ASHA-Certified Personnel-to-Population Ratios

Table 1. ASHA-certified audiologist- and speech-language pathologist-to-population ratios, by state, and state rank, 2016 [PDF]

Table 2. ASHA-certified audiologist- and speech-language pathologist-to-population ratios, by geographic region/division, 2016 [PDF]

Frequently Asked Questions

What are personnel-to-population ratios?

They're a measurement of the number of a given class of personnel (e.g., ASHA-certified audiologists or speech-language pathologists) in relation to the overall population in a given geographic area (e.g., state, region, or country).

How are personnel-to-population ratios calculated?

We calculate them by dividing the number of specified personnel in a given geographic area by the population of that area. The resulting number is then multiplied by 100,000 to arrive at the number of personnel per 100,000 people in the area. For example, Florida had approximately 9,149 ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists and an estimated population of 20,612,439 people in 2016. Its speech-language pathologist-to-population ratio is then calculated as (9,149/20,612,439) x 100,000 = 44.4. In other words, there were 44.4 speech-language pathologists for every 100,000 Floridians in 2016.

How are counts of ASHA-certified audiologists and speech-language pathologists determined?

ASHA uses membership data to compile annual counts of ASHA-certified audiologists and speech-language pathologists (see Table 3: ASHA Affiliation by State and Certification Status of the ASHA Membership and Affiliation Counts, Year-End 2016 [PDF]).

What is the source of state population estimates?

The U.S. Census Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates state populations on an annual basis. These estimates are available on the Bureau's website and above in Table 1.

What are the national personnel-to-population ratios for ASHA-certified audiologists and speech-language pathologists?

In 2016, nationwide, the number of ASHA-certified audiologists for every 100,000 residents was 4.0, ranging from 2.0 in California to 7.1 in Colorado. The number of ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists for every 100,000 residents was 49.6, ranging from 25.6 in Nevada to 79.2 in Arkansas.

Have the national personnel-to-population ratios for audiologists and speech-language pathologists changed over time?

The 2016 nationwide ratio of 4.0 for audiologists was the same as in 2013, 2014, and 2015 and went down slightly from the ratio of 4.1 reported for 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. The nationwide ratio of 49.6 for speech-language pathologists was up from 38.3 in 2008, 39.7 in 2009, 41.4 in 2010, 42.3 in 2011, 43.5 in 2012, 45.0 in 2013, 46.6 in 2014, and 48.0 in 2015.

What are the regional personnel-to-population ratios for ASHA-certified audiologists and speech-language pathologists?

In 2016, the number of ASHA-certified audiologists for every 100,000 residents ranged from 4.0 in the West to 5.2 in the Midwest. The number of ASHA-certified speech-language-pathologists for every 100,000 residents ranged from 43.1 in the West to 64.9 in the Northeast.

What is a "good" personnel-to-population ratio?

ASHA presents personnel-to-population ratios; we do not determine ideal ratios for states and regions. However, "good" ratios vary by state and region and depend on many factors, such as population density, client/patient demographics, service needs, presence of support personnel, and other factors.

Why are personnel-to-population ratios important?

By knowing the personnel-to-population ratio for a state or region we can then compare that state or region to other states, regions, or the national average. This information can be used to (a) affect policy changes to ensure that all populations are adequately served, (b) determine trends, (c) offer information for individuals considering relocation, and (d) potentially foster growth of the professions within a given state or region.

Still have questions?
Contact Gail Brook, research associate, Surveys and Analysis, at gbrook@asha.org or data@asha.org.

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