GB/US: In focus – the US and GB market for contact lenses
August 5th, 2022, Bhavika Bansal

GB/US: In focus – the US and GB market for contact lenses

In this piece, we focus on consumers in the US and GB who need the aid of corrective eye wear and choose to adopt contact lenses – looking at those who solely wear prescription lenses, as well as those who alternate them with prescription glasses. The data presents some interesting and surprising differences between the two markets that brands should be aware of.

In the US, lens-wearing is more popular among 25-34-year-olds, who make up more than a third of the market (35%). While almost a quarter of all lens-wearers are 18-24-year-olds (23%), one in five are aged between 35 and 44 (20%).

In Great Britain, the story is different – to the point where marketers may wish to take note. Contact lenses aren’t nearly as popular among younger people here as they are in the US, with 18-24-year-olds and 25-34-year-olds making up 14% and 19% of the market, respectively.

Surprisingly, while 45-54-year-olds are the most likely to wear lenses in GB (25%), this segment makes up only 9% of the market in the US.

Similarly, contact lenses are the more popular choice among those aged above 55 in GB (22%) than in the US (13%).

There are also some interesting differences when we look at the data through a gendered eye.

In the US, on average, men are slightly more likely to wear lenses than women (53% vs. 47%). But there is a shift if we breakdown this data by age. Among the youngest segment (18-24) men are much more likely to wear lenses than women (69% vs. 31%). But as we look up through the generations that trend slowly reverses. Among those aged 55+, the opposite is true – American women are far more likely to wear contact lenses than their male counterparts.

On the other hand, in Britain, contacts are more popular among women on average (60%) than men (40%). And unlike in the US, this persists across all age groups.

Interestingly, among British women, lenses are most popular with 18-24-year-olds (70%) and least popular with those aged 35-44 (54%). However, among men, lenses are most preferred by 35-44-year-olds (46%) and least popular among 18-24-year-olds (30%).

Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for USA and Great Britain is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.

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