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Focus groups: Australians go for glasses while more Kiwis wear contacts

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Australians 14+ Apr 2012 – Mar 2013 n=20,767

Australians are 13% more likely than New Zealanders to use some form of optical correction, the latest research from Roy Morgan—based on interviews with over 30,000 people on both sides of the Tasman—shows. However contact lenses are the choice for a higher proportion of Kiwis.

61% of Australians use either prescription glasses or contact lenses compared with 54% of New Zealanders, with usage higher in Australia across all age groups. The largest gap is among those aged 35 to 49: Australians that age are much more likely to wear contact lenses or glasses (58%) than their Kiwis contemporaries (49%).

The lower overall rate of optical correction in New Zealand comes down solely to significantly lower usage of prescription glasses—especially among those aged 35 to 64—while contact lenses are at least as prevalent as in Australia across all age groups. 

Eyesight correction in Australia

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Australians 14+ Apr 2012 – Mar 2013 n=20,767

Contact lenses are most popular among those aged under 35 in both countries, however glasses greatly outnumber contacts in all age groups.

Eyesight correction in New Zealand

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (New Zealand), New Zealanders 14+ Apr 2012 – Mar 2013 n=11,880

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Contacts are clearly more popular in New Zealand than Australia—but not enough to compensate for lower usage of prescription glasses. 

“This could mean that Kiwis have better eyesight, or that more of them are walking around with imperfect vision. Or perhaps they are simply less inclined than Aussies to get glasses for only occasional use.

“The retail landscape of the optical market in both countries has also changed in recent years, as larger optical retail chains replace local opticians.”


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For comments or more information please contact:

Norman Morris

Industry Communications Director

Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5172

Mobile: +61 422 014 474


About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%