergy points towards birds potentially causing allergies just like other pets do. The relevant pet allergy statistics and data show that feather mites are “clinically-relevant” sources of allergic symptoms for pigeon breeders. Still, conclusive data on whether this is relevant for regular owners who only have one or two birds is yet to be gathered.

7. Core allergic symptoms tied to “regular” pets are the same for “exotic” pets.

(NCBI- Frontiers in Immunology)

One of the more interesting facts about allergies when it comes to pets is that the core symptoms (respiratory issues) that people allergic to regular pets (cats and dogs) feel also occur for people allergic to more exotic pets (lizards and insects).

Food Allergy Statistics and Facts

8. After peanuts, milk, shellfish, and tree nuts are the most common food allergies for children.

(American Academy of Pediatrics)

American Academy of Pediatrics’ food allergy facts and figures point towards the prevalence of food allergies among children in the US. Around 7.6% of kids have a food allergy, and of this number, 2.2% are allergic to peanuts, 1.9% to milk, roughly 1.3% to shellfish, and finally 1.2% to tree nuts group. 

9. Roughly 7% of the population should avoid gluten.

(US NEWS)

Despite how trendy and prevalent gluten avoidance is today, the relevant gluten allergy statistics are pretty clear. Namely, only 1% of the population actually suffers from celiac disease, with another 6% suffering from gluten sensitivity.

10. Lactose intolerance is not the same as allergies to dairy.

(American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology)

Relevant dairy allergy statistics show that almost 2% of children under the age of 16 suffer from dairy allergies. However, this is not lactose intolerance. While lactose intolerance has its own difficult symptoms, milk and dairy allergies can lead to vomiting, hives, and even anaphylaxis.

11. Some food allergies are usually outgrown by adulthood.

(NCBI)

Some food allergy statistics from 2018, which include a large review published by the NCBI, points towards the fact that many food allergies are usually outgrown by the time one reaches adulthood. 

12. North Carolina, New Jersey, Washington DC, and Connecticut claim the highest percentages of food allergies.

(Food Allergy Research & Education)

According to data gathered from medical claim lines in 2016, the states of North Carolina, New Jersey, Washington DC, and Connecticut report the highest food allergies. The relevant food allergy statistics by state from 2009 are different for all states, with the exception of North Dakota remaining in the top 5 for both of these years.

13. The prevalence of food allergies for children has increased from 3.4% in 1997 to 5.1% in 2011.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

According to relevant CDC food allergy statistics, these allergies have risen in the relevant 14-year time frame. Children aged 0 to 17 have seen a 1.7% increase in food allergy prevalence in the United States.

14. Around 2.3% of Americans are allergic to seafood.

(NCBI – Current Gastroenterology Reports)

A large number of people in America are also allergic to seafood. Around 2.3% of the population, or 6.6 million Americans, are allergic to both fish and shellfish.

(Forbes)

Peanut allergy statistics are no joke. Around 0.6% of people are allergic to these legumes. However, thanks to proper education and outreach, only 16 people have died of peanut allergies in the last two decades.

16. There are over 170 foods that cause allergies.

(Food Allergy Research and Education)

Over 170 foods cause allergic reactions, where milk, wheat, crustacean shellfish, fish, eggs, tree nuts, and peanuts are the most common problems in the US. Furthermore, sesame allergies seem to be emerging as well. 

Pollen, Latex, and Other Common Allergy Facts and Stats

17. The World Allergy Organization organizes World Allergy Week every year, in order to raise awareness and to promote research.

(WorldAlergy.org)

The last world allergy week in 2018 was held between the 22nd and the 28th of April, while the one in 2019 was held between the 7th and 13th of April. While the next event has not yet been announced, one can safely assume that it’s going to be sometime in April, once again.

18. Around 7.8% of all Americans over the age of 18 suffer from hay fever.

(Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America)

One of the more relevant allergy facts today is that almost 8% of all Americans suffer from hay fever. So know that you are definitely not alone when it comes to sneezing and itching once spring gets rolling.

19. Massachusetts, Tennessee, New York, Texas, and Kentucky have the highest pollen concentrations in America.

(Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America)

As far as what the worst states for allergies are in the United States, look no further than Texas, Tennessee, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and New York. While of course, the distribution of pollen in these states varies from city to city, and from town to town, the AAFA has information clearly pointing out the places you would want to avoid if you have especially annoying pollen allergies.

20. Latex allergies are more prevalent among health care workers.

(Asthma and allergy foundation of America)

While the relevant allergy statistics from 2019 is not out yet, the newest current data published by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America claims that that less than 1% of Americans have this issue, one needs to note that this number is much higher for people who actually work with this material on a regular basis (mostly health care workers).

21. Child food allergies have cost the US roughly $24.8 billion per year.

(NCBI – JAMA Pediatrics)

Food allergies carry a significant cost to the United States. The estimated cost per child amounts to $4,184 per year. Of these $24.8 billion, $4.3 goes to direct costs (clinician visits, hospitalizations, etc.). The remaining $20.5 billion goes towards opportunity costs, loss of labor and productivity, and other burdens carried by the child’s family.

22. Around 25 million Americans have asthma.

(Asthma and allergy foundation of America)

The relevant asthma statistics show that around 25 million Americans suffer from this condition. Of this number, 7.7% are adults, and 8.4% are children.

23. Severely negative reactions to allergenic foods send someone to the emergency room every 3 minutes.

(Food Allergy Research and Education)

Food allergies can be life-threatening. They severely encumber the US health industry and medical institutions. Among some of the more serious issues is that these allergies are leading to an increase in emergency room visits. 

24. Around 18% of children under the age of 18 in the US suffer from hay fever.

(American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology)

The relevant pollen allergy statistics show that around 18% of all US citizens under the age of 18 suffer from hay fever. Also known as “allergic rhinitis,” hay fever occurs when our immune systems overreact to allergens found in the air.

25. Seasonal allergies are caused by pollen, while perennial allergies occur due to animals, dust mites, and insects.

Relevant perennial and seasonal allergy statistics show that around 7.8% of people have hay fever. However, some only feel it during spring, summer, or early fall, while others suffer year long. The difference is in what causes these issues. Perennial allergies are caused by animals, dust mites, and insects, while seasonal occur because of pollen. Both can also be caused by mold.

26. Immunotherapy is very successful at regulating hay fever.

(American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology)

One of the not so fun facts about allergies for needle-phobics is how useful shots are. Namely, allergy shots can actually reduce hay fever symptoms by up to 85%.

Global Allergy Stats

27. Around 10% to 30% of the entire global population is affected by allergic rhinitis.

(American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology)

A formative book from 2012, which is part of the World Health Organization, states that a huge chunk of the entire population has allergic rhinitis (hay fever).

28. Food allergies are called the “second wave” of the allergy epidemic, with up to 10% of infants being allergic to some kind of food in certain countries.

(NCBI – International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health)

It’s rather difficult to find food allergy statistics that worldwide organizations and research has procured simply because there are too many disparities in the methodologies and reporting among countries. However, the data that has been gathered shows that food allergies do affect most, if not all countries, everywhere.

29. There is research that vitamin D supplements can help with allergies.

(The British Medical Journal)

Furthermore, the evidence gathered by the British Medical Journal purports that vitamin D supplementation can help you with acute respiratory infections and, in turn, with respiratory-based allergies.

30. Around 339 million people all around the world suffer from asthma.

(RTE News)

The relevant allergy statistics worldwide from 2018  show that around 339 million people all across the globe suffer from asthma. This puts them at greater risk of certain respiratory allergies.

31. The most common chronic disease group in Europe is allergies.

(Allergy UK)

According to the most relevant allergy statistics worldwide gathered more than 150 million Europeans battle with allergies on a daily basis. Allergies, as a group, make up the most common chronic diseases in Europe, with an estimation that more than half of the EU will be affected by the end of 2025.

32. Climate change is making pollen allergies worse.

(World Allergy Organization)

One of the more grim facts about allergies is that climate change is making pollen allergy seasons worse. The intensity of allergens is getting higher, and allergen sensitivity itself is rising.

33. Oceania has the highest pollen allergy prevalence rate for children, being at 39.8%.

(World Allergy Organization)

The global prevalence of pollen allergies in children is rather high, with an average of 22.1%. However, there are significant differences between regions, where Northern and Eastern Europe has the lowest rate of pollen allergies (12.3%), while Oceania has the highest, at 39.8%. North America is at 33.3%, Africa at 29.5%, Latin America at 23.7%, and Asia at 23.9%.

FAQs

34. What is the most common allergy?

It is somewhat difficult to determine what is the actual, officially most common allergy around. On one level, you can say that milk is extremely common, affecting 2% to 3% of people. However, it only affects toddlers and babies, with the relevant data showing that 90% of all children simply outgrow it by the time they turn three.

However, in general, you can count on peanuts being the most common allergen, at least in the United States. Still, nuts and eggs are common causes of allergic reactions, as are things like cat hair, dust mites. There are also many people who are allergic to dog saliva as well.

35. What are the 10 most common allergies?

According to the data on allergy percentages today, you can find the most common allergies below, in no particular order:

  • Pollen
  • Penicillin
  • Milk
  • Wheat
  • Latex
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Sulfates
  • Insect stings
  • Animals (hair and saliva)

Note that you will find a great deal of variety in the above allergies. Everyone is different, everybody’s body is different, and so some people might have trouble with eggs, but no issues with penicillin.

36. What percentage of the population has allergies?

Whether it’s something as annoying and difficult as an insect sting allergy, or as ubiquitous as a peanut allergy, it seems allergies are everywhere. More than 50 million Americans, which is roughly 15% of the population, have an allergy.

37. How many people die from allergies each year?

One of the worst and most dangerous aspects of allergies is anaphylaxis (itchy rash, throat swelling, blood pressure drop), as well as complications from reactions to certain medications. According to research analyzing data from 1999 to 2010, there were roughly 3000 deaths in these 12 years, all caused by allergies.

38. What percentage of the population has a latex allergy?

Around 6% of all Americans suffer from some sort of latex allergy. However, health care workers, who are often exposed to latex, report allergy rates of between 8 to 12%.

39. What percentage of the population is allergic to nuts?

The relevant food allergy dataset shows that around 0.5 to 1% of the entire US population is allergic to tree nuts. Now, tree nuts include almonds, Brazil Nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts… Essentially, nuts that grow on trees. However, this number includes all tree nuts. 

Peanuts, on the other hand (which belong to the legume family), account for 0.6% of the US population.

40. Is there any permanent cure for allergies?

Simply put: no. However, you can control your symptoms and your issues to a much greater degree than you would expect. Whether it’s simply getting the right dog dander allergy treatment or learning which foods to avoid.

Things like getting allergy medicine that can lessen your symptoms, or making proper lifestyle changes (like getting a dust-mite-proof cover) can greatly increase your well-being and quality of life if you’re a pet owner with allergy issues, or if you’re living in an area with lots of flowers. Also, there is no specific cure, but sometimes they just disappear by themselves, or you outgrow them. However, there is no pill or treatment that has been completely scientifically proven to work.

41. How many allergies does the average person have?

This is very difficult to tell. However, there is some data available. Around 40% of children, for example, who have food allergies are allergic to several foods, not just one. This isn’t a guarantee that a person who is allergic to some cats will be allergic to dogs as well. 

42. How do you know what you’re allergic to?

While good old trial and error are usually pretty useful, when it comes to allergies the consequences can be highly severe. Your best bet is going to a doctor.

You will be subject to a specific kind of test once you are at the doctor’s office. He or she will most likely use a skin test, where several panels that contain small patches of potential allergens are utilized. These will be placed on your skin for a set amount of time. If your body reacts to these panels, congratulations, you most likely have an allergy to this specific substance.

43. What are severe allergies?

The best way you can differentiate between mild and severe allergies is by observing their symptoms or rather, their severity. Let’s say the pollen count is pretty high on one day. A mild allergic reaction is a runny nose, itchy eyes. Or, you ate something you shouldn’t, and now you have slight nausea and cramping. Severe allergies are a different animal.

Severe allergies can cause severe diarrhea or dehydration. They can also lead to complete swelling of your throat which can then lead to complete obstruction of your breathing and windpipes. Nausea, fatigue, severe blood pressure drops, all of these are part and parcel of severe allergies.

44. Can you all of a sudden become allergic to peanuts?

While most of our allergies show up when we are children, it is highly possible that you can develop an allergy to peanuts later in life. The same goes for most allergies as well. You can wake up one day, and think to yourself “I’m allergic to my dog all of a sudden.“ While the odds of this happening are rather rare, it does happen.

45. Why do so many people have peanut allergies?

While there is no conclusive explanation as to why allergy symptoms and severe allergic reactions are so common when it comes to peanuts, there are some interesting theories floating about. Things like higher hygiene levels in our society have led to stronger immune systems. However, this has also lead to the body overreacting to certain food proteins (like those found in peanuts). 

46. What food allergies can children outgrow?

This varies greatly from child to child, but yes, it is possible to outgrow a food allergy. However, the odds of them outgrowing an allergy depend on the food itself, and the severity of their usual reactions. So, a child that can handle baked goods that contain milk or eggs has a good shot of outgrowing allergies to both later in life.

Shellfish allergies are usually for life, while tree nut and peanut allergies are somewhere in the middle. Around 14% to 20% of children don’t have these allergies later in life.

46. How do I get rid of sinus allergies permanently?

You can’t truly get rid of allergies in general, except in very rare circumstances where you outgrow them. However, you can mitigate and minimize their symptoms. Antihistamines and other allergy medications are your best bet to at least get things under control.

48. Do allergies go away with exposure?

There is no known scientific evidence that shows allergies getting better through continual exposure to the allergy trigger. However, there is some data claiming that exposure to pets at a young age might reduce the occurrence of allergies in later life to a substantial degree.

Conclusion

The above-mentioned allergy statistics and facts are hopefully useful for anyone who wants to learn more about their prevalence today. You should now have a somewhat clearer idea of allergies themselves, to what extent you can deal with them and, above all, their significant impact upon people. Whether we are dealing with a food-based allergen, or if one of our furry friends is causing some trouble, staying safe is vital. Consult your doctor, see if you can get an allergen test and if you need to, and always carry the right medication with you.

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