Category: Statistics

How Many People are Deaf or Hard of Hearing?

As with any disability statistic, it depends who you ask. Here are some statistics from different groups with a brief summary at the end:

From the 2008 American Community Survey (ACS):

In the year 2008, an estimated 3.5 percent (plus or minus 0.03 percentage points) of non-institutionalized, male or female, all ages, all races, regardless of ethnicity, with all education levels in the United States reported a hearing disability.

In other words, 10,393,100 out of 299,852,800 non-institutionalized, male or female, all ages, all races, regardless of ethnicity, with all education levels in the United States reported a hearing disability.

This statistic was gathered in response to the question:

“Is this person deaf or does he/she have serious difficulty hearing?”

Source: The percentage of non-institutionalized, male or female, all ages, all races, regardless of ethnicity, with all education levels in the United States reported a hearing disability in 2008 (filter by Disability Type, “Hearing Disability).

2000-2006 National Health Interview Surveys

In response to the question:

“Which statement best describes your hearing without a hearing aid: good, a little trouble, a lot of trouble, deaf?”

83.7% of adults in the United States report “Good hearing”, 12.9% report “a little trouble hearing” and 3.3% of people report themselves as “Deaf or a lot of trouble hearing”.

Source: Health Disparities Among Adults With Hearing Loss: United States, 2000-2006

From the 2001 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP)

About 8,000,000 people (3.7%) over 5 years of age are hard of hearing (that is, have some difficulty hearing normal conversation even with the use of a hearing aid).

Source: Can you tell me how many deaf people there are in the United States?

Summary

There you go, according to these three survey’s (or at least someone’s interpretation fo the survey data) somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 to 4 percent of people can be classified as “hard of hearing”. Each of the studies goes into more detail on what that means and how their data was gathered.

Something I am missing? Please leave a comment and let me know.