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Over 12 million people in the US reported having hearing difficulty in 2022, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. An additional 1.76 million Americans had a hearing disability that year than in 2010 — a 17% increase, and more than double the rate at which the US population grew over the same period (8%). Between 2010 and 2022, the share of the population with hearing difficulty increased from 3.4% to 3.7%.

In 2022, 63.5% of Americans with hearing disabilities were ages 65 and over. Age is the strongest predictor of hearing loss, and the elderly population is growing.

How many Americans use a hearing aid?

Slightly more than 4% of all Americans reported using a hearing aid in 2022, according to the National Health Interview Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among adults ages 18 years and over, 24.4% with hearing loss used a hearing aid. The Department of Health and Human Services has set a goal to increase the use of hearing aids by 2030.

What are the challenges for American hearing?

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at the National Institutes for Health (NIDCD) reports on factors affecting hearing loss and reports mixed trends about American hearing. New cases of work-related hearing loss are on the decline. But NIDCD reports that up to three of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a detectable level of hearing loss, and the Department of Health and Human Services recommends that infant hearing loss evaluations increase nationwide. NIDCD also reports hearing loss occurs earlier in men than in women — 32% of men suffer hearing loss onset between age 20-39, versus 20% of women in the same age group.

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American Community Survey
National Health Interview Survey