HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE HEARING LOSS?
Ross E. Mitchell of the Gallaudet Research Institute, Gallaudet University conducted a Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), one of a few national surveys that regularly collects data identifying the American population of persons with hearing loss or deafness.
Estimates from the SIPP indicate that fewer than 1 in 20 Americans are currently deaf or hard of hearing. In round numbers, nearly 10,000,000 persons are hard of hearing and close to 1,000,000 are functionally deaf.
More than half of all persons with hearing loss or deafness are 65 years or older and less than 4% are under 18 years of age. However, these findings are limited to those who report difficulty hearing “normal conversation” and do not include the larger population of persons with hearing loss for which only hearing outside the range and circumstances of normal conversation is affected. Other statistics estimate 30 to 50 million people in the US have hearing loss.