Autism Statistics and Facts
- 1 in 36 children in the U.S. have autism, up from the previous rate of 1 in 44.
- In the U.S., about 4 in 100 boys and 1 in 100 girls have autism.
- Boys are nearly 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.
- Autism prevalence is lower among white children than other racial and ethnic groups:
- White – 2.4%
- Black – 2.9%
- Hispanic – 3.2%
- Asian or Pacific Islander – 3.3%
These changes reflect an improvement in outreach, screening and de-stigmatization of autism diagnosis among minority communities.
*The CDC autism prevalence estimates are for 8-year-old children across 11 monitoring sites in the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network in 2020.
Diagnosis and Early Intervention
Source: National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) (2016-2019)
- Autism can be reliably diagnosed by a specialist by age 2, but the average age of autism diagnosis in the U.S. is 5 years.
- The average age of first intervention in the U.S. is 4.7 years.
- The average age of diagnosis for children in lower income households is 4.7 years compared to 5.2 years in higher income households.
The average ages of diagnosis and first intervention vary widely between states. See how your state compares.
- 74% of autistic students in the U.S. graduate with a diploma, versus 86% of all students.
- 19% of autistic students in the U.S. graduate with a certificate.
- 8% of autistic students in the U.S. don't finish high school, versus 5% of all students.
Sources: U.S. Department of Education (2014-2016), Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022)
- Only 21% of people with disabilities, including autism, are employed.
- Nearly 60% of people with autism in the U.S. are employed after receiving vocational rehabilitation (VR) services. These are state-provided services that help autistic individuals explore possible careers, find a job and secure needed accommodations in the workplace.
- 70% of eligible autistic individuals in the U.S. receive VR.
- 50% of autistic youth in the U.S. who receive VR begin those services in high school.
The average costs of common autism services in the U.S. are:
- Adaptive behavior – $82.25
- Developmental screening – $165.95
- Emergency department – $1,397.22
- Physical therapy – $74.99
- Psychiatry – $253.40
- Speech/Language – $174.80
- Therapeutic behavioral – $175.44