How Many People Are Blind In The U.S.? Plus Over 45 Blindness Statistics (2021)!

More than 12 million Americans over the age of 40 have some sort of visual impairment, with 1.3 million legally blind, 3 million who have vision loss after a correction, and 8 million who have an uncorrected refractive error. We'll tackle eye health statistics for the United States in this post as well as much more.

Top Blindness & Eye Health Statistics:

  • Some 1.3 million Americans age 40 and over are legally blind.
  • 12 million people over age 40 have some form of visual damage.
  • Cataracts afflict 24.4 million Americans age 40 and older.
  • One in three people have Astigmatism
  • Over 150 million Americans use glasses or corrective eyewear
  • Only 50.3% of the U.S. adult population has vision insurance
  • An estimated 4.88 million Americans age 50 and older have dry eyes
  • Each year, over one million people visit doctors for an eye infection.
  • About 2.4 million eye injuries occur in the US each year
  • 6.8% of children under the age of 18 are diagnosed with an eye issue.

TABLE OF CONTENTS





Number Of Blind Americans In 2021

How Many People Are Blind In The U.S. Legally?


Approximately 1.3 million Americans aged 40 and older are legally blind, according to the National Federation of the Blind. (Visual acuity in the better-seeing eye is worse than or equal to 20/200.)

What Is The Prevalence Of Color Blindness In The United States?


Approximately 8% of males and 0.5 percent of females among Northern European people have the most common form of color blindness, which makes it difficult to distinguish red or green. This disease is less common in almost all other populations investigated.

Approximately 8% of males and 0.5 percent of females among Northern European people have the most common form of color blindness, which makes it difficult to distinguish red or green. This disease is less common in almost all other populations investigated.

How Many Individuals In The United States Have Low Vision?


More than 2.9 million individuals in the United States, aged 40 years old and older, have low vision. ( Visual acuity worse than 20/40; this number does not include those who are legally blind.)

Number Of Americans With Visual Impairments

How Many People Have Visual Impairments In The U.S.?


Approximately 4.2 million Americans between the ages of 40 and 80 are visually handicapped. (Visual acuity in the better-seeing eye is defined as worse than 20/40; this figure includes persons with low vision as well as those who are legally blind.)

How Many Children Get Diagnosed With An Eye Condition?


The number of children that get diagnosed with an eye condition is likely to be about one in every five children under the age of 18. (Visual acuity is defined as worse than 20/40; this figure includes persons with low vision, including those who are not correctable.)

Visual Disability Of Americans By State


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 24 million non-institutionalized males or females of all ages, races, and ethnicities who had a visual impairment in the United States. California, Texas and Florida have the most people with a visual disability.  While Vermont, North Dakota, and Wyoming have the lowest number of people with a visual disability. 

STATE

Number Of Americans With Visual Disability

Alabama

150,600

Alaska

17,600

Arizona

175,600

Arkansas

97,900

California

797,300

Colorado

107,700

Connecticut

61,200

Delaware

19,200

District Of Columbia

16,400

Florida

544,700

Georgia

267,100

Hawaii

24,500

Idaho

43,500

Illinois

258,900

Indiana

159,800

Iowa

60,700

Kansas

67,900

Kentucky

152,000

Louisiana

155,900

Maine

30,800

Maryland

111,500

Massachusetts

129,800

Michigan

223,500

Minnesota

86,500

Mississippi

96,400

Missouri

153,900

Montana

21,800

Nebraska

39,700

Nevada

101,500

New Hampshire

28,600

New Jersey

163,700

New Mexico

65,200

New York

418,500

North Carolina

285,500

North Dakota

14,400

Ohio

280,100

Oklahoma

138,100

Oregon

104,500

Pennsylvania

298,500

Rhode Island

22,100

South Carolina

153,300

South Dakota

16,600

Tennessee

205,400

Texas

702,500

Utah

55,000

Vermont

14,100

Virginia

178,400

Washington

161,900

West Virginia

71,400

Wisconsin

110,300

Wyoming

14,500

Most Common Visual Impairments In The United States

What Are The Most Common Visual Impairments In The U.S.?


Age-related eye diseases, including macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma, are the most common causes of blindness and poor vision in the United States. Amblyopia and strabismus are other frequent eye problems.

How Many Americans Have Cataracts?


Cataracts affect more than 24.4 million people in the United States age 40 and older. Approximately half of all persons in the United States have cataracts by the age of 75.

How Common Is Astigmatism In The U.S.?


A refractive error, sometimes known as astigmatism, is an eye condition in which the lens isn't completely formed. It causes blurred vision and is caused by a cornea that isn't entirely spherical. It affects about a third of the population.

How Many Americans Have Glaucoma?


Glaucoma, which is caused by an increase in pressure inside the eye, affects more than 2.7 million Americans age 40 and older.

How Many Americans Suffer From Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?


Almost 2.1 million people in the United States age 50 and older have late-stage AMD, which can lead to severe vision loss. In 2010, 9.1 million people in the United States had early AMD. By age 80, one in ten Americans will have late-stage AMD, which is more prevalent in women than males.

How Many individuals In The United States Have Diabetic Retinopathy?


Diabetic retinopathy affects over 7.7 million Americans aged 40 and older. The number of diabetics in the United States is growing. More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. Diabetes affects around 27% of those with diabetes—8.1 million people—without their knowledge. Diabetes affects 12.3% of adults.

How Many Americans Have Dry Eyes?


The incidence of dry eye syndrome rises with age. Dry eye syndrome affects an estimated 3.2 million women aged 50 and over and 1.68 million men aged 50 and over in the United States.

Number Of Americans Getting Eye Health Treatment

How Many Americans Wear Glasses Or Corrective Eyewear?


Corrective eyewear is used by more than 150 million individuals in the United States to compensate for refractive disorders. Eyewear expenditures in the United States total more than $15 billion each year.

How Many People In The United States Use Contact Lenses?


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 37 million Americans now wear contact lenses.

How Many Refractive Surgical Treatments Get Performed In The U.S. Annually?


As of 2018, around 9.5 million individuals in the United States have had LASIK, and between 1991 and 2016, almost 40 million treatments were done worldwide. However, for many people today, it appears to be a declining choice.

How Many Corneal Transplant Operations Get Completed In America Each Year?


There were almost 48,000 corneal transplants in the United States last year. More than 1 million men, women, and children ranging in age from nine days to 100 years have had their eyesight restored since 1961 through a corneal transplant.

How Many Americans Suffer From Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?


Almost 2.1 million people in the United States age 50 and older have late-stage AMD, which can lead to severe vision loss. In 2010, 9.1 million people in the United States had early AMD. By age 80, one in ten Americans will have late-stage AMD, which is more prevalent in women than males.

How Many People In The U.S. Seek Treatment For Eye Infections?


Contact lens usage is linked to nearly a million eye infections each year, many of them requiring a visit to the doctor or hospital.

U.S. Eye Injury Statistics For 2021

How Many Eye Injuries Occur In The U.S. Each Year?


Every year, 2.4 million eye injuries are reported in the United States. Using protective glasses can help prevent 90% of all eye injuries.

Which Age Group Is Most Likely To Have An Eye Injury?


Approximately 35% of all eye injuries occur among persons 18 to 45 years of age.

Where Do The Majority Of Eye Injuries Occur?


Every year, over 125,000 eye injuries are caused by common household items. Every day, more than 2,000 people have their eyes injured at work. 10-20% of all occupational injuries will result in temporary or permanent blindness.

What Are The Most Frequent Eye Injuries?


The most frequent form of eye injury is a foreign body, which makes up 35% of all injuries. Open wounds and contusions each account for roughly 25% of the cases, while the remaining are burns.

U.S. Vision Insurance Statistics

How Many People Have Vision Insurance In America?


Only 50.3 percent of the country's adult population has vision insurance. Adult women and individuals aged 35 to 54 with vision insurance coverage surpass demographic targets when compared with the overall US adult population.

Adults with an AHI of $60,000 or more are approximately three times more likely to have MVC coverage than those with a lower AHI .

In terms of proportion, people in the Northeast and Lower South have greater vision insurance rates than the rest of the country, while it is similar in the Midwest and Western regions.

If you need vision insurance you can check out your specific state options below:

INSURANCE WHERE YOU LIVE

Vision Insurance by state.

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Concluding Thoughts

Taking Action


With statistics like these, it's no surprise that over 150 million people in the United States wear corrective eyewear. Many individuals don't realize how essential their eye health is till they have an issue or injury.

Even worse, there are millions of individuals who have never had an eye check in their life. You should buy some vision insurance now and schedule your exam if you are one of those people... Your vision is counting on you.

Sources:


Sa El

About the author

Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 13 years of experience in the industry.  He specializes in Life & Health Insurance and is certified in Long Term Care Insurance in the state of Georgia. a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia (License #382602), an entrepreneur, insurance educator, and freelance writer.


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