Heart failure (HF) is a public health problem of global proportions afflicting more than 25 million patients worldwide. Despite stable or declining per capita hospitalization rates in the USA and several European countries, there are over one million hospitalizations for HF annually in the USA, with similar numbers in Europe, accounting for 6.5 million hospital days and the majority of the approximately $40 billion spent each year on HF-related care. Moreover, clinical trial data suggest that post-discharge survival and readmissions have largely remained unchanged. Thus, understanding geographic and ethnic variations in HF is essential to formulating public policy at the local, national, regional, and international levels and setting the agenda for basic, translational, and clinical research endeavors. This paper aims to describe regional and ethnic variations in patient characteristics, management, and outcomes in hospitalized HF.