Statistics & Studies


  • ASDs are reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups, yet are on average 4 to 5 times more likely to occur in boys than in girls.  However, we need more information on some less studied populations and regions around the world.
  • If 4 million children are born in the United States every year, approximately 36,500 children will eventually be diagnosed with an ASD.  Assuming the prevalence rate has been constant over the past two decades, we can estimate that about 730,000 individuals between the ages of 0 to 21 have an ASD. Studies in Asia, Europe and North America have identified individuals with an ASD with an approximate prevalence of 0.6% to over 1%.
  • Approximately 13% of children have a developmental disability, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism.

Economic Costs

Recent studies have estimated that the lifetime cost to care for an individual with an ASD is $3.2 million.

Individuals with an ASD had average medical expenditures that exceeded those without an ASD by $4,110–$6,200 per year. On average, medical expenditures for individuals with an ASD were 4.1–6.2 times greater than for those without an ASD. Differences in median expenditures ranged from $2,240 to $3,360 per year with median expenditures 8.4–9.5 times greater.

Source: Centers for Disease Control, May 13, 2010