In the 2002-2003 school year, nearly 72,000 children ages 6 to 21 years got special education services under the "hearing impairment" category in the United States. Another 1,600 children received services under the "deaf blind" category. The total number of children with hearing loss is likely higher, since some of them may have other disabilities and be served under other special education categories. Still others may not be counted because they receive only regular education services.
In the 1988 National Health Interview Survey - Child Health Supplement, parents reported that that 3.5% of children ages birth to 17 years in the United States had ever had "deafness or trouble hearing" in one or both ears. [Read a summary of the paper about hearing loss in children in 1988
Hearing loss is more common among older people than among children. In the 1994 National Health Interview Survey Core and Second Supplement on Aging, one third of adults ages 70 and older reported that they had trouble hearing. Seven percent reported that they were deaf in both ears and another 8% reported that they were deaf in one ear. Hearing loss was more common among men than among women. [Read the report on adult hearing loss