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30 Autism Statistics & Facts You Should Know in 2019

by Dr. Nikola Djordjevic, MD

Autism spectrum disorder, also known as ASD is one of the most common developmental disabilities in the world. It’s even more commonly diagnosed in the United States, affecting an estimated 1 in 59 births. In the following article, we have compiled some of the most important autism statistics related to the disorder and its preventive measures.

So, what is autism and how does it manifest itself in everyday life? The disorder refers to different conditions that are characterized by a certain degree of faulty social behavior, communication skills, and use of language. Also, it may refer to repetitive activities unique to the individual dealing with autism.

Even though an official remedy for the disorder does not exist, by taking quick action, it is possible to dull the symptoms and even overcome them. Fortunately, discoveries and science are further trying to help individuals with the disorder and their families to help them achieve maximum potential in life.

The Top 10 Autism Facts & Statistics to Know in 2019

  • 1 in 59 American children have autism.
  • Caring for autistic individuals costs $268 billion annually, and the cost will increase to $461 billion by 2025.
  • Around 40% of autistic children do not speak.
  • Nearly half of autistic children have an average to above-average intellectual ability.
  • 61% of autistic children are excellent pupils.
  • Individuals with ASD are 3 times more likely to develop diabetes.
  • Adults with ASD are more likely to be affected by schizophrenia, epilepsy, anxiety, and other disorders.
  • 70% of children with ASD may continue their education without issues
  • Only 19.3% of the population with ASD participate in the labor force.
  • The mortality rate is twice higher in individuals with ASD.

General Autism Statistics and Facts

Autism Statistics - General

1. 1 in 59 American children have autism.

(Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Many might be surprised to learn the answer to the question of how many people have autism in the US. According to the Centers for Disease Control’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, in 2014 it was reported that about 1 in 59 children in the United States has been found to deal with an autism spectrum disorder.

This shows a drastic increase in autism diagnosis statistics, in comparison with the year 2010 (1 in 68) and 2006 (1 in 110).

2. ASD is more likely to occur among boys than girls.

(Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

According to recent studies, it is suggested that the average ratio of autistic male children to female children ranges from 2:1 to 16:1. Looms and other researchers in their 2017 study dealing with the same topic found that the male to female ratio was closer to 3:1.

A 2010 study in Canada has shown that approximately one percent of the male patients tested displayed mutation in a gene on their X-chromosome. The mutation may be a vital link to explaining the prevalence of autism among males. Thus, autism in girls does not appear as frequently as in boys.

3. Around 40% of autistic children do not speak.

(Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

According to autism statistics from 2018, 40% of children with severe autism do not talk at all, whilst between 25% to 30% of autistic children utter a few words during their early childhood and then lose them. Also, an autistic kid may not speak but can overcome this issue later in childhood. Youth diagnosed with the disorder may struggle with combining words and putting together correct sentences. Also, there are cases of children who can speak properly but who struggle with listening to what others have to say.

4. Nearly half of autistic children have an average to above-average intellectual ability.

(Autism Speaks)

Based on ADDM Network data, the IQ scores in the range of intellectual disability have shown an increased reduction in comparison with autistic children with higher intellectual abilities.

Formerly, autism statistics by year have shown that between 2000 and 2002, around half of autistic children had IQ scores in the range of intellectual disability, whereas the percentage has dropped in 2006–2008 to 40%. Furthermore, in 2010–2012 research has shown that less than one-third of autistic children had higher IQ.

5. Older parents are more likely to have autistic children.


Many frequently wonder is autism hereditary. One of the most prominent findings in the epidemiology of the mentioned disorder is that older men and women are more prone to being parents to an autistic child. The age of the father has also been proved to be of utmost importance. A study published in 2006 showed one of the causes of autism is linked to men over thirty fathering children. The risk is sixfold in the case with men beyond their 40s.

6. Parents notice a developmental problem before the child turns one.

(Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

Autism spectrum disorders statistics have shown that parents with autistic children notice developmental issues before the child turns one. Some of the most common issues parents notice is reduced communication, social, and motor skills. Many researchers find that autism and sleep disorders are interconnected.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has advised pediatricians to screen infants for developmental problems at each checkup. Fortunately, many issues can be noticed early on in childhood.

7. Identical twins have a 76% chance to display symptoms of ASD.


It is one of the facts about autism spectrum disorder and numerous studies have concluded that in the case of twins if one of the twins is diagnosed with ASD, it is highly likely that the other identical sibling will also be diagnosed with the illness. However, the percentage is reduced in the case of fraternal twins, dropping to a chance of 24%.

8. There is an 18% chance that there will be multiple children with ASD in a household.

(Autism Speaks)

Autism stats have shown that individuals who are parents to one child diagnosed with the disorder have an 18% chance of having another child with the same diagnosis.

9. Mothers who are diagnosed with diabetes and obesity have a 48% chance to have autistic children.


According to some studies, women who have diabetes and who are obese in pregnancy are likely to have an autistic child. The results of a study displayed that gestational diabetes increased the risk of developing ASD by nearly 50%.

10. There is a 28% chance that children with ASD will resort to self-harm.

(National Autistic Society)

Research has shown that individuals with symptoms of ASD are prone to self-injurious behavior such as biting, scratching and eye-gouging. Approximately 28% of eight-year-old children with ASD resort to self-harm.

11. Autism statistics worldwide are booming.

(Autism Speaks)

Many are asking the question of how many people have autism worldwide. There have been studies dealing with the prevalence rate of autism all around the world. For example, autism by race statistics have shown that Korea has displayed a prevalence rate of approximately 2.6%.

Autism and Comorbidities: Statistics and Facts

Autism Statistics - Associated Disorders

12. Children with ASD are prone to suffer from higher anxiety levels.

(Anxiety and Depression Association of America)

Anxiety and poor stress management is a serious concern with autistic children and adolescents. Social disabilities which are characteristic of individuals with ASD are further affected by anxiety.

13. Adults with ASD are more likely to be affected by schizophrenia.


Autism statistics have shown that adults with autism have a 4–35% chance of being affected by schizophrenia in comparison to the general population. According to research, the gene expression signatures in the brain of individuals with ASD are likely to overlap with disorders such as bipolarity and schizophrenia.

14. Children with ASD are more prone to suffer from epilepsy.

(Wiley Online Library)

Epilepsy is defined as a neurological disorder marked by recurrent episodes of seizures and it is associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Over 3 million Americans have some form of epilepsy. Autism spectrum disorder statistics have shown that autistic children are more likely to suffer from epilepsy, and vice versa. 5–38% of children with ASD deal with comorbid epilepsy, whereas only 16% of these have remission later in their adult lives.

15. Individuals with ASD are 3 times more likely to develop diabetes.

(American Diabetes Association)

According to data concerning diabetes and obesity, individuals in their teens or young adults with autism are 3 times more likely to develop type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care, Freeman et al. analyzed the link which may prove a vital connection to diabetes and ASD. According to their findings, the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder in approximately 1,000 children with diabetes proved to be greater than in the average population. Proper management of diabetes is equally important in childhood and in senior years.

16. 16% of individuals with ASD are obese.


Since diabetes and obesity go hand in hand, individuals diagnosed with ASD are probably more likely to be obese. Autism awareness facts have shown that around 32% of the autistic youth deal with excess weight and around 16% suffer from obesity. 

Autism Employment Statistics and Education Statistics

Autism Statistics - School

17. 9.2% of individuals with ASD may have hyperlexia.

(Science Direct)

Many ask “is autism a disability?” On the contrary, autism may be accompanied by hyperlexia. Hyperlexia is the ability to read above one’s age or grade level. Some studies show high autism rates in kids with hyperlexia, such as Burd and Kerbeshian who concluded that hyperlexia is present in approximately 6% of autistic children. Others such as Jones et al. (2009) tested 130 autistic children and found a prevalence of 9.2% for hyperlexia.

18. 70% of children with ASD may continue their education without issues.

(Ambitious about Autism

According to statistics, around 70% of children diagnosed with autism continue their education in mainstream schools, whereas others decide to enroll in specialist provisions.

19. Children with ASD are frequently bullied.

(Ambitious about Autism)

Based on surveys, children with ASD and special educational needs are not immune to bullies; Autism statistics from 2019 have found that these children have twice the chance to be victims of physical, emotional or verbal bullying.

20. 61% of autistic children are excellent pupils.

 (Ambitious about Autism)

Studies have shown that the approximate grades autistic children achieve during their school year (61% of pupils, in 2012–2013) are A–C grades. These grades are especially prevalent in subjects such as English and Mathematics.

21. There are around 35% of unemployed individuals with ASD.


Unfortunately, many individuals with the disorder drop out of high school in the United States, the number being an estimated 50,000. Also, the degree of unemployment is drastic. In fact, about 35% of the autistic youth remains unemployed after finishing education.

22. Only 10% of adults with ASD receive employment support.

(National Autistic Society)

Based on recent statistics on the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among employees, only 10% of adults diagnosed with the disorder receive substantial employment support, whereas 53% do not want it. Also, the federal requirement for providing supportive services in adulthood does not exist.

23. Only 19.3% of the population with ASD participate in the labor force.

(Bureau of Labor Statistics)

It was estimated in June 2014 that merely 19.3% of the population of people with the disorder in the United States were actively working or seeking job opportunities.

Other Interesting Facts About Autism

Autism Statistics - Facts

24. Caring for autistic individuals costs $268 billion annually, and the cost will increase to $461 billion by 2025.

(Autism Speaks)

According to the forecast of UC Davis health economists, the autism-related medical, nonmedical and productivity losses are noted to be 268 billion dollars, whereas the sum is noted to increase up to 461 billion dollars for 2025. However, researchers claim that in case ASD statistics prevalence further increases, the total costs may reach an alarming 1 trillion dollars the same year.

25. Children with ASD are highly creative.

(The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders)

According to a study by The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, there is a strong link between children with autism and creativity. The study evaluated 312 individuals in the sample and dealt with the relationship between divergent thinking, perception of ambiguous figures and self-reported traits of autism.

26. Children with chromosomal or genetic conditions have a 10% chance to have autism.


Autism facts and statistics have shown that approximately 10% of autistic children are also diagnosed with different conditions such as tuberous sclerosis, Down syndrome or another serious disorder. Different types of autism showcase separate conditions.

27. Children born prematurely have a chance of developing symptoms of ASD.


There is a slight chance that children born prematurely (before the 37th week) or children born with a low birth weight are at risk of being diagnosed with the disorder later in life. Autism spectrum statistics have shown that babies born prematurely run a high risk of not only autism but brain damage, ADHD and other serious learning disabilities.

28. Mothers of autistic children are less likely to work outside the home.


Mothers who serve as managers and caretakers of children with ASD are less likely to have jobs outside the home. Also, on average, mothers with healthy children earn twice as much as mothers with autistic children.

29. Autistic men are more likely to remain single.


According to autism marriage statistics, males dealing with autism are likely to be unmarried. The survey concerned single men, and it was shown that single men who remained unmarried had a 4.5% rate of autism in comparison to 0.2% of adult women.

30. The mortality rate is twice higher in individuals with ASD.


Based on a study conducted in 2008, autism prognosis statistics have found that the mortality risk among individuals diagnosed with ASD is much higher than the general population. It is approximately twice as high. Nevertheless, these statistics do not refer to general life expectancy. The high mortality risks deal with autistic behavior leading up to accidents such as drowning incidents.


In conclusion, it is important to acquire education on the topic of ASD because it affects the lives of a significant number of individuals and their families. Even though life can be a lot more challenging when dealing with ASD, autism statistics have shown that it is possible to make small, but beneficial changes. Fortunately, autism awareness is promoted yearly, assuring that individuals with ASD lead to higher-quality lives.

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