Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Autism Rates In Us

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What Percentage Of Babies Are Autistic

MD Has 2nd Highest Autism Rates In America, CDC Says

I mentioned above that the CDC reports that 1.7% of the population has autism.

For babies, however, its much harder to know if the rates of autism at birth are any different. The reason for that is that autism often isnt diagnosed until kids are around age 7.

What we do know is that tracking of autism in minority populations has improved dramatically in recent years. Stuart K. Shapira, MD, PhD of the CDC went on to say that Autism prevalence among black and Hispanic children is approaching that of white children.

No doubt that accounts for the increase from 1.5% in 2016.

While 1.5% to 1.7% may sound small, bear in mind thats across the total population in the United States. That means out of the 327.2 million people in the US, 5.5 million people have autism.

That increase from 1.5% to 1.7% means an additional 600,000 people have been diagnosed with autism just between 2016 and 2018.

Where Are Asd Data Gathered

The ASD data sources included here do not all cover the same geographic areas. Some data sources include information from all states and territories. Others, such as CDCs ADDM Network, include information from specific communities or populations.

Select data source:

ASD Data Collection Locations for:Special Education Child CountNational Survey of Children’s HealthMedicaidADDM Network*

The US Department of Education collects state-level Special Education child count data. The number of states reported as providing services to children with autism may vary year to year. In 2017, 47 states and the District of Columbia reported ASD data.

In 2016-2018, the NSCH collected ASD data from all states and the District of Columbia.

States collect Medicaid data and report it to CMS. CMS then releases publically available data sets. In 2012, all states and the District of Columbia reported data. Data that are reported to CMS are not necessarily complete and may not reflect all data that are available at the state level.

Since the launch of the ADDM Network in 2000, CDC has funded 18 sites at various times. In 2018, ASD data were collected from 11 sites by obtaining the health and education records of children with behaviors consistent with ASD.


ASD Collection Sites

No Participation or Data Suppressed

Available Data from Most Recent Data Collection

Available Data from Previous Data Collection


How Are Asd Data Gathered

Different data sources gather ASD data in different ways. Much of the variation in reported ASD prevalence is related to these different data collection methods. The population studied and differing ASD criteria across data sources also contribute to this variation.

Select data source:

ADDM NetworkSpecial Education Child CountNational Survey of Children’s HealthMedicaid


The Special Education child count data used by CDC estimates the number of children with ASD receiving special education and related services in each state. Each state has different criteria for identifying students 321 years old with ASD. CDC focuses on Special Education child count data for children 617 years old, as they are most likely to be in grade school.

The NSCH data estimates the number of children identified with ASD through parental report of ASD diagnosed by a healthcare provider. Although NSCH data includes ages 017, CDC only uses data for children older than 3 years of age since ASD generally is not diagnosed until after 3 years of age, despite early identification efforts.

Medicaid data used by CDC estimates the number of children who have two or more outpatient or one or more inpatient Medicaid claims using an ASD diagnosis code.

Sample Size

Special Education child count data were collected from more than 5 million children each year from 2000 to 2017. These data represent the 60 states and entities that receive IDEA Part B formula grants.



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Cdcs Role In Asd Tracking

CDC has been monitoring ASD since 1996. Research and tracking have increased a great deal in recent years, and CDC is part of the larger group of public and private organizations working to better understand ASD.

Like the many families living with ASD, CDC considers ASD an important public health concern, and is committed to

  • Providing essential data on ASD,
  • Searching for risk factors and causes, and
  • Developing resources that help identify children with ASD as early as possible.

For more than two decades, CDC has been tracking the prevalence of ASD. By tracking prevalence, CDC can find out if the number of children with ASD is rising, dropping, or staying the same. We can also compare the number of children with ASD in different areas of the country and among different groups of people. This information can help us learn about factors that might put children at risk for ASD, and can help communities direct their service and outreach efforts to those who need it most.

The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network

National Survey of Childrens Health

Is Autism On The Rise Worldwide

Autism Prevalence Still Rising per CDC

Yes is the short answer.

Its worth noting that researchers havent been tracking autism for decades. In fact, serious tracking didnt start until 2000.

Its also worth noting that unlike many other conditions, there isnt a blood test or scan that can detect autism. So we are relying 100% on doctors and researchers to objectively agree on criteria and diagnose in a consistent manner.

That is to say, its probably not very consistent compared to tracking of other diseases and conditions.

That being said, its undeniable that autism IS on the rise. The World Health Organization puts the autism rates by country at 1 in 160. The CDC has noted a 15% increase in autism spectrum disorder diagnosis over the past 2 years and a whopping 181% increase from 2004 to 2018.

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Autism Rates By State

  • The three states with the highest prevalence of autism diagnoses are Rhode Island, Maryland, and Florida, all with rates of over 4%.
  • The majority of states have autism diagnosis rates between 2% and 3.9%.
  • 10 states have an autism diagnosis prevalence of less than 2%.
  • The lowest rate of diagnosed autism is in Texas at 1.54%, while the highest rate is in Florida at 4.88%.

Autism rates fluctuate throughout the U.S. There isnât a lot of conclusive data on why this is. Itâs possible that states like Florida have more effective screening processes and special education interventions.

If you live in a state with a lower rate of diagnosis, it doesnât mean that fewer people in your area are autistic.

It might just mean that fewer people are diagnosed, either because they donât have harmful symptoms or because they lack access to get a diagnosis.

How Many Children In The World Have Autism

Going back to the CDC, 1.7% of the worlds population is on the autism spectrum.

With about 7.5 billion people on the planet, that would have between 75 million and 150 million people being on the autism spectrum.

Since about 26% of the worlds population is age 15 and under, that would mean between 20 and 40 million kids with autism in the world.

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Heres Why The Apparent Increase In Autism Spectrum Disorders May Be Good For Us Children

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among American children continues to rise, new government data suggest.

Geraldine Dawson, director of Duke Universitys Center for Autism and Brain Development, said the new estimate is similar to one found in research based on screening a large population of children rather than on those already diagnosed. As such, she said it may be closer to reflecting the true state of autism in U.S. children than earlier estimates.

The CDC reports are based on data from counties and other communities in 11 states some with more urban neighborhoods, where autism rates tend to be higher. The rates are estimates and dont necessarily reflect the entire U.S. situation, the authors said.

Autism rates varied widely from 1 in 26 in California, where services are plentiful, to 1 in 60 in Missouri.

Overall, autism prevalence was similar across racial and ethnic lines, but rates were higher among Black children in two sites, Maryland and Minnesota. Until recently, U.S. data showed prevalence among white children was higher.

Systemic Underrepresentation In Autism Rates

Autism Prevalence Increases: 1 In 59 US Children

Access to health care reduces the rate of systemic misdiagnoses in minority ethnic populations. Historically, Hispanic and African American children have had lower rates of autism diagnoses because their communities have had more limited access to health care. There has also been more limited access to education about autism, which has further contributed to disproportionately lower rates.

As a result of these problems, autism diagnoses were traditionally higher in white children in America, leading to wide underrepresentation of autism in minority groups. Increased education and health care access for minority communities have improved the detection of the disorder.

This has contributed to the prevalence of autism diagnoses across different American demographics and socioeconomic statuses. To that point, the PLOS One journal noted in 2015 that the prevalence of autism is more likely to be higher in areas with the highest level of deprivation.

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Treatment Intervention And Support

At Autism Parenting Magazine we have access to exclusive data gathered from our database of readers:

  • While FDA-approved medication for treating irritability in autism is limited to risperidone and aripiprazole, caregivers are increasingly turning to complementary and alternative medication
  • Parents, who give their autistic child CBD products, do so mainly to treat anxiety and challenging behavior
  • Of the respondents giving CBD to those in their care, 31.3% started using the product during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • ABA therapy is controversial with some parents believing it to be the most helpful intervention for their child while others, especially adults on the spectrum, call it abusive
  • Speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and pharmacological interventions are some other evidence-based treatments for symptoms associated with autism
  • While autistic kids need support from family, educators, medical professional, therapists, and the community to thrive, its important to remember parents with kids on the spectrum also require extensive support
  • A study looking at support needs of parents with autistic children found mothers and fathers emphasized different aspects of support:

FATHERS: In contrast, fathers placed more importance on assistance with the autistic child or teens social development. Unmet support needs fathers deemed important include time for relaxation and self-care.

Autism Rates By State 2022

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder , is a developmental disability characterized by challenges with social skills, speech, non-verbal communication, and repetitive behaviors. Typically, there is nothing visually that sets people with ASD apart from anyone else however, people with ASD may learn, interact, behave, and communicate in ways that are different from most people.

The reason that autism is also called autism spectrum disorder is that the disability occurs on a spectrum, with the range and severity of symptoms varying widely. Children or adults with autism might:

  • Avoiding contact and wanting to be alone
  • Having trouble understand other peoples emotions or talking about their own feelings
  • Might be unaware when people talk to them
  • Have trouble expressing their needs using typical words
  • Have trouble adapting when a routine changes
  • Not look at objects when another person points to them
  • Have unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, feel, look, or sound

Diagnosing autism can be difficult since there is no medical test that can determine the disorder. Autism, however, can sometimes be detected at 18 months or younger and by age two, an experienced professional can usually provide a reliable diagnosis. Early recognition, as well as behavioral, educational, and family therapies may reduce symptoms and support development and learning.

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What Is The Current Autism Rate

In the United States, according to the CDC, 1 in 59 children is on the autism spectrum as of a 2006 survey.

More recent studies indicate a rate of 1 in 45. But in some of the countries with lowest autism rates, that number can be as low as 1 in 3,333 .

Across the globe, the World Health Organization puts that figure at 1 in 160. The CDC has also seen a 15% increase in autism spectrum disorder diagnosis over the past 2 years.

Since 2004, they have found an incredible 181% increase through 2018.

Check out even more shocking Autism Statistics Worldwide in a highly shared post I published earlier.

Reported Prevalence Varies By Race And Ethnicity

Graph of US rates of autism prevalence in first grade served under IDEA ...

Over time, ADDM reports have consistently noted that more non-Hispanic white children are identified with ASD than non-Hispanic black or Hispanic children. Previous studies have shown that potential barriers to identification of children with ASD, especially among Hispanic children, include

  • Stigma,
  • Lack of access to healthcare services due to non-citizenship or low-income, and
  • Non-English primary language.

A difference in identifying non-Hispanic black and Hispanic children with ASD as compared to non-Hispanic white children with ASD means that some children with ASD may not be receiving the services they need to reach their full potential.

As of 2018, the ADDM Network found no overall difference in the percent of Black, White, Hispanic, and Asian or Pacific Islander 8-year-old children identified with ASD. However, at several sites, the percent of Hispanic children identified with ASD was lower compared with Black or White children. The decreasing racial and ethnic differences over time may be due to more effective outreach directed toward minority communities and efforts to have all children screened for ASD.

Choose the data source below and see how prevalence estimates vary by race/ethnicity.

Prevalence Estimates by Race/Ethnicity

Show ADDM prevalence estimates* by race/ethnicity for:

Note: *ADDM data do not represent the entire state, only a selection of sites within the state.ADDM estimate = the total for all sites combined.

Read Also: How Does Autism Come About

Autism Rates By Gender

  • About 4 times as many boys have been diagnosed with autism as girls.
  • Research shows that girls are underdiagnosed, meaning that the ratio of boys to girls with autism might actually be just 1 to 2.
  • In one study, the ratio fell from 4.2 to 3.3 boys for every girl when researchers changed how they evaluated whether the participants had autism.
  • In 1995, a Danish study found that 8 boys were diagnosed with autism for every 1 girl, but within 15 years, the ratio had dropped to 3 boys for every 1 girl.

In the past, researchers believed that it was extremely rare for girls to have autism. But more recent studies have shown that there may be 1 girl with autism for every 2 or 3 boys. The trouble is in getting a proper diagnosis.

Girls with autism are more likely to have âintrovertedâ symptoms, which may be misdiagnosed as depression or anxiety. Because of this, girls have a higher likelihood of being diagnosed with autism in their preteens or teenage years.

But even when the under diagnosis is taken into account, it does seem that boys are more likely to be autistic than girls.

What Could Help Alleviate Barriers To Diagnosis

One reason that the developmental disabilities monitoring is done by the CDC and ADDM is to help with how data can be collected consistently.

When collecting data and representing different people, there isnt always ample access to services or information. Some underprivileged communities dont have access to the information and medical care of others locations due to poverty or language barriers.

Having different outreaches and education about autism and how it affects different people could help alleviate some of the barriers to diagnosis. The ADDM is working towards this, along with launching other resources to better collect data of those affected by autism.

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Ireland 1 Child For Every 65

The United States would have come in #16 on this list of countries with lowest autism rates had we gone that high.

Its also interesting to note that not only did South Korea not make the list of countries with lowest autism rates, but, in fact, has one of the highest rates of autism in the world, despite it being highly stigmatized there.

Also interesting is that while China as a whole has a low rate of autism, Hong Kong, arguably the most developed and western city in China, has the highest rate of autism in the world.

While Poland is certainly much lower than many, there probably arent any countries with no autism.

New survey looks at how parents perceive their childs #autism in Greece, Japan, Poland, Italy and the US.

Did I Cover All You Wanted To See About The Autism Rates By Country

Autism rate in NJ is higher than the national average

In this post, we took a deep look into the world of autism.

We looked at what autism spectrum disorder is. We looked at autism rates by country and how they have increased and we also touched on some therapies designed to help support children diagnosed with autism.

Specifically, though, we looked at the countries with lowest autism rates, and autism rates by country, and we avoided conspiracy theories and stuck to proven data.

In the world of autism, we are far from having all the answers, but we can certainly ask the questions. And having all the data and facts can help us to ask better questions.

I am not a parent of autistic kids but my wife is a teacher who specializes in working with autistic kids and in my 9 to 5 working with kids, I do see a number of kids on the autism spectrum.

So, while not a complete expert, I am closely connected to that world.

Ready to dive in deeper? Check out all the Autism Statistics Worldwide .

I am not a doctor or a health professional. This post, like all my posts, is based on my research, opinions, and observations. If you need medical or professional advice you should seek out a qualified professional in your area.
Data sources for top 15 autism rates by country data:

Read Also: What Conditions Are On The Autism Spectrum

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