Posted on April 4, 2020

Autism Prevalence Rises 10 Percent Among 8-Year-Olds

Paul S. Carbone and Susan L. Hyman, Healio, April 2, 2020

The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among 8-year-olds climbed 10% between 2014 and 2016 to 1 in 54 children, according to an analysis of data published in MMWR. For the first time, ASD prevalence in black and white children was the same.

The previous prevalence estimate was one in 59 children in 2014. The data come from the CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.


“Some of the increase in autism prevalence might be due to the way children are identified, diagnosed and receiving services in their communities,” Stuart Shapira, MD, PhD, associate director for science at CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, said in a statement. “The increase may also reflect reductions in racial differences in identification in autism, as this is the first ADDM Network report to identify black 8-year-olds with autism having the same rates as white children.”


The ASD prevalence per 1,000 white or non-Hispanic black children was similar — 18.5 and 18.3.

According to the study, the prevalence rate in Asian/Pacific Island children was similar to white and black children at 17.9 per 1,000 children. Prevalence among Hispanic children was lower at 15.4 per 1,000 children.