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Very common. According to the American Optometric Association, nearly 30 percent of the US population have the visual condition known as myopia, or nearsightedness. There are over 80 million children worldwide with myopia, or nearsightedness, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Studies have shown that myopia rates can vary significantly among different ethnic groups in the US. A 2003 study of more than 2,000 children between the ages of 5 and 17 found an overall prevalence of myopia of 9.2% but, but Asian children had a prevalence of 18.5%, Hispanic children had a prevalence of 13.2%, African American children had a prevalence of 6.6%, and Caucasian children had only a 4.4% prevalence.