Our European counterpart, the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA), has provided industry estimates which show the continuing growth of the European hearing aid market which is still the largest in the world.

We at BIHIMA reported earlier this month on the expansion of the British and Irish market, with annual unit sales up by over 400,000 in the past five years, due in part to our ageing population. The latest figures from EHIMA show that the UK and Irish performance is also at the forefront of growth within Europe as the UK still sells the most number of units in all of Europe and in the world.

Last year, for example, the UK distributed 1,668,877 hearing instruments through the NHS and private sector. The German market was the next largest at 1,251,000 units in the same year, followed by the France which distributed 709,000 units.

It is interesting to note that the total European market is still disproportionately large, accounting for almost half of the total number of units sold worldwide (Europe distributes over 6,400,000 in a global market of approximately 14,508,000 units sold). This equals more than the entire North American market which currently stands at just over 4,000,000, although the US market demonstrated the greater percentage growth than Europe last year, up at 4.8% against Europe’s 4.2%.

However, the most significant percentage growth in 2016 – a huge 9.4% – was found in Africa and the Middle East where there is an encouraging emerging market as awareness about hearing loss and solutions begins to take root.