Latest Global Estimates of the Prevalence of Blindness Published

Vision Loss Expert Group (VLEG), provides the latest global estimates of the prevalence of blindness and moderate visual impairment (MSVI) in the world

Based on review and meta-analysis of population-based datasets relevant to global vision impairment and blindness published between 1980 and 2015, an August 2nd Lancet paper estimates that there were 36 million people blind, 217 million people who live with severe or moderate visual impairment (MSVI). According to the study, 253 million people were living with visual impairment in 2015 and an estimated 1.1 billion people have near-vision impairment, a condition that can be corrected with glasses. This data underscores the continued importance of our dedication to bringing eye care to the developing world.

Key Findings from the Study:

  • 36 million people who are blind
  • 253 million people were visually impaired in 2015
  • The prevalence of visual impairment has dropped from 4.58% in 1990 to 3.38% in 2015
  • 89% of visually impaired live in low and middle-income countries
  • 55% of visually impaired are women
  • “Vision interventions provide some of the largest returns on investment and are some of the most feasibly implemented interventions in less developed areas”
  • “…the numbers of blind people increasing to 385 million by 2020 and 115 million by 2050”

This paper is the precursor for an updated International Association for Prevention Blindness (IAPB) Vision Atlas, which will be presented on World Sight Day 2017 (10/12). Click to read the VLEG paper, Magnitude, temporal trends, and projections of the global prevalence of blindness and distance and near vision impairment: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Infographic created by IAPB

Make a difference today!

Never underestimate the impact you can have on someone's life. A $25 donation can give someone their sight back. Do something good today and share it with others.

Donate Now