How many people have ADHD on a global scale, and what do the numbers in the United States say? Is the disorder on the rise? Read on, because here are the freshest ADHD statistics and facts everyone needs to know.
What is ADHD? Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly abbreviated as simply “ADHD” is the medical term which denotes the inability to control behavior and actions due to the increasing difficulty in processing neural stimuli.
The disorder which is characterized by uncontrollable behavior is frequently also accompanied by extremely high levels of motor activity. The mental disorder, even though present in adults, is most prevalent in children, usually those in preschool and middle school. A child with evident symptoms of ADHD may find it difficult to remain focused and calm in certain situations, such as during school lessons. Besides, children with this disorder are usually very energetic and talkative.
Here’s everything you need to know about ADHD – by the numbers.
Key ADHD Statistics and Facts to Know in 2019
- 9.4% of American children have been diagnosed with ADHD.
- Nearly 40% of children with diagnosable ADHD symptoms do not receive treatment.
- Over 40% of children with ADHD also have a parent with the same disorder.
- Teens with ADHD have 4 times as many car accidents and car wrecks.
- 60% of teens with ADHD have problems with misbehavior, cooperation, and authority.
- Half of the adults diagnosed with ADHD also suffer from anxiety.
- 21% of teens with ADHD skip school regularly and 35% of them eventually drop out.
- Children and teens with ADHD are 4.3 more likely to develop schizophrenia.
- Girls with ADHD display a 5.6 times higher rate of bulimia and other eating disorders.
- ADHD makes you 3 times more likely to die by the early age of 45.
The following sections include the most important ADHD facts and stats according to some of the most recent studies and research results.
ADHD Prevalence Stats
1. 7.2% of children all over the world suffer from ADHD.
One of the most important facts about ADHD to consider is its rising prevalence in the world. Results of a meta-analysis from 2015 concerning 175 research studies worldwide on the prevalence of ADHD in children below 18 found that an estimated 7.2% suffer from the disorder. To put it in absolute numbers, 7.2% of the population is roughly 129 million children all over the world with ADHD.
Luckily, there are proven natural remedies for ADHD in children which include avoiding potential allergens (such as milk, eggs, chocolate, and preservatives) or attending a relaxing kid’s yoga class.
2. 9.4% of American children have been diagnosed with ADHD.
According to ADHD statistics from 2016, based on the National Survey of Children’s Health, around 6.1 million children in the United States (which make up 9.4% of American children) have been diagnosed with the mental disorder.
This finding includes children from ages 2–5 (about 388,000 children), 6–11 (2.4 million) and 12–17 (3.3 million). This incidence is higher in some states than in others. The western part of the States shows the lowest, whereas Kentucky shows the highest rates.
3. 4.4% of adults in the United States are diagnosed with ADHD.
Research concerning ADHD in adults has shown some interesting data. Based on screening data from 3,199 adults aged 18–44 conducted by the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, 4.4% of US adults have been diagnosed with the disorder.
4. Nearly 2 of 3 children with ADHD have been reported to be diagnosed with at least one other emotional, mental or behavioral disorder.
(Taylor and Francis Online)
ADHD statistics from 2018 show that ADHD in kids is commonly accompanied by another disorder and condition such as anxiety, schizophrenia, and depression. In fact, most kids have at least one more mental health disorder in addition to ADHD.
5. 62% of children with ADHD are taking medication for the disorder.
(Taylor and Francis Online)
The ages of the children with the disorder and the percentage of those who take meds vary; among younger children from ages 2–5 18% are taking medication, 69% of children from ages 6–11 take necessary meds, whilst among children and teens from ages 12–17 62% get treatment. The most common symptoms of ADHD in kids include emotional turmoil, fidgetiness, self-focused behavior, interrupting, and having trouble waiting turns.
ADHD in Children Statistics
6. Nearly 40% of children with diagnosable ADHD symptoms do not receive treatment.
(Child Mind Institute)
Some of the more troubling stats were reported by Child Mind Institute Children’s Mental Report, where it was found that about 17.1 million young individuals in the United States have diagnosable ADHD. Furthermore, a whopping 40% of the children with diagnosable ADHD symptoms do not receive any type of treatment for it.
7. The rate of emotional development for children with ADHD is up to 30% slower than it is for healthy children.
Data from behavioral, neuropsychological, and brain studies have shown that ADHD has a significant relation to the developmental lag which is reduced as a person gets older. However, ADHD diagnosis statistics from 2017 have shown that even adults with ADHD display some abnormalities in brain function.
8. Hyperactivity is present in 75% of boys with ADHD and 60% of girls with the disorder.
According to ADHD stats from extensive research conducted on the subject of gender difference and diagnosis of ADHD, it was found that the disorder is diagnosed and treated more frequently in male patients than in females. However, the research on gender differences also suggests that females may be under-identified because they display their expressions of mental disorder differently than their male counterparts.
9. Over 40% of children with ADHD also have a parent with ADHD
ADHD hereditary statistics show that there is a high possibility that individuals with ADHD will also have children who suffer from the same disorder. A study evaluated parents of 79 children with ADHD who were screened according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder. It was found that the mental disorder occurred in 41.3% of mothers of the children with the disorder, whilst for fathers, the numbers showed 51%.
10. There is a 3 times higher chance of divorce in households with a child suffering from ADHD.
Some recent research and statistics of ADHD have found that children with this disorder are highly likely to experience going through the divorce of parents during their life.
Statistics About ADHD in Teens
11. 3%–5% of teens in the United States suffer from ADHD.
The estimated prevalence of ADHD in teenagers is anywhere between 3% to 5%. Moreover, pre-school children, teenagers, and females have presented less typical features than boys aged 6–12, but the impairment levels were similar.
12. Teens with ADHD have 4 times more car accidents and car wrecks.
ADHD statistics from 2017 published in JAMA Pediatrics has observed around 18,500 patients of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and found that around 2,500 of the patients diagnosed with ADHD are young people between the ages of 16–25.
Furthermore, the researchers observed the link between the individual’s health records and state driving records, as well as the accident databases. The study has found that teens with the mental disorder are more likely to get into car accidents than their healthy peers.
13. 21% of teens with ADHD skip school regularly and 35% of them eventually drop out.
Teens with this disorder have a difficult time in school, and statistics have shown that 35% of these individuals eventually drop out of school.
14. 50% of teens with ADHD abuse substances.
Statistics on ADHD have shown that 50% of teenagers with the mental disorder abuse substances such as marijuana, cocaine, alcohol, and cigarettes. This might be explained in various ways, one of which is that they are trying to cope with the symptoms of ADHD.
15. 60% of teenagers with ADHD have problems with misbehavior, cooperation, and respecting authority.
ADHD statistics worldwide have shown that there are difficulties in behavior with adolescents with ADHD. Teenagers with ADHD are more likely to bully other children, disobey the law, as well as display other types of behavior which might come into conflict with the authorities.
Adult ADHD Statistics
16. 4.4% of adults living in the United States display symptoms of ADHD, but only 20% of these individuals get help.
(National Institute of Mental Health)
Statistics and recent research have displayed the numbers which show that there are more than 4.4% of adults with ADHD living among the population in the United States. However, some pretty troubling ADHD statistics show that only a mere 20% reach to professionals for help. Common symptoms of ADHD in adults are impulsiveness, poor time management skills, trouble focusing on a task, low frustration tolerance, and excessive restlessness.
17. Around 30%–60% of patients with the disorder diagnosed in childhood will continue to be affected with ADHD in their adult lives.
(Archives of Disease in Childhood)
Most of the children who are diagnosed with the disorder in their early childhood carry the disorder into their adult lives. Unfortunately, stats on ADHD show that this is the case with around 30–60% of patients.
18. ADHD makes you 3 times more likely to die by the early age of 45.
According to a presentation by the American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders, in worst cases, ADHD adults will have their life expectancy reduced by up to 25 years.
19. 50% of adults with diagnosed ADHD also suffer from anxiety.
Dr. William Dodson explains the link between ADHD and anxiety in adults: “Anxiety disorders get more frequent, more impairing, and become more ingrained as the child moves into adolescence and adult life.” In fact, adult ADHD statistics found that ADHD and anxiety symptoms frequently overlap.
20. 41.3% of cases of adults with ADHD are considered serious.
4.4% of the adult population in the United States have reported displaying symptoms of ADHD, among which over 40% are considered severe ADHD cases.
Statistics on Conditions Related to ADHD
21. 1 in 3 students with ADHD do not receive school interventions.
One of the facts on ADHD concerns children suffering from the disease and school. The most extensive study of children and adolescents with ADHD by the National Survey of the Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD and Tourette Syndrome found that approximately 1 in 3 students with the disorder did not receive school-based interventions. Also, it was found that 2 of the 3 received zero classroom management.
22. Around one-third of university students with ADHD have poor organizational skills.
Data collected from the ADHD diagnosis statistics from 2016 with 12 university students with ADHD symptoms found that academics with the disorder displayed difficulties coping with negative thoughts, poor time management, and decreased levels of self-esteem. One of the solutions for this issue might lie in encouraging students with ADHD to stop worrying and start expressing the emotions more healthily.
23. 50% of children with ADHD have trouble sleeping.
ADHD facts and statistics show that the disorder has a strong link with different sleep problems, such as insomnia. One example, in particular, has found that younger individuals with ADHD were more tired during the day than their healthy peers. A different study found that 50% of children and teens with the disorder had complaints of disordered breathing, compared to other peers without the illness.
24. Children with ADHD have a 12 times higher chance of developing symptoms of Loss of Control Eating Syndrome.
Even though there is substantial data on the link between ADHD and adult binge eating, there proves to be limited evidence on data concerning children and eating disorders. However, one research and statistics about ADHD have found that children with the disorder displayed greater odds of Loss of Control Eating Syndrome compared to children without it.
25. Children and teens with ADHD are 4.3 more likely to develop symptoms of schizophrenia.
(Medical News Today)
Schizophrenia, a mental illness shown to be more common in male than female patients, is present in 1% of the people in the United States (based on finding by the National Alliance on Mental Illness). However, different studies and ADHD interesting facts have shown that ADHD and schizophrenia display similarities and it is evident that the two disorders are interconnected. In fact, individuals with symptoms of ADHD may also display symptoms of schizophrenia in the early adolescent years.
ADHD In Women
26. Girls with symptoms of ADHD have a 3 times higher chance to be treated for a mood disorder before being diagnosed with ADHD.
Stats about ADHD show that younger women, especially girls in school with ADHD, often report experiencing dysphoria (mood swings), depression, and anxiety disorders. Also, research shows that the affected girls display lower self-esteem and poor self-image.
27. 1% of ADHD research is focused on ADHD in girls.
Even though ADHD is not a gender-based disorder, it has been shown that there are more instances of research dealing with males than females. However, according to various ADHD misdiagnosis statistics and the numerous outdated diagnostic criteria, the low diagnosis rate among females exists.
28. Girls with ADHD are at up to a fourfold risk of being obese.
ADHD diagnosis statistics have shown that girls with ADHD are at high risk of being obese. Based on research conducted on 372 Dutch children with ADHD ranging from ages 5–17, it was found that the mental disorder is one of the most prevalent risk factors contributing to obesity. In fact, girls from ages 10–12 displayed a fourfold risk of being obese.
29. Girls with ADHD display a 5.6 times higher rate of bulimia or another related eating disorder.
Even though more research needs to be conducted on the topic of ADHD and bulimia, as well as the link between ADHD and other eating disorders, there is growing evidence which shows that the two are interlinked. A study found that ADHD was indeed associated with bulimia, binge eating disorder, and emotional eating in a couple of non-clinical samples.
30. 46 % of women with ADHD consider suicide.
According to researchers at the University of Toronto, the prevalence of ADHD among women is extremely high. Around 46% of the women with the disorder have considered suicide, 36% of them displayed generalized anxiety disorder, whilst 31% of them have depression. However, the study and ADHD statistics failed to provide extensive information on the reason why women with ADHD become suicidal. Nevertheless, some of the reasons might include difficulty meeting basic everyday expenses.
Dealing with ADHD
Lastly, even though living with ADHD is challenging, it is important to understand that it is not impossible. So, how to deal with ADHD? There are many ways to cope with the disorder, such as breaking tasks into more manageable pieces, simplifying and organizing life, limiting distractions, and promoting wait time. If these interesting facts about ADHD have raised your suspicion that you or your child have the disorder, it’s best to see a professional who will diagnose you and offer the best course of treatment.
In conclusion, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a mental disorder that occurs most frequently in children, but it can also remain in adolescents and adults of both genders. However, research data shows that it may be difficult to diagnose, so a lot of children are mislabeled as problem children.
Hopefully, these ADHD statistics and facts help with finding out more about this mental disorder. Remember, if you or some of your loved ones struggle with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, do not hesitate and reach out for help from a trusted individual or a professional.