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Important Statistics About Autism

According the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here are data and statistics on autism and autism spectrum disorders.

Prevalence of Autism

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About 1 in 68 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. Studies in Asia, Europe, and North America have identified individuals with ASD with an average prevalence of about 1%. A study in South Korea reported a prevalence of 2.6%.

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Who Gets It

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ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups. ASD is almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 42) than among girls (1 in 189).

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Developmental Disabilities

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About 1 in 6 children in the United States had a developmental disability in 2006-2008, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism.

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Did You Know?

  • Most scientists agree that genes are one of the risk factors that can make a person more likely to develop ASD.1
  • Children who have a sibling with ASD are at a higher risk of also having ASD. 2-7
  • ASD tends to occur more often in people who have certain genetic or chromosomal conditions, such as fragile X syndrome or tuberous sclerosis.8-15
  • When taken during pregnancy, the prescription drugs valproic acid and thalidomide have been linked with a higher risk of ASD.12-13
  • There is some evidence that the critical period for developing ASD occurs before, during, and immediately after birth. 14
  • Children born to older parents are at greater risk for having ASD.15


  • Read more about prevalence of autism spectrum disorder. [Read summary] [Read article] Learn more about prevalence of ASD
  • Read more about racial, ethnic group and socioeconomic breakdown of autism [Read summary] [Read article]
  • Read more about high rates of autism in boys [Read article]
  • Read more about rates of developmental disabilities [Read summary]
  • Learn more about the ADDM Network

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