One statistic about the deaf population in the United States is that, as of November 2015, there are more than 28 million Americans who are considered deaf or hearing-impaired, according to the National Court Reporters Association. Another fact is that one out of every 22 American children is born with some type of hearing impairment.
Hearing loss is considered a significant public health issue because it ranks as the third most prevalent physical ailment following only arthritis and cardiovascular disease, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America. There are degrees of severity with regard to hearing loss that range from mild to profound. When hearing loss is significant enough that an individual is unable to comprehend verbal language, he is considered deaf according to the Special Education Guide.
The likelihood of being deaf decreases as a family's income increases. As of November 2015, an individual whose family income is less than $10,000 annually is twice as likely to be deaf as a person whose family income is greater than $50,000 or more per year. Approximately 29 percent of deaf or hearing disabled Americans are employed, and 29 percent of this population are employed in a professional or managerial position.