You asked

Can you please provide the following information under the Freedom of Information Act.

The estimated number of people who have “difficulty in hearing”, according to the Annual Population Survey. If possible, please provide data for the following years:

  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017

If possible, please break down your response by year, employment status (e.g. in employment), occupation type, age band and region.

We said

Thank you for your request.

Some of the data you have requested for 2015 and 2016 have been previously released as an ad hoc request on the Office for National Statistics website at the following link:

The information you have requested for years previous to 2015 can be obtained from the customer services team of ONS Social Services division. This team provides an ad hoc analysis service, including - of relevance in this instance - tabulations of Labour force (LFS) and Annual Population Survey (APS) data, both of which contain question variables relating to difficulty in hearing. This service is subject to legal frameworks, disclosure control, resources and agreements of costs, where appropriate. Details of the variables included in these datasets can be viewed in the LFS User Guides;

If you would like to enquire about our service then please contact

Because this information is available through that route, we consider that Freedom of Information Act s.21(1) applies to this request and the information does not have to be supplied under the Freedom of Information Act. S.21(1) is an absolute exemption and no consideration of the public interest needs to be applied.

If you are able to do your own cross-tabulations you could purchase an anonymised LFS or APS dataset from the UK Data Service. Details on costs and how to download the data can be found on their website:

Advice for commercial users -

Charges -