Prevalence of Cleft Lip & Cleft Palate

Craniofacial defects such as cleft lip and cleft palate are among the most common of all birth defects. They can occur as an isolated condition, or may be one component of an inherited disease or syndrome. The lifetime cost of treating the children born each year with cleft lip or cleft palate is estimated to be $697 million.

Table 1: Average prevalence of cleft lip and palate and number of births affected by these defects each year United States, 2004 to 2006

  Prevalence* Annual Number of Cases
Cleft Palate Only 6.35 2,651
Cleft lip with or without cleft palate 10.63 4,437

* Prevalence per 10,000 live births

Source: The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN).
2004 to 2006 cleft lip and palate data collected from 14 states (Arkansas, Arizona, California [8-county Central Valley], Colorado, Georgia [5-county metropolitan Atlanta], Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Utah, representing 4,038,506 live births and adjusted for race-specific distribution.

Last Reviewed
July 2018