Statistical Prevalence of ADHD
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:
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:
- 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.
Back to Top2. 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 %)
- State-based Prevalence Data of ADHD Diagnosis: Percent of Youth aged 2-17 ever diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: National Survey of Children’s Health, 2011
- CDC offers a webpage on State-based Prevalence Data of ADHD Medication Treatment: Percent of Youth 4-17 ever diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: National Survey of Children’s Health, 2003-2011.
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:
- 50.7 % had ODD.
- 22.7 % MDDD.
- 12.4 % GAD.
Back to TopBreakdown 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
- 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.
- 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].
Updated: January 2014 Other Web Sites:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Among Children Aged 5-17 Years in the United States, 1998-2009
This data brief [based on the National Health Interview Survey 1998-2009] was released by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics in August, 2011. It contains various data on ADHD prevalence in children aged 5 – 17 years.
- Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health
The Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health provides online access to survey data that allows users to compare state, regional, and nationwide results – plus resources and personalized assistance for interpreting and reporting findings.
- CDC’s Disability and Health State Chartbook – 2006
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
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