First published 18 January 2022

Nearly four out of ten who have a hearing loss use hearing aids, according to the survey KoreaTrak 2021.

5.9% of people living in South Korea say that they have a hearing loss. Among adults in South Korea aged 18 or older, 6.6% have a hearing loss. Among people aged 74 or older, more than one in four have a hearing loss (25.9%).

Nearly 37% of those who say they have a hearing loss use hearing instruments, according to the KoreaTrak 2021 survey.

The number of people in South Korea who say they have a hearing loss is somewhat lower when compared to countries in Europe where similar EuroTrak surveys have been carried out in recent years, such as Germany, France, United Kingdom and Italy. On average, one in ten in Europe say they have a hearing loss.

Use of hearing aids

In the survey, 36.5% of those who say they have a hearing loss said that they used hearing instruments. The figure is quite similar to the figures in other European countries where typically between 30% and 40% of those who say they have a hearing loss use hearing aids or other hearing instruments such as hearing implants.

51% of hearing aid users in South Korea use two hearing aids. This figure is lower than in many European countries, where around 75% of those who use hearing aids wear hearing aids in both ears.

The benefits of hearing aids

97% of the hearing aid owners in the survey declared that their hearing aids improve their quality of life at least sometimes.

The hearing aids users find that their hearing aids have a positive impact on their job and people with hearing aids recognise that hearing aids increase the chance of getting promoted, getting the right job and to getting a higher salary.

85% of all the hearing aid owners in the study said that they should have gotten their hearing aids sooner. The main reasons were better social life and better mental and emotional health. But hearing aid users also reported better performance at work and less fatigue in the evenings.

In general, hearing aid users in the survey said that their hearing aids had a positive impact on communication effectiveness, confidence, sense of safety and that relationships at home improve with hearing aids.


1 out of 10 hearing aid owners in the survey (11%) had their hearing aids fully funded, nearly half (48%) received partial support. On the other hand, most non-owners in the survey thought that no funding was available or they did not know of any funding possibilities.

Hearing test

64% of the participants in the survey had a hearing test within the last 5 years. Most of the tests were done by ENTs and family doctors.

About the survey

KoreaTrak 2021 was designed and executed by the Swiss analysis firm Anovum on behalf of KHIMA and EHIMA to measure hearing loss prevalence and hearing aids usage. The survey consisted of around 15,800 interviews. KoreaTrak 2021 is part of the EuroTrak studies, which is performed in series of European countries.


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