Deceased donor factors associated with poor graft outcome are well known, but how often these factors lead to livers left untransplanted is poorly defined. A nested, case-control study was conducted using the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database from 1987 to 2005. Only those donating ≥1 solid organ were included. Primary outcome was livers not transplanted (LNT, cases) versus transplanted (LT, controls). Primary variables for multivariate analysis were donor age and obesity. Covariates included donation after cardiac death (DCD), cerebral vascular accident death, viral serologies, cancer, ALT and bilirubin. There were 23 373 (26%) LNT's from 91 362 donors who donated at least one organ. Percent LNT fell over time (1987–1990: 48%; 1991–1995: 29%; 1996–2000: 21%; 2000–2005: 16%; p < 0.01). Increased age (odds ratio: 4.2, 95% confidence interval 3.6–4.9, p < 0.01) and obesity (2.1, 1.9–2.3, p < 0.01) were significantly associated with LNT across all time periods. Other significant factors included DCD and elevated ALT. For 2001–2005, population attributable risk indicate that age >40, abnormal ALT and obesity account for 32.6%, 25.3% and 9.2% of untransplanted livers, respectively. Use of expanded criteria livers has pushed LNT lower in spite of an aging and heavier donor population. Nevertheless, age and obesity still account for a significant portion of untransplanted livers.