In this section we have collected surveys about the prevalence of hearing loss in different countries and we present an overview of the conditions and regulations governing the dispensing of hearing aids in different countries, mainly in Europe and North America.
The WHO estimates in its 2021 World Report on Hearing that 1.5 billion people globally live with some degree of hearing loss. By 2050, the WHO estimates that nearly 2.5 billion people will be living with some degree of hearing loss and that at least 700 million of these will require rehabilitation services. This means that 1 in 4 people is projected to have hearing problems by 2050.
Surveys carried out in various European countries show the number of adult Europeans with a hearing impairment great enough to adversely affect their daily lives to be 16%. Another study carried out in Germany, England and France reveals that, when asked, one in eight adult Europeans actually said that they have a hearing loss.
Recent research into hearing loss prevalence in North America has shown that 35 million Americans are affected by hearing loss. In Australia, the prevalence of hearing loss is quite similar to the figures that can be found in Europe.
It is difficult to find data about the prevalence of hearing loss in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
The number of people with hearing loss is steadily increasing, according to several studies. The causes are our noisy lifestyle and increased age.
Receiving hearing aids
The conditions for receiving hearing aids vary from one country to the other. In most countries the purchasing and dispensing of hearing aids is a private matter. However, in some of these countries, hard of hearing people are eligible for a public subsidy which covers all or some of the costs involved. In other countries the dispensing of hearing aids is mainly undertaken by the public authorities.