There are about twice as many optometrists as ophthalmologists in the United States, and about twice as many optometrists as ophthalmologists are being produced each year. The number of optometrists has remained essentially constant since 1950, resulting in a drop from 14 to 10 optometrists per 100,000 population. During this period there has been a 69% increase in the number of ophthalmologists, resulting in a rise from 3.6 to 4.5 ophthalmologists per 100,000. The concentration of ophthalmologists and optometrists varies widely from state to state. There is no apparent correlation between the number of ophthalmologists and optometrists in a given state.
Hayes GS, Randall HG. Geographic Distribution of Ophthalmologists and Optometrists. Arch Ophthalmol. 1974;92(5):363-365. doi:10.1001/archopht.1974.01010010375001