Data were collected on refraction in three isolated communities in western Newfoundland. Altogether 971 persons, about 80% of the population, were refracted. Subjects were not visually selected. Females showed a greater range of refractions than males at most ages, generally had more negative refractions than males, in particular at younger ages, and showed negative age group means earlier than males. Persons under 30 had more negative mean refractions, and more formal education than persons over 30. The age distribution of refraction in this population is compared with that reported by several others, and arguments presented that exposure to formal education is associated with increased myopia.