MarkeTrak VIII: 25 Year Trend Highlights

February 12, 2010


As the BHI publishes research from the MarkeTrak VIII survey, we will be providing factoids or summaries via this eNewsletter. A PDF version of our first installment in the MarkeTrak VIII research series titled "25-year trends in the hearing health market" is available for download.

The key findings in this 25 year look at the hearing health market are as follows:

  • The hearing loss population has grown to 34.5 million over the last generation.
  • The prevalence of hearing loss has grown from 266 to 295 people per thousand households in the last 20 years.
  • 61% of people with hearing loss are males (virtually unchanged over the past generation.
  • 60% of people with hearing loss are below retirement age.
  • The incidence of hearing loss in the U.S. is 11.3%.
  • Over the last quarter century, the hearing loss population grew at the rate of 1.6 times the population growth primarily due to the aging of America.
  • Hearing aid adoption continues to increase slowly to one in four.
    • 4 in 10 people with moderate to severe hearing loss use amplification for their hearing loss.
    • While 1 in 10 people with mild hearing loss use amplification
  • Binaural fittings continue to grow and now 90% of people with bilateral loss use binaural hearing aids.
  • Hearing screenings by physicians increased to nearly 15%.
  • The first time hearing user profile is virtually unchanged probably meaning that open-fit hearing aids did not tap any new market segments.
    • 37% of hearing aids fit are to new users
    • Their average age is 68.8
    • And their average household income is $54k
  • Hearing aid owners on average wait 7 years before purchasing a hearing aid after they learn of their hearing loss; while non-adopters have known about their hearing loss on average for about 12 years.
  • In terms of life-stage the key market segments for hearing aids are: Retired couples, older singles, working older couples and older parents.