57 Autism Statistics: How Many People Have Autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects millions of people worldwide. Understanding the latest statistics and prevalence rates is essential for raising awareness, promoting early diagnosis, and fostering support for individuals with autism and their families.
How Many People Have Autism?
The global prevalence of autism is estimated to be 1 in 100 children, with the United States reporting a higher rate of 1 in 36 children.
Key Autism Statistics & Facts
- 1 in 36 children is diagnosed with autism in the United States.
- 1 in 36 8-year-old children living in ADDM Network sites were identified with ASD in 2020.
- Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.
- 31% of children with autism have an intellectual disability.
- Around 50% of individuals with autism are nonverbal.
- Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability in the United States.
- The prevalence of autism has increased by 178% since 2000.
- The average age of autism diagnosis is four years old.
- Early intervention can improve learning, communication, and social skills for children with autism.
- 1 in 6 children with autism also has a developmental disability.
- 40% of children with autism do not speak at all.
- Autism prevalence in the United States is higher among white children compared to black or Hispanic children.
- 44% of children with autism have average to above-average intellectual ability.
- The total lifetime cost of supporting an individual with autism is estimated to be $2.4 million in the United States.
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is one of the most effective treatments for autism.
- The global prevalence of autism is estimated to be 1 in 100 children.
- Autism is more prevalent than childhood cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined.
- The annual cost of autism in the United States is estimated to be $268 billion.
- Early diagnosis and intervention can reduce the cost of lifelong care for individuals with autism by 67%.
- About 25% of individuals with autism are employed.
- Only 56% of students with autism finish high school.
- 30-50% of individuals with autism also have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
- The overall ASD prevalence per 1,000 children aged 8 years was 27.6 (one in 36) and ranged from 23.1 in Maryland to 44.9 in California.
- Overall male-to-female prevalence ratio was 3.8, with ASD prevalence of 43.0 among boys and 11.4 among girls.
- Racial and ethnic group differences in ASD prevalence: White children: 24.3, Black children: 29, Hispanic children: 31.6, A/PI (Asian/Pacific Islander) children: 33.4, AI/AN (American Indian/Alaska Native) children: 26.5, Children of two or more races: 22.9
- In three sites (Arizona, New Jersey, and Utah), lower ASD prevalence was observed among children living in census tracts with higher median household income (MHI).
- When all sites were combined, prevalence of ASD was lower among census tracts with higher MHI; however, ASD prevalence for the low, medium, and high SES tertiles were all between 23.0–27.2.
Prevalence of Autism by Region
- The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates the global prevalence of autism as 1 in 160 children.
- The prevalence of autism has been increasing worldwide over the past few decades.
- Factors such as greater awareness, improved diagnostic methods, and expanded diagnostic criteria may contribute to this increase in prevalence.
- According to a study by Autism Research, the global autism prevalence rate among boys is three to four times higher than among girls.
- Autism spectrum disorders are reported in all regions worldwide, regardless of socioeconomic, cultural, or ethnic backgrounds.
Autism Prevalence In United States
- The prevalence of autism has been steadily increasing.
- Latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 1 in 54 children has ASD.
- Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with ASD than girls (1 in 34 boys compared to 1 in 144 girls).
- Autism prevalence among white children is 1 in 59, while it is 1 in 52 for black children and 1 in 57 for Hispanic children.
- Approximately 31% of children with ASD also have an intellectual disability.
Autism Prevalence In Europe
- Rates range from 1 in 77 in the United Kingdom to 1 in 167 in France.
- In Sweden, the reported prevalence rate is approximately 1 in 145 children.
- In Germany, studies have found a prevalence rate of around 1 in 160 children.
- The overall prevalence rate in Europe is estimated to be around 1 in 100 children, according to a study published in the European Journal of Public Health.
Autism Prevalence In Asia
- A study published in Molecular Autism found a prevalence of 1 in 266 children in South Korea.
- A study conducted in Japan reported a prevalence rate of 1 in 55 children.
- In China, a systematic review estimated the prevalence rate to be around 1 in 132 children.
- In India, several studies have reported varying prevalence rates, ranging from 1 in 89 to 1 in 250 children.
- Autism prevalence rates in Asia show considerable variation, possibly due to differences in diagnostic practices, awareness, and cultural factors across the region.
Autism Prevalence In Australia
- According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the prevalence of autism is approximately 1 in 150 children.
- Boys are more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls, with a ratio of about 4:1.
- The prevalence of autism among indigenous Australians is lower than in the general population, estimated at around 1 in 200 children.
- A study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry found that the prevalence of autism has increased by approximately tenfold over the past two decades.
- The increase in autism prevalence may be attributed to factors such as greater awareness, improved diagnostic practices, and changes in diagnostic criteria.
Autism Diagnosis Rates
- Documented ASD diagnostic statement: 74.7% overall (range = 60.9% in Wisconsin to 94.7% in New Jersey).
- ASD prevalence based exclusively on documented ASD diagnostic statements: 20.6 per 1,000 children aged 8 years overall (range = 17.1 in Wisconsin to 35.4 in California).
- Documented ASD special education classification: 65.2% overall (range = 44.9% in Utah to 84.9% in Minnesota).
- Documented ICD code: 71.6% overall (range = 51.9% in Minnesota to 82.7% in California).
- A majority of children with ASD (74.2%) had at least two of the three types of ASD identification documented in their records, and 37.4% had all three.
- Among children with ASD, 37.4% ever had an evaluation report noting that ASD was suspected but not confirmed.
- Overall, 11.6% of children with ASD had an ASD diagnosis or special education eligibility ruled out (range = 4.3% in Georgia to 29.3% in California).
- For a majority of children, ASD was confirmed after it had previously been ruled out; however, 3.9% of all children with ASD had an evaluation ruling out ASD more recently than one confirming ASD.
- Data on cognitive ability were available for 66.7% of children aged 8 years with ASD (range: 39.7% in Wisconsin to 91.2% in Arkansas).
- Girls with ASD were less likely than boys with ASD to have data on cognitive ability (64.4% versus 67.3%).
- Similar percentages of Black and White children had data on cognitive ability (66.8% and 65.0%, respectively), while Hispanic children had a slightly higher percentage (68.8%).
- AI/AN, A/PI, and children of two or more races had cognitive data at least as often as other groups (79.3%, 71.2%, and 73.9%, respectively).
Cognitive Ability Classifications in 8-Year-Old Children with ASD
Cognitive ability classifications among children aged 8 years with ASD who had data:
- Intellectual disability: 37.9%
- Borderline range (IQ 71–85): 23.5%
- Average or higher range (IQ >85): 38.6%
Interesting Autism Statistics
- Percentage of children classified as having intellectual disability varied widely among sites (range = 21.7% in California to 51.0% in Tennessee).
- Girls with ASD were more likely to be classified as having an intellectual disability than boys with ASD (42.1% versus 36.9%).
- Black children were more likely than Hispanic and White children to be classified as having intellectual disability (50.8%, 34.9%, and 31.8%, respectively).
- The percentage of children with ASD and intellectual disability among A/PI, two or more races, or AI/AN children was 41.3%, 37.8%, and 34.8%, respectively.
Factors Contributing to Increased Autism Prevalence
The reasons for the increase in autism prevalence are not entirely clear. Some factors that might contribute to the rise in autism rates include:
- Greater awareness and understanding of autism, leading to more accurate diagnoses.
- Changes in diagnostic criteria that have broadened the definition of autism.
- Increased access to diagnostic services, particularly in developed countries.
- Environmental factors, such as exposure to certain chemicals and pollutants, which may increase the risk of developing autism.
The Importance of Early Diagnosis and Intervention
- 70% of children with autism who receive early intervention achieve significant improvements in their communication, social, and cognitive skills.
- The average age of ASD diagnosis is 4 years old, but experts agree that children can be reliably diagnosed as early as 18 months.
- A study found that children who received early intervention before the age of 2.5 showed greater gains in IQ, language development, and adaptive behavior compared to those who began treatment later.
- Early intervention programs can reduce the need for special education services by up to 50%, saving an estimated $19,000 per child annually.
In conclusion, autism is a complex and diverse condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide. The prevalence of autism has been increasing over the past few decades, with factors such as greater awareness, improved diagnostic methods, and changes in diagnostic criteria contributing to this rise.
Understanding these key statistics is crucial for raising awareness, promoting early diagnosis, and providing support for individuals with autism and their families.
Early intervention has been shown to improve outcomes for those with ASD, emphasizing the importance of recognizing the signs and seeking appropriate help. By staying informed about autism prevalence rates and trends, we can work together to create a more inclusive world for all.
- Prevalence and Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years — Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2020 Surveillance Summaries/ March 24, 2023 / 72(2);1–14
- National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- Autism Speaks - https://www.autismspeaks.org/science-news/costs-autism-study-tallies-kids-and-adults
- CDC - Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) - Data and Statistics
- Autism Speaks - Nonverbal Autism
- Autism Speaks - Autism Facts and Figures
- PubMed - Early intervention for children with autism spectrum disorder under 3 years of age: recommendations for practice and research
- PubMed - Applied behavior analytic interventions for children with autism: a description and review of treatment research
- WHO - Autism Spectrum Disorders
- PubMed - Epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders in Europe
- PubMed - Prevalence and correlates of screen-based media use among youths with autism spectrum disorders
Note: The numbers and statistics presented in this article are based on the latest available data at the time of writing. They are subject to change as new studies and research are conducted.