Common Types of STDs: Statistics by State

Health, Medical Costs
Common Types of STDs: Statistics by State

People don’t often discuss sexually transmitted diseases openly, so their prevalence is not widely known. However, when it comes to certain STDs, that information is available.

An estimated 20 million infections are sexually transmitted each year in the United States, many of which are never reported or treated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sexually transmitted diseases account for about $16 billion annually in health care costs, according to the CDC.

The Prevalence of STDs

The three most common sexually transmitted diseases reported to the CDC are chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. Chlamydia is by far the most common STD, with more than 1.4 million cases reported in 2013, followed by gonorrhea, of which there were 330,000 cases. There were 17,000 cases of syphilis reported. However, since the symptoms of syphilis may not show up for years after infection, experts suspect many more unreported cases exist.

That tells part of the picture, but incidence rates of STDs vary widely by state. For example, gonorrhea is 20 times more prevalent in Georgia than it is in New Hampshire, per capita. Here’s the full ranking of states from most STDs to least, for chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. Following that are the actual prevalence rates in each state, reported as incidents per 100,000 population.

STD Prevalence by state

Rank State Chlamydia Rate (per 100,000) Chlamydia Rank Gonorrhea Rate (per 100,000) Gonorrhea Rank Syphilis Rate (per 100,000) Syphilis Rank Score
1 Louisiana 597.9 4 194 2 7.4 3 9
2 Mississippi 774.0 1 231 1 5.0 11 13
3 Georgia 534.0 8 156 5 9.5 1 14
4 Alabama 637.6 3 193 3 4.5 15 21
5 South Carolina 580.2 5 163 4 4.8 13 22
6 Arkansas 565.4 7 147 7 5.9 9 23
7 Illinois 526.1 9 141 10 6.2 8 27
8 Texas 494.8 13 127 13 6.3 6 32
9 New York 516.5 11 116 16 6.3 7 34
10 North Carolina 524.0 10 148 6 3.6 24 40
11 Tennessee 507.9 12 142 9 4.2 19 40
12 New Mexico 571.4 6 90 23 4.9 12 41
13 Maryland 455.3 21 98 22 7.4 4 47
14 California 444.9 23 89 25 7.8 2 50
15 Delaware 489.2 14 99 20 4.2 17 51
16 Ohio 460.3 20 143 8 3.7 23 51
17 Florida 407.4 32 102 18 7.2 5 55
18 Michigan 481.6 15 127 12 3.0 29 56
19 Missouri 463.1 18 131 11 2.6 31 60
20 Alaska 755.8 2 101 19 1.5 41 62
21 Pennsylvania 431.6 26 121 14 3.9 22 62
22 Indiana 452.7 22 113 17 3.4 26 65
23 Arizona 469.6 17 90 24 3.1 28 69
24 Oklahoma 444.2 24 117 15 2.2 35 74
25 Virginia 431.8 25 85 27 3.5 25 77
26 South Dakota 476.2 16 86 26 2.2 36 78
27 Nevada 408.9 31 83 29 4.1 20 80
28 Kentucky 395.3 33 98 21 3.4 27 81
29 Colorado 422.7 28 55 37 4.1 21 86
30 Rhode Island 410.3 30 48 39 4.2 18 87
31 Hawaii 461.2 19 59 35 1.7 37 91
32 Oregon 347.5 42 38 43 5.5 10 95
33 Washington 360.1 40 47 40 4.4 16 96
34 Massachusetts 357.5 41 40 42 4.8 14 97
35 Wisconsin 415.4 29 82 30 1.6 39 98
36 Iowa 371.5 36 66 33 2.3 33 102
37 New Jersey 309.2 44 85 28 2.6 32 104
38 North Dakota 425.2 27 49 38 0.6 47 112
39 Connecticut 364.9 39 60 34 1.5 40 113
40 Minnesota 337.8 43 58 36 2.2 34 113
41 Nebraska 366.2 38 78 32 0.4 48 118
42 Kansas 387.8 34 78 41 0.8 45 120
43 New Hampshire 233.0 50 11 47 2.7 30 127
44 Idaho 287.1 45 11 49 1.6 38 132
45 Montana 383.4 35 11 48 0.2 50 133
46 Wyoming 370.0 37 8 50 0.7 46 133
47 Utah 270.3 47 17 45 1.5 42 134
48 Vermont 275.2 46 16 46 1.0 44 136
49 Maine 257.0 49 34 44 1.3 43 136
50 West Virginia 258.2 48 45 41 0.4 49 138

All STD rate data are 2013 figures obtained from the CDC; this page has been updated to reflect the most current statistics. States were ranked according to disease prevalence, and then the overall score was determined by adding together ranks for all three diseases. Lower total scores indicate better states for STD rates.


Gloved hands photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

  • Did you find this article helpful?
  • yes   no