Deafblindness statistics in the UK

For more information on deafblindness, visit our information and advice centre.

Someone is deafblind if they have both a hearing and sight impairment. 

Together this can impact on how the person accesses information, communicates and navigates around the physical environment. 

Some people are born deafblind (congenital) or it can happen later in life (acquired).

How many deafblind people are there?

In 2022 it is estimated that there are over 450,000 people in the UK who are deafblind.  This is expected to increase to over 610,000 by 2035.

0-19 Years18,2435,13623,379
20-69 Years79,36646,086125,452
70+ Years116,103186,277302,380
These data are based on research commissioned by Sense and delivered by the Operational Research Society in 2017.  This research used prevalence estimates from previous research completed by the Centre for Disability Research in 2010 and population estimates from the ONS. 

Sense commissioned research shows that:

  • The estimated prevalence of people who are deafblind is higher among those aged over 70 than below and there are estimated to be more females than males in the UK who are deafblind.
  • It is estimated that Wales has a higher proportion of people who are deafblind than the other home countries with 8.6 people who are deafblind per 1,000 population in 2015. Northern Ireland has the lowest proportion with 5.3 people who are deafblind per 1,000 population in 2015.
  • Towns and cities tend to have lower estimated proportions of people who are deafblind than rural areas. Increases in people who are deafblind per 1,000 population between 2015 and 2035 tend to be smaller in towns and cities than in more rural local areas.

Get in touch

For more information on this research please contact [email protected].

Usher Syndrome

Usher syndrome is a genetic condition that causes deafblindness.  There are around 10,000 people in the UK with Usher syndrome, according to Sense research from 2010. 

It is estimated that Usher affects around 10 in 100,000 people across the world. Usher types I and II are the most common, with only 2% of overall cases being type III

CHARGE syndrome

CHARGE is a rare genetic syndrome that affects approximately 1 in every 10,000 babies born.

Whilst it affects many parts of the body, deafblindness is common with 80-90% of people with CHARGE having a vision impairment and more than 90% of people having hearing impairment.