Indicator 21. Incidence, prevalence, and death rates associated with all forms of TB (MDG Indicator)

Rationale and definition:

Tuberculosis is a curable and preventable disease, but 1.5 million people still died from it in 2013 (out of 9 million infected).1 The incidence rate of tuberculosis is the number of new cases of TB per 100,000 people per year. Prevalence is the number of TB cases in a population at a given point in time per 100,000 people. The TB death rate is the number of deaths caused by TB per 100,000 people in one year. Detecting and curing TB are key interventions for addressing poverty and inequality. Prevalence and deaths are more sensitive markers of the changing burden of tuberculosis than new cases, but data on incidence are more comprehensive and give the best overview of the impact of global tuberculosis control.


Data should be disaggregated by age group, sex, urban/rural, and income, as well as by TB strain, with special attention to drug-resistant varieties. Additionally it should be disaggregated by site of disease (pulmonary/extra-pulmonary), type of laboratory confirmation (usually sputum smear), and history of previous treatment.

Comments and limitations:

To be reviewed.

Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:


Primary data source:

Administrative data from health facilities are the most reliable, but these are rare in developing countries so household surveys are often used.

Potential lead agency or agencies:

WHO is responsible for monitoring this indicator at the international level.2