Facts & Statistics

About 1 percent of the world population has autism spectrum disorder. (CDC, 2014)

Prevalence in the United States is estimated at 1 in 68 births. (CDC, 2014)

More than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. (Buescher et al., 2014)

Prevalence  of autism in U.S. children increased  by 119.4 percent from 2000 (1 in  150) to 2010 (1 in 68). (CDC, 2014)  Autism is the fastest-growing  developmental disability. (CDC, 2008)

Prevalence has increased by 6-15 percent each year from 2002 to 2010. (Based on biennial numbers from the CDC)

Autism services cost U.S. citizens $236-262 billion annually. (Buescher et al., 2014)

A  majority of costs in the U.S. are in adult  services – $175-196 billion,  compared to $61-66 billion for children.  (Buescher et al., 2014)

In 10 years, the annual cost will be $200-400 billion. (Autism Society estimate)

Cost  of lifelong care can be reduced by 2/3  with early diagnosis and  intervention. (Autism Society estimate based  on Government Accounting  Office Report on Autism, 2006)

1 percent of the adult population of the United Kingdom has autism spectrum disorder. (Brugha T.S. et al., 2011)

The  U.S. cost of autism over the lifespan is  about $2.4 million for a  person with an intellectual disability, or  $1.4 million for a person  without intellectual disability. (Buescher et  al., 2014)

35  percent of young adults (ages 19-23) with  autism have not had a job or  received postgraduate education after  leaving high school. (Shattuck et  al., 2012)

It costs more than $8,600 extra per year to  educate a  student with autism. (Lavelle et al., 2014) (The average cost  of  educating a student is about $12,000 – NCES, 2014)

In June 2014,  only 19.3 percent of people with  disabilities in the U.S. were  participating in the labor force –  working or seeking work. Of those,  12.9 percent were unemployed,  meaning only 16.8 percent of the  population with disabilities was  employed. (By contrast, 69.3 percent of  people without disabilities  were in the labor force, and 65 percent of  the population without  disabilities was employed.) (Bureau of Labor  Statistics, 2014)

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