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Magnitude and Projections

Globally, 1.1 billion people live with vision loss.

At least 1 billion more need ongoing access to eye care services.

Distance vision

Almost 600 million people can’t see well in the distance

  • 43 million people are blind
  • 295 million people experience moderate to severe vision impairment
  • 258 million people experience mild vision impairment.
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Near vision

510 million people can’t see well at near

Everyone will lose their ability to focus on near objects as they age. This is easily treated with a pair of reading glasses.


Children and adolescents

90 million children and adolescents are affected

Of these:

  • 2 million are blind
  • 30 million experience moderate to severe vision loss
  • 58 million experience mild vision loss.


1.1 billion to 1.7 billion people by 2050

All categories of vision loss are set to grow:

  • Blindness: 43 million to 61 million people
  • Moderate to severe vision impairment: 295 million to 474 million people
  • Mild vision impairment: 258 million to 360 million people
  • Near vision impairment: 510 million to 866 million people.


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Maintaining healthy vision

Billions more people require ongoing access to eye care services

For example, there are currently:

  • at least 4 billion people with myopia
  • 1 billion people with corrected presbyopia
  • 146 million people with early stage diabetic retinopathy
  • 76 million people with early stage glaucoma.

These people all require regular eye care services to prevent vision loss and maintain healthy eyes and vision.

How to cite the maps and VLEG/GBD 2020 data

Bourne R, Steinmetz J, Flaxman S, et al., Trends in prevalence of blindness and distance and near vision impairment over 30 years: an analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study. Lancet Glob Health. 2020. Accessed via the IAPB Vision Atlas (

Photo Credits

Eye chart image: David Travis, ‘Near vision’ image: Anurag Kumar, ‘Projections’ and ‘Maintaining Healthy Vision’: Graham Coates, Volunteer for Vision Aid Overseas and Nepal eyecare trip