Autism Statistics and Facts

The first thing to understand about autism statistics is that all statistics you find anywhere are roughly calculated and will inherently have a somewhat high error ratio, even those from government agencies. This is due to the fact that autism is growing rapidly and all figures are historical. We can only work with what we have. And although these statistics are calculated and researched based on the United States they should be generally applicable worldwide. With that in mind…

Bar graph

• Every 11 minutes a child is born who will soon be diagnosed with some form of autism

• 46,939 children born per year will have autism

• It is the fastest growing developmental disability

• 1 in 88 children have autism

• 90% of the costs associated with autism are due to adult services

• 129 children are diagnosed with ASD daily

• 20 to 30 percent of children with autism develop epilepsy

• Boys are approximately 5 times more likely to have autism than girls

• Life expectancy is normal, although this is debatable due to dangerous and self-injurous behaviors in many autistics

• Early diagnosis and intervention can reduce the lifelong costs by as much as 2/3

• A known cause or cure for autism does not exist

Backup for the Autism Statistics
How do you know these statistics are accurate? Often, stats are put out there but they’re rarely explained beyond face value. Based on publicly available information the above statements are spot on. The bullet points above that do not have a superscript number beside them are widely available facts about ASD, such as no cause or cure being in existence.

1 Divide the minutes in a year (525,600) by the number of children in the US with autism born per year (46,939) and you arrive at this figure.
2 Divide the number of births per year (4,130,665 in 2009) by the rate of occurrence for a single child (88) to get this stat. The number of live births in the US in 2009 is according to the National Vital Statistics Reports, Volume 60, Issue 1, November 3, 2011. Report put out by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, and the National Vital Statistics System.
3 When compared to the rate of growth of all other developmental disabilities this is simply a fact.
4 According to a 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
5 Jarbrink K, Knapp M, 2001, London School of Economics study: “The economic impact on autism in Britain,” 5 (1): 7-22.
6 To calculate this simply divide the number of children diagnosed with ASD per year (46,939) by the number of days in a year (365).
7 According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.