Autism is Epidemic

child lying on the floorIncidence of children with Autism in 1980: 1 in 2,500

Incidence of children with Autism in 1994: 1 in 150

Incidence of children with Autism in 2004: 1 in 125

Incidence of children with Autism in 2006: 1 in 110

Incidence of children with Autism in 2008: 1 in 88

Incidence of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in 2010: 1 in 68

Number of US children with ASD in 2010: 730,000

Increase in prevalence of autism between 1997 and 2008: 289%

Percentage of people with ASD who are under 18: 80%

Incidence of Alabama children with ASD in 2010: 1 in 175

Incidence of New Jersey children with ASD in 2010: 1 in 45

Ratio of boys with ASD to girls with ASD: 5:1

Incidence of girls with ASD in 2010: 1 in 189

Incidence of boys with ASD in 2010: 1 in 42

Incidence of ASD among white children: 1 in 63

Incidence of ASD among black children: 1 in 81

Incidence of ASD among Hispanic children: 1 in 93

Average cost of lifetime care for person with ASD: $3.2 million

These statistics are from the Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder Among Children Aged 8 Years —Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, 11 Sites, United States, 2010. and Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in U.S. Children, 1997–2008.

More data and statistics on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) can be found on the CDC website. 


Peggy O'Mara newPeggy O’Mara is the editor and publisher of She was the editor and publisher of Mothering magazine from 1980 to 2011 and the editor-in-chief of from 1995 to 2012.. The author of Having a Baby Naturally; Natural Family Living; The Way Back Home; and A Quiet Place, Peggy has conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League, and Bioneers. She is the mother of four and grandmother of three.

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About Peggy O'Mara

Editor and Publisher of Longtime natural living advocate, award winning writer, and independent thinker.

7 thoughts on “Autism is Epidemic

  1. Pingback: Have story, will travel | Hardscrabble Times

  2. Barbara Latterner

    And we’re doing what about this? This is truly an epidemic not a handful or two of measles cases. Where is this country’s sense of caring for children? This is not ok, it is shameful.

  3. Laura

    I shared this on both my business and personal Facebook pages. I did not realize how bad it was. This does not address the possibility in increased reporting and diagnosis, but it couldn’t be by that much more! Help us figure out what can be done about it.

    • Peggy O'MaraPeggy O'Mara Post author

      The definition of autism was expanded in recent years to include all autism spectrum disorders. However, this change in definition is not sufficient to explain the huge increase. If it were just an increase in diagnosis then we would see many more adults with autism and yet 80% are under 18. Some do predict that this trend will continue, but I don’t know. It does makes sense to me that it will continue until we understand the cause of the epidemic. I enjoyed reading the book, The Big Autism Cover-Up by Anne Dachel.


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