Financial impact

In 2005, the real financial cost of hearing loss was shown to be $11.75 billion. This figure represents:

  • an average cost of $3,314 per person, per annum (for each of the 3.55 million Australians with hearing loss)
  • $578 for every Australian.

The cost increases by a further $11.3 billion if the net cost of loss of well being (disease burden) as a result of hearing loss is also included, totalling $23.05 billion.

A major finding of this report is illustrated in the chart below – over half of the cost of hearing loss ($6.7 billion) results from decreased productivity. This cost arises due to lower employment rates for people with hearing loss over 45 years and subsequent losses of earnings.


Financial cost of hearing loss, 2005

pie chart of costs associated with hearing loss

Figure from Listen Hear! The Economic Impact and Cost of Hearing Loss in Australia. Access Economics. February 2006


The cost of informal carers is also significant. These costs were calculated according to the amount that would have been required to pay to provide communication assistance. Direct health system costs reflect the expenditure in the health system for diagnosis, treatment and management of hearing loss.