Some 789,000 people – 16 percent of the population above the age of 20 – suffer from some form of hearing impairment.

Of those with hearing impairments, some 622,000, 12%, have “minor” difficulties hearing, while some 166,000 people, 3%, have “severe” difficulties or are unable to hear at all, even with the assistance of a hearing aid, according to a report released by the Central Bureau of Statistics ahead of National Hearing Day, which was marked on Tuesday.

The report revealed that people with severe hearing impairments aged 45 to 64 are three times lonelier than people without hearing impairments in this age group – 26% compared to 9%, respectively.

In addition, people with hearing disabilities between the ages of 45 and 64 reported a rate of satisfaction with life that was 2.5 times lower than those without hearing impairments – 34% compared to 14% of the population.

Unsurprisingly, the rate of hearing impairments increases with age, as more than half – 55% – of people aged 75 years and older have some form of hearing impairment, and 16% have severe difficulties in hearing or are deaf.

In comparison, only 6% of people 20 to 44 years old have some form of hearing impairment and 19% of people between 45 and 64 years of age.

The findings also indicated that the rate of people with lower education was higher among people with hearing disabilities. The rate of people with hearing impairments aged 20 to 44 without a matriculation certificate stood at 38% compared to 29% of people without any hearing impairments. Furthermore, the percentage of people without hearing impairments who received an academic degree aged 45 to 64 was double those with hearing impairments – 31% compared to 14%, respectively.

With regards to the workforce, the rate of employment among people with “severe” hearing impairments between the ages of 25 and 54 stands at 66%, compared to 80% among people who are not hearing impaired.

Furthermore, 27% of people with some form of hearing impairment are unemployed, compared to 16% of people without hearing deficiencies.

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