1. What was the total number of prescription eyeglasses sold in the U.S. in 2016 (if 2016 isn't available, 2015 is fine)?
Hi! Thanks for your question on the total number of prescription eyeglasses sold in the U.S. in 2016. The sale of prescription eyewear is on the rise, bringing in $22.2 billion with the sale of lenses and frames in 2015, and this is anticipated to continue in coming years. In 2016, frames and lenses continued to be the driving seller in the industry, accounting for 82% of total spectacles value sales. Below, you will find a deeper dive of my findings regarding the market in recent years, as well as projected future growth.
I began my research by scouring trusted industry and market research sources in an effort to determine the number of prescription eyeglasses sold in 2016. Unfortunately, there was no data specific to the U.S. for 2016, so 2015 statistics have been provided based on research conducted by The Vision Council. I have also included estimates for future growth in the industry.
Research compiled by The Vision Council states that 159.2 million Americans age 18 and older wore eyeglasses in 2015, representing 2 out of 3 adults. There were also an estimated 22-25 million children in 2015 wearing corrective lenses. The number of adults wearing prescription eyeglasses rose 2.8 million from 2014 to 2015; however, there is not a direct correlation between this number and the number of actual sales. As noted by the Vision Council, "Unfortunately, while we are seeing more Rx eyeglass users in the US, many of those users are still waiting relatively longer periods of time between making a new eyeglass purchase—thus the growth rate of unit and dollar sales for eyeglasses is not growing as fast as the growth of eyeglass users in the US."
There were 82.9 million pairs of lenses sold in the U.S. in 2015. This number is up 3.7% from 2014. In 2015, the vision care industry brought in an estimated $9.6 billion with the sale of frames, and $12.6 billion from the sale of lenses. This $22.2 billion represents a growth rate of 11.2% over the last two years. According to the Euromonitor, in 2016, there was a 2% increase in the volume of spectacles sold in the United States, accounting for a 4% increase in current value of sales, with 82% being attributed to the sale of frames and lenses.
Other notable statistics from 2015 regarding the sale of prescription eyeglasses pertain to gender, age, and household income. For example, according to the Vision Council, 50.2% of lenses were sold to women, with 49.8% going to men. This is opposite of the sale of frames, where men purchased the majority 54.6%, with women purchasing 45.4%. Additionally, the age group purchasing prescription eyewear the most was 55-64 year-olds, coming in at 32.1% for lenses and 31.0% for frames. The second highest age bracket was the 18-34 year-olds, making 29.3% of the purchase of lenses and 27.7% of frame purchases. 45-54 year-olds purchased 19.7% of prescription lenses sold and 20.1% of frames sold, while 35-44 year-olds purchased the remaining 18.9% of lenses and 21.2% of frames. With regards to household income, those earning less than $60,000 annually accounted for only 39.2% of the sale of lenses and 33.9% of the sale of frames, while those earning more than $60,000 accounted for 60.8% of the sale of lenses and 66.1% of the sale of frames.
ANTICIPATED FUTURE GROWTH
The sale of prescription eyeglasses is predicted to rise in coming years, earning an astounding $141.3 billion globally by the year 2020. Euromonitor suggests this trend will be seen throughout the U.S., as well, and is due to multiple reasons, including lifestyle changes, age-related medical issues, and changes in the fashion world. As society garners more exposure to digital technology, the need for prescription lenses is expected to increase with increased conditions such as nearsightedness. Additionally, with the aging population in the country, more consumers middle-age and older will become increasingly reliant on eyeglasses to treat vision problems. Furthermore, eyewear has become a fashion accessory to many, and as fashion trends come and go, the replacement cycle of eyewear will be shortened, in turn driving up sales.
To wrap it up, the prescription eyewear industry in the U.S. is on the rise. There has been steady growth over recent years that is expected to continue into the future, primarily due to lifestyle changes, the aging U.S. population, and changes in fashion trends.
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