Global Vision Impairment Facts

Blindness and Visual Impairment: Global Facts

Globally in 2020:

  • At least 2.2 billion people have a vision impairment that may or may not be addressedi
  • Of those, at least 1 billion people have a vision impairment that could have been prevented or has yet to be addressed
  • In addition, 2.6 billion people have myopia, including 312 million children under 19 years of age
  • Additionally, millions of people are living with eye conditions that increase their risk of sight loss:
    • 196 million people living with age-related macular degeneration
    • 146 million people living with diabetic retinopathy
    • 76 million people living with glaucoma
    • 2.5 million people living with trachomatous trichiasis
    • 277 million people living with high myopia
  • Vast inequities exist in the distribution of vision impairment; the prevalence in many low- and middle-income regions is estimated to be four times higher than in high-income regions.

Also read:

On World Sight Day 2019, the WHO launched the first World Report on Vision, a document that offers clear proposals to address significant challenges in delivering eye care through existing health systems.

In May 2013 the 66th World Health Assembly unanimously approved the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Avoidable Blindness and Visual Impairment 2014-2019 – Towards Universal Eye Health. The new Global Action Plan (GAP) is now the most important strategic document in eye health. It builds upon and replaces previous VISION 2020 and 2009 – 2013 Action Plans.


i WRV – From i) the global magnitude of near vision impairment (Fricke et al. [2018] (8)) and; ii) the global magnitude and causes of bilateral distance vision impairment and blindness (the Vision Loss Expert Group;* Bourne et al. [2017]) (15, 16)).