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Autism Facts and Statistics

Autism Prevalence Stats

  • The latest prevalence estimate is 1 in 68 children: 1 in 42 for boys and 1 in 189 for girls1
  • Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the United States2
  • The actual amount of NIH funding for FY 2013 for autism spectrum disorder was $186M3
  • The estimated amount of NIH Funding for FY 2014 is $190M3
  • There is currently no medical test or cure for autism2

Risk Factors and Characteristics

  • The concordance rate for autism refers to the likelihood of the disorder being present in both members of a twin or sibling pair

    • The current estimate for the concordance rate among monozygotic (identical) twins is 77%4
    • The current estimate for the concordance rate among dizygotic twins (fraternal) twins is 31%4
    • The current estimate for the concordance rate among typical siblings is 20%4
    • Concordance rates will vary by gender

  • The heritability of ASD is greater than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes4


  • Researchers have determined that a reliable, valid, and stable diagnosis of ASD can achieved by age 25
  • Estimates from 2014 place the average of diagnosis at 4 years, minority and underserved populations tend be diagnosed even later1
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all children be screened for ASD at 18 and 24 months of age1
  • Eye-tracking studies suggest the behavioral markers for autism can be observed as early as 6 months6
  • Research suggests that some signs of autism are visible as early as 12 months of age.5

Economic Costs

  • Autism costs a family nearly $60,000 a year on average2
  • Harvard researchers released a study in February of 2014 indicated the costs of autism-related healthcare and education averages more than $17,000 per year in the United States. On the national level, the researchers found that these estimated costs exceeded $11.5 billion in 2011.1
  • A 2012 study found that, on average, mothers of children with ASD learn 56 percent less than mothers of children with no health limitations8
  • It is estimated that the lifetime costs of raising a child with autism ranges from $3.5 million to 5 million9
  • In 2012, the estimated national cost for autism was $137 billion per year10