Blindness and Visual Impairment: Global Facts
- 36 million people who are blind
- 217 million people with moderate or severe distance vision impairment
- Of those with blindness and MSVI, 124 million people have uncorrected refractive errors and 65 million have cataract—more than 75% of all blindness and MSVI is avoidable
- 253 million people blind or vision impaired (in 2015)
- 1 billion people with near-vision impairment
- The prevalence of blindness and vision impairment combined has dropped from 4.58% in 1990 to 3.37% in 2015.
- 89% of vision impaired people live in low and middle-income countries
- 55% of moderate or severely vision impaired people are women
- Top causes of visual impairment: refractive errors, cataracts and glaucoma
- Top causes of blindness: cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration
- The number of people visually impaired from infectious diseases has greatly reduced in the last 20 years
- “Avoidable Blindness” Set to Increase in Future
- Global causes of blindness and distance vision impairment 1990–2020: a systematic review and meta-analysis
- Magnitude, temporal trends, and projections of the global prevalence of blindness and distance and near vision impairment: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Click here for an explanatory note on recommendations when referencing global data for communications and advocacy purposes.
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.