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US optical industry size estimated at $65.6 billion, per The Vision Council 2023 report


The company’s inSights Research Program found that an increase in eye exams and prescription eye care products sold in 2023 resulted in slight industry growth.

closeup of optical equipment for vision testing Image Credit: AdobeStock/Photocreo Bednarek

Image Credit: AdobeStock/Photocreo Bednarek

An increase in optical-related purchases in 2023 led to a slight growth in the optical industry in the past year, according to a new report released by The Vision Council.

The Market inSights 2023 report, released January 23, found that the total optical market value for the past year is estimated around $65.6 billion, with 93% of US adults regularly wearing some form of eyewear, according to a news release. Noteworthy industry growth includes an increase in the number of eye exams conducted and prescription eye care products sold.1

The report is released annually and utilizes advanced analytics and a modern research infrastructure to compile a set of comprehensive data, which is obtained from a variety of different data sources, including “consumer retail expenditure data, patient billing and payment data, and optical retail location data, along with an updated consumer survey program,” according to the news release.

“We are excited to release Market inSights 2023 and offer our members a 360-degree view of the industry based on a modernized methodology, robust data sources and critical analysis,” said Alysse Henkel, vice president of Research and inSights at The Vision Council. “By issuing our market data estimates and forecasts across specific categories – including exams, frames, lenses, contact lenses, plano sunglasses, and readers – The Vision Council is providing the industry with insights and sales trends to make informed business decisions and serve customer wants and needs.”

Additionally, The Vision Council’s fourth quarter consumer survey, which pulled data from over 15,000 participants, had some significant findings. The survey, which was compiled into a Consumer inSights report, found that consumers aren’t spending as much on prescription eyewear. Compared to 2022, consumers in 2023 more frequently purchased eyewear that cost less than $100 out of pocket, while consumers who purchase eyewear that is more than $200 out of pocket decreased.1

More young people got their eyes checked in part of routine exams as well. In 2023, annual exams increased by four percent in younger patients between the third and fourth quarter of 2023.1

The Vision Council releases these reports as a part of its inSights Research Program, launched in 2022, which also puts out Provider, Focused, and Industry Data inSights reports every year. The program has a member research task force that is made up of representing members of different optical industry companies. These include Marcolin, CooperVision, Warby Parker, Essilor, FGX, Hoya, VSP, Eyemart Express, Zeiss, and Maui Jim. These members convene in monthly meetings to provide feedback on surveys and reports, provide input for future research reports, and plan out review for market modeling methodology.2

More detailed, full reports for 2023 can be found in The Vision Council’s Research Download Center. Report downloads are free for members and for a listed payment for non-members. The Vision Council’s Research and Analytics team will also be presenting the findings from the Market inSights 2023 during a webinar on February 8 at 4 pm. Members of The Vision Council can register to attend.

  1. The Vision Council estimates US optical industry size at $65.6 billion in 2023 Market inSights Report. The Vision Council. Press Release. Published January 23, 2024. Accessed January 23, 2024. https://thevisioncouncil.org/blog/vision-council-estimates-us-optical-industry-size-656-billion-2023-market-insights-report
  2. inSights Research Program. The Vision Council. Updated 2024. Accessed January 23, 2024. https://thevisioncouncil.org/members/insights-research-program
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