Prevalence: 50% of the world myopic by 2050

Professor Padmaja Sankaridurg, BOptom, BSc(Hons)


With studies indicating a rapidly increasing prevalence of myopia worldwide, Professor Brien Holden and colleagues undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis to predict how the situation might progress to the middle of the 21st century.1

The landmark study, published in the scientific journal Ophthalmology, projected that if current trends continue, almost 50% of the world’s population will be myopic by 2050 (close to 5 billion people). Of concern is the projected prevalence of high myopia (-5.0 diopters or more), with almost 10% of the population in that category (equating to around 1 billion people) by 2050 and at a significantly increased risk of permanent vision impairment. This is 7.5 times more than in the year 2000.

The study ‘Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050’, is an open access publication and can be freely accessed here:


1. Holden BA, Fricke TR, Wilson DA, Jong M, Naidoo KS, Sankaridurg P, Wong TY, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S, Global Prevalence of Myopia and High Myopia and Temporal Trends from 2000 through 2050, Ophthalmology, May 2016 Volume 123, Issue 5, Pages 1036?1042.

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