Diabetes mellitus is a leading cause of mortality and reduced life expectancy. We aim to estimate the burden of diabetes by type, year, regions, and socioeconomic status in 195 countries and territories over the past 28 years, which provide information to achieve the goal of World Health Organization Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in 2025. Data were obtained from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Overall, the global burden of diabetes had increased significantly since 1990. Both the trend and magnitude of diabetes related diseases burden varied substantially across regions and countries. In 2017, global incidence, prevalence, death, and disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) associated with diabetes were 22.9 million, 476.0 million, 1.37 million, and 67.9 million, with a projection to 26.6 million, 570.9 million, 1.59 million, and 79.3 million in 2025, respectively. The trend of global type 2 diabetes burden was similar to that of total diabetes (including type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes), while global age-standardized rate of mortality and DALYs for type 1 diabetes declined. Globally, metabolic risks (high BMI) and behavioral factors (inappropriate diet, smoking, and low physical activity) contributed the most attributable death and DALYs of diabetes. These estimations could be useful in policy-making, priority setting, and resource allocation in diabetes prevention and treatment.