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Prevalence of deafness and hearing loss

  • One in five adults in the UK are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus. 
  • 12 million adults in the UK are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus. That is roughly 10.1 million people in England, 1 million people in Scotland, 610,000 people in Wales and 320,000 people in Northern Ireland.
  • In the UK more than 40% of over 50s have hearing loss, rising to 70% of over 70s.  
  • By 2035, we estimate there’ll be around 14.2 million adults with hearing loss greater than 25 dB HL across the UK.  
  • An estimated 1.2 million adults in the UK have hearing loss severe enough that they would not be able to hear most conversational speech. 


Our hearing loss population estimates and hearing loss population projections are calculated using the most robust data available on the prevalence of hearing loss for different age groups combined with population estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

Read the report on hearing in adults from the MRC National Study of Hearing.

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Page last updated: 4 January 2024

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