The number of people requiring glasses is on the rise, leading to a surge in the eyewear market. A new study published by Research and Markets shows the eyewear industry is expected to grow from $90.75 billion in 2121 to nearly $99 billion in 2022. This reflects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 9 percent. 

Long-term growth for the industry is expected to reach record values of $156 billion by 2026, holding steady at a CAGR of 8.9 percent. This figure is expected to double by 2030 reaching $323 billion as sales of contact lenses, eyeglasses and sunglasses skyrocket. 

The largest market region remains North America, with Asia Pacific close behind. According to figures from Statista, the U.S. eyewear industry was more than double the size of China in 2021, with Luxottica receiving the largest share of eyewear sales. Brands like Ray-Ban, Persol and Oakley are among the most popular with U.S. consumers. Vision Source, Walmart, National Vision Holdings and Eyecare Partners round out the top five retailers in the U.S., according to Statista. 

Research shows that the number of people with deteriorating eye health is the main driver behind the eyewear market industry’s growth. According to the World Health Organization, at least 1 billion people have near or distant visual impairment around the world. This majority of patients are over the age of 50, with the leading causes of eye health issues being untreated cataracts and uncorrected refractive errors. This will boost demand for eyewear throughout the forecast period. 

Smart glasses sales are also expected to rise as users see these technologies as less of a novelty. Bluetooth connectivity, open ear speakers and fitness trackers will be the main drivers for smart glasses sales as consumers look for functionality and modular design in their eyewear purchases.