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Number of dispensing opticians in the UK 2012-2018

Annual number of dispensing opticians in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2012 to 2018 (in 1,000)

by Conor Stewart, last edited Aug 9, 2019
Number of dispensing opticians in the UK 2012-2018 In 2018, there were approximately eleven thousand dispensing opticians in employment in the United Kingdom. This an increase from 2013, when there were only five thousand dispensing opticians. A dispensing optician is different from an optometrist as they do not test people’s eyesight but advise on and supply spectacles and other visual aids to those who need it.
Eye care in the UK

There were approximately 20 thousand ophthalmic opticians in employment in the UK in 2018. In contrast to the increasing number of dispensing opticians; the number of ophthalmic opticians has experienced more fluctuations over the same time period, but ultimately falling from a peak of 26 thousand in 2012.

Comparison to European countries

The UK has quite a low number of opticians per 10,000 population when compared to other European countries. In 2017, there were just over one optician per 10,000 people in the UK, while France had 5.34 per 10,000 which was the highest in Europe. Additionally, the UK had 1.11 optician retail outlets per 10,000 population which again ranks it low in comparison to the rest of Europe. Cyprus had the highest density of outlets at 2.54 per 10,000 population.
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Annual number of dispensing opticians in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2012 to 2018 (in 1,000)

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