Global Nursing Numbers

Did you ever wonder how many nurses there are in the world? Well, there are 19.3 million nurses and midwives according to the World Health Organization's World Health Statistics Report, 2011. Global numbers and nurses in English speaking countries are presented in the tables below. [The numbers in ( ) show percent changes from 2009, and actual N per population in the 2009 report].
 

Region

 Number of Nurses

 N per 10,000 Population

 Africa

 805,000 (+1.6%)

 11 (11) 

 Americas

 5,259,000 (+28.4%)

 61 (49)

 South-East Asia

 2,224,000 (+13.7%) 

 13 (12)

 Europe

 6,620,000 (-0.6%) 

 75 (79)

 Eastern Mediterranean

 870,000 (+18.4%) 

 15 (15)

 Western Pacific

 3,600,000 (+5.4%) 

 20 (20) 

 Total

19,380,000 (+9.8%)

 30 (28) 

 

Numbers of nurses in English speaking countries:

 Country

 Number of Nurses

 N per 10,000 Population

 Australia

 201,000 (+6.9%) 

 96 (97)

 Canada

 350,000 (-1.8%)

 101 (101)

 India

 1,431,000 (+4.3%) 

 13 (13)

 New Zealand

 44,000 (+33.3%) 

 108 (89) 

 Philippines

 488,000 (+1.4%) 

 60 (61)

 South Africa

 184,000 (0%)

 41 (41) 

 United Kingdom

 621,000 (-16.1%) 

 103 (128)

 United States of America

 2,927,000 (+9.6%) 

 98 (94) 

 Total

 6,223,000 (+13.7%)

 

The number of nurses in each country can vary somewhat due to different dates and definitions used. Here are some more recent statistics on nurses in Canada and the United States:

Canada (2013, Canadian Institute for Health Information)

  • 296,000 RNs (Registered Nurses)
  • 106,400 LPNs (Licensed Practical Nurses)
  • 5,600 RPNs (Registered Psychiatric Nurses)

United States (2012, US Bureau of Labour Statistics)

  • 2.71 million RNs
  • 738,400 LPNs / LVNs
  • 1.53 million nursing assistants and orderlies

For more information on the numbers of nurses in various countries, view the World Health Organization's World Health Statistics, 2013.