Statistical Prevalence of ADHD
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Lots of Data!
In addition to the information presented here, also see CDC's helpful page on ADHD Data and Statistics, which breaks down some of the data this way:
- ADHD Throughout the Years
- Diagnosis Data
- Treatment Data
Sections on this page include:
- General Prevalence of ADHD in Children and Adolescents
- General Prevalence of ADHD in Adults in the United States
- ADHD in the US Population - brief fact sheet (pdf) prepared by the National Resource Center on ADHD
- Global Prevalence of ADHD
General Prevalence of ADHD in Children and Adolescents in the United States:
There are several sources for information on the statistical prevalence of ADHD among school-age children. The most recent estimates based on national surveys are provided here:
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Key Findings: Trends in the Parent-Report of Health Care Provider-Diagnosis and Medication Treatment for ADHD: United States, 2003-2011 [data from the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) 2003 to 2011]. For children ages 4-17 years of age, highlighted data include:
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- 5.1 million children (8.8% or 1 in 11 of this age group 4-17 years) have a current diagnosis of ADHD:
- 6.8% of children ages 4-10 (1 in 15)
- 11.4% of children ages 11-14 (1 in 9)
- 10.2% of children ages 15-17 (1 in 10)
- The average age of current ADHD diagnosis was 6.2 years, including:
- "Mild" ADHD diagnosed at 7 years,
- "Moderate" ADHD diagnosed at 6.1 years, and
- "Severe" ADHD diagnosed at 4.4 years.
- 3.5 million children (69% of children with current ADHD) were taking medication for ADHD.
- Boys (12.1%) continue to be more than twice as likely than girls (5.5%) to have current ADHD.
- Current ADHD prevalence rates vary between states, with Nevada having the lowest rate at 4.2% and Kentucky having the highest rate of 14.8%.
- According to the parent reports, 6.4 million children (11% of this age group 4-17 years) have ever been diagnosed with ADHD, and rates of ever-diagnosed ADHD increased an average of approximately 5% per year from 2003 to 2011.
2. These data are taken from CDC's Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Children: National Health Interview Survey, 2009 (December 2010; Series 10, Number 247)
- 2.1 million children between the ages of 5 to 11 have ADHD (7.6%)
- 3 million children between the ages of 12 to 17 have ADHD (12.2%)
By Ethnic Background:
- White (non Hispanic): 4.1 million children have ADHD (8.7%)
- Black or African American: 904,000 children have ADHD (9.8%)
- Hispanic or Latino: 659,000 children have ADHD (5%)
By Family Structure:
- Mother and father: 3.1 million children have ADHD (7.3 %)
- Mother, no father: 1.7 million children have ADHD (11.1 %)
- Father, no mother: 178,000 children have ADHD (8.7 %)
- Neither mother nor father: 316,000 children have AD/HD (15.37 %)
Breakdown on co-occurring conditions:
These are data on the most common co-occurring conditions as reported in ADHD characteristics: I. Concurrent co-morbidity patterns in children & adolescents, (Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, July 2008).
- The most prevalent co-occurring disorder with ADHD is Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD), appearing 41 % of the time.
- Minor Depression/Dysthymia (MDDD) was second, with a rate of 22%.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) was third, appearing 15% of the time.
Breakdown of co-occurring conditions by ADHD subtype:
In predominantly inattentive subtype:
- 21 % had MDDD.
- 21 % ODD.
- 19 % GAD.
In predominantly hyperactive-impulsive subtype:
- 42 % had ODD.
- 22 % GAD.
- 19 % MDDD.
In combined subtype:
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- 50.7 % had ODD.
- 22.7 % MDDD.
- 12.4 % GAD.
Breakdown by ADHD subtype:
This data were reported in Prevalence, Recognition, and Treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in a National Sample of US Children, (Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, September 2007).
- Total Sample: 3082
- AD/HD all types: 222
- Inattentive subtype: 95
- Combined type: 72
- Hyperactive-Impulsive type: 55
General Prevalence of ADHD in Adults in the United States:
- The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) funded the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R), (American Journal of Psychiatry, April 2006). This study estimated that 4.4% of adults between ages 18 and 44 experience some symptoms and disabilities from AD/HD.
- CNS Spectrum: The International Journal of Neuropsychiatric Medicine (August 2008) features an expert roundtable supplement titled Best Practices in Adult ADHD: Epidemiology, Impairments, and Differential Diagnosis. This publication states that about 4% of the adult population in the U.S. has AD/HD.
Global Prevalence of ADHD
Updated: January 2014
- The worldwide-pooled prevalence of ADHD for persons age 18 and under was 5.29%, based on a review of 102 studies comprising 171,756 subjects from all world regions.
[Source: Polanczyk et al. (2007 June), The worldwide prevalence of ADHD: a systematic review and metaregression analysis, American Journal of Psychiatry, June 2007, v164 n6, pp. 942-948].
- Global ADHD prevalence for males aged 5-19 is 2.2% and for females 0.7%, based on a review of 44 studies covering 21 world regions.
[Source: Erskine et al. (2013 December), Research Review: Epidemiological modelling of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, v54 n12, pp. 1263-1274].
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