World Hearing Index 2024: Major Insights 

When it comes to knowing how people hear, Mimi knows more than most. As a deep tech company with an in-house team of hearing scientists, Mimi invests a significant amount of resources in research, enabling continuous learning & development. Since its launch, the Mimi Hearing Test App has enabled over 2 million users globally to test their hearing. As a result, Mimi has created the world’s largest database of digital hearing profiles and gained insights into global hearing trends. 

The Science Behind

The new interactive World Hearing Index Map provides a unique glimpse into the global hearing landscape. It is based on the results of hearing tests taken with the Mimi Hearing Test App on iOS devices (with calibrated headphones) between January 2017 and December 2023. We focused on data from countries where more than 100 users conducted a Pure Tone Threshold (PTT) test during this time frame. 

Note: Mimi’s hearing test database also includes tests that were excluded from the analyzed dataset due to missing country information, uncalibrated headphones, or not meeting our data quality standards.

The Mimi Norm

The Mimi Norm is a standard developed by Mimi Hearing Technologies based on comprehensive data analysis. This norm serves as a reference point for the expected level of hearing ability associated with a person’s age. Hearing is described by the PTA4 (pure tone average across thresholds at 500, 1k, 2k, and 4k Hz) of the better ear for each person. 

The Difference to Mimi Norm

As seen from the Top 5 countries with a positive difference from the Mimi Norm, European countries consistently rank higher, reflecting better hearing ability among their populations.

Looking at the list of the top 20 countries with a positive difference, only 2 are outside of Europe: Japan (4th) and South Korea (12th). Both higher  and lower rankings may be connected to the prioritization and accessibility of ear and hearing care, level of the background noise and  economical situation in those regions.

Top 5 countries with highest positive difference to Mimi Norm

Top 5 countries with highest negative difference to Mimi Norm 

Prioritizing Ear and Hearing Care Works

Japan is currently facing the challenges of a “super-ageing” society, with the highest proportion of older adults in the world. As a result, according to the World Health Organization’s World Report on Hearing, Japan has been prioritizing the care of this group, with a focus on addressing the prevalent issue of hearing loss and its link to cognitive decline through extensive research and international knowledge sharing. 

The same report states that the highest availability of audiologists is seen in the European WHO Region, where 52% of the countries have more than 10 audiologists per 1 million residents. Whereas the countries with the highest negative difference to the Mimi Norm, including India, Vietnam, Philippines, Pakistan and Thailand, tend to have lower availability of audiologists.

Density of audiologists (AUDs) among WHO regions. Source: The World Report on Hearing, 2021, p. 164

Changes in Number of Hearing Tests Taken in 2022 to 2023

Over recent years, ear and hearing care (EHC) has seen significant progress, thanks to technology development and innovative service delivery approaches. However, most individuals requiring EHC services still face challenges to access them. Many do not pursue these services due to limited awareness about hearing loss, and the associated stigmas surrounding hearing impairment. 

Analyzing the change in the number of hearing tests taken globally within the Mimi Hearing Test App may serve as a supportive tool to indicate the level of hearing health awareness in different countries.

Taking into consideration that the data included in the WHI is from tests conducted with iOS devices, we can draw the connection between the growth of the total number of the hearing tests taken and the discovery of the benefits of Apple hearing accessibility features – for example Headphone Accommodations and Live Listen.

South Korea appears to prioritize ear and  hearing care, which might explain the positive growth of the hearing difference to Mimi Norm. The  situational analysis of ear and hearing care in South Korea reveals “Policies such as hearing aid support are in place, and outreach services such as free hearing tests are also being actively conducted.” 

The biggest drop in the hearing tests taken is observed in Ukraine. This is just one of the impacts of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which started in February 2022.

Comparing monthly data of the countries with a high number of tests taken, we see that the growth of tests in China appears to be connected to singular promotional events (e.g. Mimi Hearing Test App featured in App store) and has a short term impact of an increase in tests taken, but does not have a lasting effect. Whereas the amount of tests in the USA and Germany stay consistent, which could be associated with the overall interest from residents regarding their hearing health and ear care. 

Hearing test amounts per month in 2023 for US, China, and Germany

The Impact of Hearing Loss and Importance of Early Prevention

“Prevention of hearing loss is essential throughout the life course, from prenatal and perinatal periods to older age. In children, nearly 60% of hearing loss is due to avoidable causes that can be prevented through implementation of public health measures.” Deafness and hearing loss. Fact sheet by WHO 

It’s vital to treat hearing health as importantly as overall physical health. Ask your doctor to examine your hearing during your regular checkup, and have your hearing tested by a hearing specialist (audiologist) every 3 – 5 years. Annual hearing tests are recommended for all adults beginning at the age of 60. Children should also have their hearing tested before they enter school, or any time there is a concern about the child’s hearing. Early detection through regular screenings can lead to timely treatment and better hearing management. 

The access to hearing screening tools can be simplified by digital hearing assessment applications, like the Mimi Hearing Test App*. Mimi can simplify the process of regular hearing assessments, help you conveniently learn more about your hearing health from home, and encourage proactive hearing care.

*Disclaimer: Mimi Hearing Test App (or other digital screening tools) do not supersede or replace a diagnosis by a physician and is not intended to be used for monitoring, treatment or alleviation of any disease or disability. If you have questions or concerns with regards to your hearing health, please consult a medical professional.


The World Hearing Index offers interesting insights into global hearing data, and we saw several factors that could potentially influence its outcomes. The World Report on Hearing highlights the risks of unaddressed hearing loss, limited access to ear and hearing care specialists, and the subsequent deprioritization of hearing health. There is also an intuitive link* we can draw between our research outcomes and the consequences of global crises, as well as the pervasive issue of noise pollution and high background noise environments, which can lead to noise-induced hearing loss.

*Despite the intuitive link between these factors and our research outcomes, it is important to acknowledge that these correlations do not tell us anything about causation. Further research and data collection are essential to understand the complexities of hearing health on a global scale and to substantiate the relationship between these influencing factors and the World Hearing Index. Hence, we want to emphasize the need for ongoing investigation and the importance of global collaboration in enhancing our understanding of hearing health dynamics.