Autism Statistics and Facts

Autism Prevalence

Autism affects an estimated 1 in 36 children in the U.S.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2023)

  • 1 in 36 children in the U.S. have autism, up from the previous rate of 1 in 44.
  • 1 in 45 adults in the U.S. have autism.
  • 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

Autism by the Numbers intervention and diagnosis rates in the U.S.

Source: National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) (2016-2019)

The average ages of diagnosis and first intervention vary widely between states. See how your state compares.

Special Education

Source: U.S. Department of Education (2018-2019)

  • 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.

View graduation rates in your state.

Employment

73.6% of autistic high school students receiving special education graduate with a diploma, 19.3% finish high school with certificates and 8.1% drop out of high school.

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.

Dig deeper into VR outcomes across the U.S.

Healthcare Costs

Source: FAIR Health Inc. (2021)

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

Investigate the cost of services near you.

Interested in learning more?

collage of different people on the autism spectrum

Check out Autism by the Numbers, our interactive dashboard of autism data across all 50 states.