Hearing loss statistics in the UK

It is estimated that there are approximately 11 million people in this country with a hearing loss which makes it the second most common disability in the UK.

However, as an invisible disability, it so often goes unnoticed, making it easier for those living with hearing loss to be ignored or forgotten.

  • 1 in 6 of the UK adult population is affected by hearing loss.
  • 8 million of these are aged 60 and over.
  • 6.7 million could benefit from hearing aids but only about 2 million people use them.
  • About 900,000 people are severely or profoundly deaf.
  • About 12,000 people in the UK use cochlear implants.
  • Many people with hearing loss also have tinnitus which affects 1 in 10 adults. They may also have balance difficulties.
  • Hearing loss is associated not only with mental health conditions (see below) but also with numerous physical health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, anaemia, chronic kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnea, balance problems and an increased risk of falls.

*Fact and figures from Hearing Link

1 in 6 people in the UK are affected by some level of hearing loss

Deafness employment statistics UK

At least 4.4 million people with hearing loss are of working age.

The employment rate for those with hearing loss is 65%, compared to 79% of people with no long-term health issue or disability.

On average, people with hearing loss are paid £2,000 less per year than the general population; this amounts to £4 billion per year in lost income across the UK.

Recent estimates suggest that the UK economy loses £25 billion a year in lost productivity and unemployment due to hearing loss.

Research in 2014 on the experience of people with hearing loss and employment found that:

  • Almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents felt that their employment opportunities were limited because of their hearing loss.
  • 70% agreed that their hearing loss sometimes prevented them from fulfilling their potential at work.
  • Just over two-thirds (68%) agreed that they sometimes felt isolated at work because of their hearing loss.
  • Two-fifths (41%) had retired early due to the impact of their hearing loss and struggles with communication at work.

2 million people in the UK are hearing aid users, an additional 6 million could benefit from using one

These facts and figures are from the Hearing Link website which is a great source of information. Have a look at their website.