How many people who are deafblind are there?

Sense estimates there are approximately 358,000 people in the UK who are deafblind. This estimate is based on a number of research projects undertaken in the last 20 years.

In 2010, the Centre for Disability Research (CeDR) produced a report commissioned by Sense that estimated the total number of people with sight and hearing loss in the UK, currently and in the future.

As we age, our hearing and sight deteriorate. The CeDR report stated that the deafblind population is set to rise dramatically as there will be a higher percentage of older people in the UK.


Using prevalence rates estimated by the report, and ONS census population data, there are approximately:

  • 358,000 people who are deafblind in the UK
  • 222,000 of those are aged over 70
  • 115,000 adults (aged 20-69)
  • 22,000 children (0-19)

Within the report, 21,000 children were identified who had experienced some level of sight and hearing difficulties. Within this group, however, there were 4,000 children identified as having significant hearing and visual impairments. This is considered to be the group therefore who require specialist support and approaches to teaching, learning and developing independence.

Further information

The full report: Estimating the Number of People with Co‐Occurring Vision and Hearing Impairments in the UK

The summary report, with recommendations from Sense: A Sense of Urgency

First published: Wednesday 23 May 2012
Updated: Tuesday 26 July 2016