Skip to content
Weight Loss Made Practical » Weight Loss Lifestyle » Vitamin D Deficiency Statistics (11+ Countries)

Vitamin D Deficiency Statistics (11+ Countries)

Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins. Unfortunately, people with vitamin D deficiencies and insufficiencies are relatively common.

One study from 2014 gathered the data from 195 other studies on the subject and as a result in total 168,000 participants.

About 37.3% of the studies reported 25(OH)D (indicator for vitamin D levels) mean values below 50 nmol/l (<20 ng/mL) which is generally considered to be a vitamin D deficiency level (1).

In simpler words that means that in 37.3% of the studies investigated, the average of the vitamin D levels of the participants is considered to be at a vitamin D deficiency level.

For the other 62.7% of the studies that just means the average vitamin D levels were not considered to be deficient. That means still many vitamin D deficiencies and insufficiencies.

Low levels of vitamin D can lead to weak bones, bad mood, decrease in cognitive performance, fatigue, etc. The right levels of vitamin D can in turn offer valuable benefits.

The rest of this article also looks at the percentage of vitamin D deficiencies of certain popular continents and countries specifically.

Keep in mind that these percentages are estimations for the entire population of the mentioned area. For reader-friendliness, this article will use the terms 25(OH)D and vitamin D levels interchangeably.

Certain factors like how old you are, how dark your skin is, how high your fat percentage is, how nutritious your diet is, etc. compared to the rest of the population influence your risk for vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency.

Additionally, something to keep in mind is that these studies will be done at different times in the year. In the winter, vitamin D levels are generally lower.

Vitamin D deficiency in America

We did not find any statistics that collected the data on vitamin D deficiency in only countries from the continent America.

However, there are a good number of studies looking at the data for separate countries. You can find some of these below.

Unites States

One study looking at data from 15,652 individuals during 2007-2010 estimates that 42.9% of the US population they investigated had vitamin D levels below 50 nmol/l (<20 ng/mL) (2). This is generally considered to be vitamin D deficient.

This publication also observed seasonal differences for low vitamin D levels with winters having more low levels.

For example, they observed that for the Non-Hispanic blacks in the investigation, 30% had low vitamin D levels (<30 nmol/L) in the winter compared with 17% in the summer months.

Canada

One study tried to combine the data from two vitamin D level measurement cycles in Canada from 2007-2009 and 2009-2011 with in total 11,336 participants in an objective way.

They estimated that about 36.8% of the Canadians in this sample were vitamin D deficient (25(OH)D <50 nmol/L) (3).

Mexico

On publication from Mexico measured that about 9.8% of their adults had a vitamin D deficiency (25(OH)D <50 nmol/L) and that 20% had insufficient vitamin D levels (25-OH-D 50 < 75 nmol/L) (4).

This same study measured that 24% of the preschool children were vitamin D deficient and 30% had insufficient levels. When it came to school-aged children, 10% were deficient and 18% insufficient.

Lastly, 8% of the adolescent Mexicans were vitamin D deficient and 23% were insufficient.

These statistics are from 2006 data and included 3161 individuals in total.

Brazil

One study from Brazil investigated the vitamin D levels of 603 adults right after the winter of 2006. In this sample, the median s25(OH)D was 21.4 ng/mL (53.5 nmol/L). 77% of the participants had hypovitaminosis D (<30 ng/ml and thus <75 nmol/L ) (5).

In simpler words that means at least half of the participants were insufficient in vitamin D with likely a good number of people that were deficient too.

From the initial participants, 209 individuals were measured again after the following summer. In this second set of data the median s25(OH)D was 34 ng/mL (85 nmol/L). “Only” 37.3% of the participants still had hypovitaminosis D.

Puerto Rico

One small study in Puerto Rico with 45 participants measured a vitamin D deficiency in 43.1% of the individuals and insufficiency in 45.1% of the individuals (6).

In total, that is 88.2% of the participants that were at least insufficient in vitamin D.

Vitamin D deficiency in Oceania

Similar to America, we did not find any studies that collected the data on vitamin D deficiency in just the countries from the continent Oceania.

However, there are a good number of studies looking at the vitamin D deficiency statistics for separate countries. Especially Australia and New Zealand. You can find some of these below.

Australia

A study looked at the vitamin D level data from 5034 Australian individuals from the 2011-2013 Australian Health Survey.

They concluded that 20% of participants (19% men and 21% women) were vitamin D deficient. Additionally, 43% were insufficient (45% men and 42% women) (7).

Some of the typical risk factors for vitamin D deficiency they found were being born in a country other than Australia or the main English-speaking countries, living farther away from the equator (south for Australia), being assessed during winter or spring, being obese, smoking (women only), having low physical activity levels and not taking vitamin D or Ca (calcium) supplements.

New Zealand

A report with 3099 individuals with data from 2008-2009 measured that 4.9% of the participants were deficient in vitamin D. Additionally, 27.1% had vitamin D levels considered insufficient (8).

Similar to many of the other statistics in this article, they found that time of the year and obesity influenced vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D deficiency in Europe

One publication from 2016 looked at the data from 14 studies for a total of 55,844 European individuals. They measured that about 13.0% of these European individuals were vitamin D deficient on average in the year (9).

The difference in time of the year was also calculated. They estimate that about 17.7% was deficient during the extended winter and 8.3% during the summer.

Additionally, about 40.4% of the participants were considered to have insufficient vitamin D levels.

That being said, Europe is made up of many different countries. The study above does not include a variety of areas because there is simply no good data available about them.

You can find more specific vitamin D deficiency statistics for certain European countries or areas below.

United Kingdom

A report looked at the data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey from the years 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2012.

From the data, they concluded that 24.0% of men aged 19 to 64 years, 16.9% of men aged 65 years and over, 21.7% of women aged 19 to 64 years, and 24.1% of women aged 65 years and over had a 25-OHD concentration below 25nmol/L (10).

Remember that blood levels below 50nmol/l (<20 ng/mL) are already considered a vitamin D deficiency.

A different study looked at the vitamin D levels of 7437 white British individuals at the age of 45 years. They measured that in the winter months, 25(OH)D concentrations of <25, <40, and <75 nmol/L were found in 15.5%, 46.6%, and 87.1% of participants, respectively (11).

During the summer and fall, these proportions went down to 3.2%, 15.4%, and 60.9%. That means that even in the summer and fall, 60.9% of these white British individuals had vitamin D levels considered to be insufficient.

Something else to remember is that people with darker skin tend to have lower vitamin D levels.

Germany

One publication gathered the data from two big studies on vitamin D deficiency in Germany (12, 13) with in total 6,995 participants.

They calculated that about 60.8% of these Germans were considered to be deficient in vitamin D (14). In total, 88.3% of the participants had vitamin D levels considered to be insufficient.

Vitamin D deficiency in Asia

One publication collected the data from 472 studies from January 2009 to January 2021 with in total 746,564 participants. They calculated that about 57.69% of the Asian participants had a vitamin D deficiency (15).

Additionally, in total 76.85% of the Asian participants had vitamin D levels considered to be insufficient.

Asia is the biggest continent so there are also studies that gather data and statistics only from certain parts of this continent.

One example of this is a study that gathered the data of South-Asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indian, Nepal, and Sri Lanka with in total 44,717 participants. They calculated that about 68% had a vitamin D deficiency (16).

India

The big analysis from the South-Asian countries also gathered the data from the countries mentioned separately. For India, they concluded that about 67% of the individuals had a vitamin D deficiency (16).

Japan

A small study in Japan with 107 participants measured vitamin D levels both in the summer and winter. In the summer about 47.7% had vitamin D levels considered to be vitamin D deficient. In the winter this went up to 82.2% (17).

Vitamin D deficiency in Africa

One meta-analysis from 2020 collected the data from 129 studies with in total 21 474 participants from 23 African countries investigated how common vitamin D deficiency was in Africa.

They concluded that 34.22% of the participants had vitamin D levels considered to be deficient and 59.54% of the participants had insufficient vitamin D levels (18).

nv-author-image

Matt Claes

Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.