72 Learning Disabilities Statistics and Prevalence 
Looking For Learning Disability Statistics?
Learning disabilities affect millions of people around the world, and the statistics for the year 2023 indicate that this issue is not going away anytime soon. As we delve into the numbers, it's important to keep in mind that behind each learning disability statistic is a person who may be struggling to learn and thrive in their educational and work environments. We need to approach this topic with empathy and a willingness to support those who are affected by learning disabilities.
How Common Are Learning Disabilities?
- At least 1 in every 59 children has one or several learning disabilities.
- Approximately 14% of the U.S. population (or 1 in 7 individuals) have some form of learning disability.
- Among children, an estimated 1 in 5 in the U.S. have a learning or attention issue.
- Dyslexia affects up to 20% of the population, making it one of the most common learning disabilities.
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects an estimated 6.1 million children in the U.S., or around 9.4% of children aged 2-17 years, according to a 2016 survey.
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects an estimated 1 in 44 children in the U.S., or around 2.27% of children aged 8 years, based on CDC data from 2018.
- Specific learning disabilities affect approximately 4-6% of the adult population.
- Learning disabilities are more common among individuals living in poverty and those who have lower levels of education.
- According to a report from the National Center for Learning Disabilities, during the 2017-2018 school year, approximately 33% of students receiving special education services had a specific learning disability.
- Dyscalculia, a learning disability affecting mathematical abilities, is estimated to impact between 3% and 6% of the population.
- Dysgraphia, a learning disability affecting writing skills, impacts around 7-15% of the population.
- Auditory processing disorder (APD), which affects how sounds are processed and interpreted, impacts around 5% of school-aged children.
- Visual processing disorder (VPD), which affects how visual information is processed and understood, impacts around 5-10% of school-aged children.
Learning Disabilities Prevalence Statistics By Type
Learning disabilities come in many different forms, each with its own set of challenges. Here are some statistics for specific types of learning disabilities:
- Affects up to 7% of the population, making it one of the most common learning disabilities.
- People with dyscalculia struggle with math-related tasks, such as counting, telling time, and performing basic arithmetic.
- Dyscalculia is often comorbid with other learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and ADHD.
- Dyscalculia can also affect non-mathematical skills, such as spatial awareness and memory.
- Dyscalculia is more common in males than females.
- Early intervention can significantly improve outcomes for individuals with dyscalculia.
- Approximately 5% of elementary school students are diagnosed with dyscalculia.
- Roughly 50% of students with dyscalculia also have difficulties in reading (dyslexia).
- Dyscalculia has a strong genetic component, with heritability estimates ranging from 40-70%.
- There is no single cause for dyscalculia; it can result from a combination of genetic, neurological, and environmental factors.
- Affects around 7-15% of the population.
- People with dysgraphia have difficulty writing or expressing their thoughts on paper.
- Dysgraphia can also affect fine motor skills and spatial awareness.
- Early intervention and specialized instruction can significantly improve writing skills for individuals with dysgraphia.
- An estimated 10-20% of students with learning disabilities have dysgraphia.
- Children with dysgraphia may struggle with handwriting, spelling, and organizing their thoughts while writing.
- Dysgraphia has a genetic component and often runs in families.
- There is no single cause for dysgraphia; it can result from a combination of genetic, neurological, and environmental factors.
Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) Statistics
- Affects around 5% of school-aged children.
- People with APD have trouble processing and interpreting sounds, which can make it difficult to follow conversations or instructions.
- APD can also lead to difficulties with reading, spelling, and language development.
- APD is more common in males than females.
- APD is often comorbid with other learning disabilities, such as ADHD and dyslexia.
Visual Processing Disorder (VPD) Statistics
- Affects around 5-10% of school-aged children.
- People with VPD have difficulty interpreting visual information, which can affect their ability to read, write, and solve math problems.
- VPD can also affect spatial awareness and depth perception.
- VPD is more common in males than females.
- VPD is often comorbid with other learning disabilities, such as ADHD and dyslexia.
- Affects up to 20% of the population, making it one of the most common learning disabilities.
- People with dyslexia have difficulty with reading and language processing.
- Dyslexia is often comorbid with other learning disabilities, such as ADHD, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia.
- Dyslexia is more common in males than females.
- Dyslexia can also affect non-academic skills, such as memory and organization.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Statistics
- Affects around 6.1 million children in the U.S., or around 9.4% of children aged 2-17 years.
- People with ADHD have difficulty with attention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
- ADHD is often comorbid with other learning disabilities, such as dyslexia and dyscalculia.
- ADHD is more common in males than females.
- ADHD can also affect non-academic skills, such as social skills and emotional regulation.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Statistics
- Affects an estimated 1 in 54 children in the U.S., or around 1.85% of children aged 8 years.
- People with ASD have difficulty with social communication and interaction, as well as restricted and repetitive behaviors.
- ASD is often comorbid with other learning disabilities, such as ADHD and dyslexia.
- ASD is more common in males than females.
- ASD can also affect non-academic skills, such as motor coordination and sensory processing.
Learning Disabilities Prevalence by Ethnicity
- Approximately 13.2% of African American students have been identified with a specific learning disability, compared to 8.5% of Caucasian students and 6.0% of Hispanic students.
- In the United States, Native American/Alaskan Native students have the highest prevalence rate of specific learning disabilities at 16.6%, followed by African Americans at 13.2%, Caucasians at 8.5%, Hispanics at 6.0%, and Asian/Pacific Islanders at 3.1%.
- Among children with mild learning disabilities, around 65% are white, while approximately 20% are African American, and roughly 10% are Hispanic.
- Among children with moderate learning disabilities, approximately 60% are white, around 25% are African American, and about 10% are Hispanic.
- For children with severe learning disabilities, around 55% are white, nearly 30% are African American, and roughly 12% are Hispanic.
Learning Disabilities in US Children: Prevalence and Demographics
- According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 7.6% of children aged 3-17 in the United States were reported to have ever been diagnosed with a learning disability by a school or health professional in 2020.
- This percentage represents around 4.5 million children across the country who have been identified as having a learning disability.
- The prevalence of learning disabilities among boys (9.2%) is significantly higher than that among girls (6.0%).
- When broken down by age groups, the percentage of children aged 3-5 with a diagnosed learning disability is relatively low at 2.1%. However, this percentage increases to 9.7% for children aged 6-11 and reaches its peak at 10.6% for those aged 12-17.
- The prevalence of diagnosed learning disabilities varies by race and ethnicity, with non-Hispanic white children having the highest rate at 8.5%, followed by non-Hispanic black children at 7.8%, Hispanic children at 6.1%, and non-Hispanic Asian children having the lowest rate at only 3.0%.
Facts About Special Education Enrollment by State
In California, approximately 12.5% of students receive special education services, while in Massachusetts, the percentage is 18.1%.
- Texas has a notably lower rate of special education enrollment, with only 9.6% of students receiving these services in the 2018-2019 school year.
- New York reports that approximately 15.4%, or over 400,000 students, are enrolled in special education programs across the state's public schools.
- In Florida, about 14.7 percent of public school students received special education services during the 2018-2019 academic year.
- In Pennsylvania, around 16.7 percent of public school students received special education services during the 2018-2019 academic year.
- In Illinois, approximately 14.3 percent of students received special education services during the 2018-2019 school year.
- In Ohio, around 14.6 percent of public school students received special education services during the 2018-2019 academic year.
- In Michigan, roughly 13.4 percent of public school students received special education services during the 2018-2019 academic year.
Supporting Individuals with Learning Disabilities
It is clear from these statistics that learning disabilities are a widespread issue that requires attention and support. As we move forward, it is important to remember that individuals with learning disabilities are capable of achieving success, and that they should be given the tools and resources they need to do so.
Education professionals, parents, and caregivers can all play a part in providing support to those with learning disabilities, whether that be through accommodations in the classroom or providing additional resources at home. By working together, we can ensure that those with learning disabilities receive the support they need to reach their full potential.
Summary Of Learning Disability Statistics
In conclusion, learning disabilities are prevalent and affect millions of people worldwide. The statistics for 2023 show that approximately 14% of the U.S. population has some form of learning disability, with dyslexia, ADHD, and ASD being among the most common.
These disabilities impact various aspects of an individual's life, including academic performance and social skills. Prevalence rates differ by gender, ethnicity, and geographical location.
Supporting those with learning disabilities is crucial for their success in education and beyond. Educators, parents, and caregivers play a vital role in providing accommodations and resources to help these individuals reach their full potential. By understanding the prevalence and demographics of learning disabilities, we can better target our efforts to support those who need it most.
- National Center for Education Statistics
- U.S.Department of Education
- National Center for Education Statistics
- Child Trends - Children With Learning Disabilities
- Statista - Percentage of students receiving special education in the U.S., by state
- New York State Education Department - Special Education Enrollment
- Florida Department of Education - Special Education Fast Facts