The 2014 Lewin Studies (AOA supervised), the most recent and comprehensive studies to date, found a 30% excess capacity of practicing optometrists for 2012. Two earlier studies had predicted future surpluses (Abt. Associates and RAND Corporation) but were ignored. Since the 2014 Lewin reports graduation rates continued to rise and are now (As of July, 2018) 70% higher than in 1991 (1,900 vs. 1,115). When the Lewin study was conducted the graduation rate was 47% higher than the 1991 benchmark graduation rate.
Despite three prior studies and rapid increase in enrollments, the schools and the AOA continued to state demand for future optometrists was strong to its members and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.