31 ADHD Statistics & Facts to Raise Awareness in 2021

ADHD Statistics

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a medical term that describes the inability to control behavior and actions due to the increasing difficulty in processing neural stimuli. Moreover, this disorder, characterized by uncontrollable behavior, is frequently accompanied by high motor activity levels, according to ADHD statistics.

Now, we suggest that you keep on reading if you want to familiarize yourself with the latest data on ADHD. Here’s everything you need to know about it in numbers.

10 Key ADHD Statistics for 2021

  • ADHD occurs more in men (12.9%) than women (4.9%).
  • Parents of a child with ADHD bear five times more costs than those without them.
  • Children are most usually diagnosed with ADHD between the ages of six and eleven—9.6%.
  • Over 40% of children with ADHD also have a parent with this disorder.
  • About 35% of teens with ADHD drop out of school.
  • As many as 27% of teens who have a substance abuse disorder have ADHD.
  • Around 51% of teenage girls with ADHD have self-injured.
  • Severe ADHD cases might reduce your life expectancy by 25 years.
  • Astoundingly, 41.3% of adult ADHD cases are considered severe.
  • One in four women with ADHD has attempted suicide.

Prevalence of ADHD Statistics

Here’s everything you need to know about the prevalence of this disorder—how many children and adults are diagnosed with the disorder and which gender is most affected. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

1. 9.4% of American children have been diagnosed with ADHD.

(CHADD)

The 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health revealed that around 6.1 million children in the US had been diagnosed with ADHD. In other words, the percentage of kids with ADHD in the US is 9.4%. This figure includes children ages 2–5 (about 388,000 children), 6–11 (2.4 million), and 12–17 (3.3 million).

2. Globally, 7.2% of children aged 18 and under have ADHD.

(CHADD)

One of the most crucial ADHD facts concerns the rising prevalence of the disorder. A 2015 meta-analysis of 175 studies found that an estimated 7.2% of children aged 18 and under have ADHD—129 million children worldwide.

3. ADHD occurs more often in men (12.9%) than women (4.9%), as per ADHD rates.

(Advanced Psychiatry) (Understood)

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder usually affects more men than women. Namely, 12.9% of men and 4.9% of women are diagnosed with the condition. Interestingly, symptoms of ADHD might manifest themselves differently depending on one’s gender.

For instance, boys tend to struggle with self-control and are more hyperactive, acting out in school. Girls, on the other hand, tend to do better in school. They are less likely to blurt things out in class or shove the kid sitting next to them, based on the ADHD symptoms data.

4. 4.4% of adults in the US have ADHD.

(CHADD)

When it comes to ADHD in adults, the National Comorbidity Survey Replication screen of 3,199 adults aged 18–44 reveals the percentage of adults with ADHD—4.4%. Of those adults, 62% are men and 38% are women.

ADHD in Children Statistics

A child with evident symptoms of ADHD may find it challenging to remain focused and calm in certain situations. Keep reading as we go into more details with the latest information on ADHD in children.

5. 62% of children with ADHD take ADHD medication.

(CDC)

CDC ADHD statistics reveal that 18% of younger children ages 2–5, 69% of children ages 6–11, and 62% of those aged 12–17 take ADHD medication. When it comes to behavioral treatment, it is received by 60% of children ages 2–5, 51% of children ages 6–11, and 42% of children and teens aged 12–17.

6. Most children (9.6%) are diagnosed with ADHD at 6 to 11 years of age.

(Single Care)

The number of diagnosed children increases with age. Following that, ADHD diagnosis rates point out that 388,000 children are diagnosed between the age of 2 and 5 (2.4%), and 2.4 million children—between the age of 6 and 11 (9.6%).

What’s more, the median age of diagnosis for moderate ADHD is 6 years old. As for mild ADHD,  the median age of diagnosis is 7 years old. Finally, the median age of diagnosis for severe ADHD is 4 years old.

7. Nearly 40% of children with ADHD don’t receive treatment.

(Child Mind Institute) (Additude)

The Child Mind Institute Children’s Mental Health Report provides invaluable information concerning ADHD in America. For starters, about 17.1 million young Americans have or have had a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. The report also reveals that an astounding 40% of children with diagnosable ADHD do not receive any treatment.

8. The emotional development rate for children with ADHD is up to 30% slower.

(Pearson Assessments) (ABC News)

ADHD has been linked to a developmental delay. In particular, ADHD statistics verify that the rate of emotional development is 30% slower in children with the disorder. Studies also show that the brain matures three years later in kids with ADHD compared to those without the condition.

9. Hyperactivity is present in 75% of boys and 60% of girls with ADHD even in their teenage years.

(Core)

Even as these boys and girls reach teenage years, they continue having symptoms of hyperactivity. Statistics about ADHD disclose that, as children age from adolescence into teenagers, they are likely to experience difficulties in education. What’s more, 21% of them might be skipping school.

10. From one-third to one-half of parents with ADHD will have a child with the disorder.

(Web MD)

ADHD hereditary statistics note that there is a high likelihood that people with ADHD will have children with the same disorder. To be more precise, a child has over a 50% chance of having ADHD if their parent has it. Also, a child has over a 30% chance if their older sibling has it.

11. Couples raising a child with ADHD are twice as likely to divorce before their child turns eight.

(Additude)

Recent research on ADHD divorce rates has found that children with this disorder are likely to experience their parents getting divorced. What’s more, the University of Pittsburgh has found that couples bringing up a child with ADHD are two times as likely to divorce before their child reaches eight years of age.

12. Raising a child with ADHD costs five times more. 

(Additude)

Not-so-fun facts about ADHD reveal that raising a child with the condition costs five times more than raising a child without it. Believe it or not, families of children with ADHD spend about $15,036 a year per child, compared to neurotypical families who spend approximately $2,848.

Statistics on ADHD in Teens

Very often, teenagers with ADHD show some problematic behavior. That includes skipping school and even dropping out of it, abusing substances, getting into car accidents, or even injuring oneself. Keep on reading if you want to learn how ADHD manifests itself in teenagers.

13. Teens with ADHD are at a 62% higher risk of car accidents and car wrecks.

(Healthline)

When it comes to teens with ADHD, research shows an increased risk of them driving while intoxicated. According to stats about ADHD, there is also a much higher risk of moving violations and traffic accidents. To put things into perspective, teens with ADHD are at a 62% higher crash risk in their first month after getting a license.

14. 35% of teens with ADHD drop out of school.

(Scholar Commons)

Teens with this disorder tend to have a hard time in school. Following that, statistics of ADHD uncover that 21% of teens with the disorder skip school repeatedly, 35% eventually drop out of school, and 45% have been suspended. What’s more, 30% of teens with the condition have failed or had to repeat a year of school. It has also been found that young people with ADHD are more likely to bully others or be victims of bullying themselves.

15. 27% of teens who have a substance abuse disorder have ADHD.

(Additude)

Statistics for ADHD emphasize that almost 27% of adolescents who have a substance abuse disorder also have ADHD. Overall, people with the condition are 1.5 times more likely to develop an SUD to the following substances: cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, and nicotine.

16. 51% of teenage girls with combined-type ADHD reported some form of self-injury.

(Understood)

Most ADHD statistics worldwide point to the increased prevalence of self-injury among adolescents with the disorder. One study has shown that 51% of teenage girls with combined-type ADHD have injured themselves, compared to 29% of those with inattentive-type ADHD. Note that this habit is addictive; thus, it asks for an immediate response.

17. There are no school interventions for one in three students with ADHD.

(Science Daily)

Facts on ADHD reveal the lack of school-based interventions and classroom management. For instance, it was found that one in three students with the disorder do not receive school-based interventions and that two in three students with ADHD receive no classroom management.

ADHD Statistics for Adults

Now, how does the condition affect adults? In this section, you will find data on how many adults have the disorder, how many of them have severe ADHD, and whether the condition reduces one’s life expectancy. Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

18. 4.4% of adults living in the US have ADHD.

(Advanced Psychiatry) (Mayo Clinic)

Recent research indicates that 4.4% of adults in the US have ADHD. However, a mere 20% receive professional help for the disorder, ADHD statistics reveal. Generally, treatment of ADHD in adults resembles the treatment of the condition in children. Namely, it includes psychotherapy, medications, and treatment of any co-occurring mental health conditions.

What’s more, it has been found that certain supplements might help improve the symptoms of ADHD. They include zinc, magnesium, vitamin B6, and L-carnitine supplements. Now, we suggest that you check our selection of the best magnesium supplements. If anything catches your eye, consult your healthcare provider about the possibility of its intake.

20. Around 60% of ADHD patients diagnosed in childhood will still be affected in their adult lives.

(Web MD)

Although many children with the condition outgrow it, most still have it as adults. Stats on ADHD confirm that is the case. Note that every adult with ADHD had it as a kid. While some adults were diagnosed when they were children, others find out about their condition later in life.

21. The worst cases of ADHD might reduce your life expectancy by 25 years.

(AJMC)

What’s more, some studies reveal that people with ADHD are more likely to have a less healthy diet. Those with the condition are also more likely to eat impulsively and be overweight or obese. What’s more, women with ADHD have an increased risk of eating disorders.

22. About half of adults with ADHD also have anxiety.

(Additude)

Adult ADHD statistics have found that ADHD and anxiety are frequently co-occurring. Astoundingly, nearly half of adults with the condition also have some type of anxiety disorder. Personality disorders are just as common, occurring in more than 50% of people with ADHD.

23. 41.3% of adult ADHD cases are considered severe.

(Advanced Psychiatry) (Additude)

As mentioned earlier, 4.4% of the adult population in the US has the condition. ADHD facts point to the symptoms being mild, moderate, or severe. Now, it has been found that more than 40% of all adult ADHD cases are deemed severe.

Stats on ADHD-Related Conditions

People with ADHD face many challenges in life, including co-occurring conditions. What are those, and how do they affect one’s life? Below, we’re elaborating on the topic with the help of the latest statistics and facts.

24. Six in ten children with ADHD have at least one other emotional, mental, or behavioral disorder.

(CDC)

ADHD in kids is commonly accompanied by another disorder, such as anxiety, autism, behavior or conduct problems, Tourette syndrome, or depression. ADHD data remarks that, of these disorders, behavior or conduct problems are the most common—52% of children with ADHD have them.

25. An estimated 25% to 50% of people with ADHD have trouble sleeping.

(Sleep Foundation)

ADHD facts and statistics affirm that the disorder has a strong link with different sleep problems, such as insomnia. Starting from around puberty, those with the condition get shorter sleep time. They also tend to have more problems falling asleep and staying awake.

26. Children with ADHD have a 12 times higher chance of developing loss of control eating.

(NCBI)
While there is a lot of data concerning ADHD and binge eating in adults, there is limited evidence on children’s eating disorders. That said, some stats about ADHD reveal that children with the condition are at a higher risk of loss of control eating (LOC).

27. Children and teens with ADHD are 4.3 times more likely to develop schizophrenia as adults.

(Medical News Today)

Schizophrenia, a severe neurological brain disorder, is present in 1.1% of the US population. Now, interesting facts about ADHD point out overlap in ADHD and schizophrenia’s symptoms. Note that people with schizophrenia often display signs of other disorders, including ADHD, in their early adolescent years.

Girls and Women ADHD Facts

As mentioned earlier, fewer women are diagnosed with ADHD. That said, it doesn’t mean that they don’t encounter the same difficulties. In this section, we will explain why women are underdiagnosed.

28. Today, the rate of ADHD diagnosis has narrowed to 2.5 boys to every girl.

(Knowable Magazine)

ADHD demographics of the 1990s reveal that scientists believed that the condition was nine times more common in boys, which led to fewer girls getting diagnosed. The problem persists even today as girls and women display different ADHD symptoms. They tend to internalize their emotions, be shyer and dreamier. These behaviors are mistakenly attributed to anxiety or mood disorders, which explains why girls and women remain underdiagnosed.

29. Girls with ADHD ages 10–12 have a fourfold risk of being obese.

(NCBI)

Girls with the disorder are at a high risk of being obese, following ADHD diagnosis statistics. Based on a study of 372 Dutch children ages 5–17 with combined-type ADHD, the condition is one of the risk factors for obesity. Astoundingly, girls aged 10–12 have a fourfold risk of being obese.

30. Girls with ADHD are 5.6 times more likely to have bulimia nervosa.

(NCBI)

First off, more research needs to be conducted on the topic of ADHD and eating disorders. That said, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that girls with ADHD are 3.6 times more likely to have an eating disorder. When it comes to bulimia, the likelihood is quite high—5.6 times.

31. One in four women with ADHD has attempted suicide.

(Science Daily) (EurekAlert!)

Researchers at the University of Toronto reveal that around 46% of women with the disorder have considered suicide. When it comes to co-occurring mental health issues, ADHD statistics show that 36% of women with the condition have a generalized anxiety disorder, and 31% have a major depressive disorder.

Conclusion

In conclusion, ADHD is a mental health disorder, which is quite prevalent in both children and adults. Despite its prevalence, the condition is often misdiagnosed, especially in girls and women, as they might have a different profile of symptoms. That said, what gives us hope is that health professionals, educators, and parents are becoming better at recognizing the symptoms of ADHD.

Our team also hopes that these statistics and facts about ADHD helped you learn more about this condition. Keep in mind that managing the disorder is possible. While at it, we suggest that you check our selection of the best online therapy sites that could come in handy for both those with ADHD and those assisting them.

FAQs

What percentage of the world has ADHD?

When it comes to the worldwide prevalence of ADHD, the percentage of the population with it varies from 2.8% of adults to 5% of children. Note that many scientists believe ADHD is underdiagnosed in adults.

Which country has the highest rate of ADHD?

While South America, Africa, and North America have the highest prevalence, lower rates are found in Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East.

Why is ADHD so common now?

It is not clear whether more people are developing ADHD or more people are getting diagnosed with it. Generally speaking, ADHD can be caused by many things: toxins in the environment, prematurity, prenatal exposures, significant head injuries, brain anatomy and function, genes and heredity.

When it comes to genes and heredity, it’s important to note that genetic science hasn’t come as far as to test for the presence of ADHD. That said, you can turn to the best DNA kits to find out how prone you are to a number of other conditions.

Do people with ADHD forget things?

All of us might forget things sometimes, but forgetfulness is more common in people with ADHD. That includes forgetting what important dates you need to keep or where you’ve put something. It isn’t always serious. That said, such forgetfulness can be misinterpreted as a lack of intelligence, particularly by people who aren’t familiar with the condition.

How common was ADHD in 2020?

Looking into the National Center for Health Statistics data for 2020, we can note the following:

  • Children in families with income above the federal poverty level are less likely (12.7%) to be diagnosed with ADHD or learning disability than those with lower-income families (18.7%).
  • Children with parents who have more than a high school education are less likely to be diagnosed with the disorder (12.8%) than those with parents who have a high school education or less (15.4%).
  • Hispanic children are less likely (11.9%) to have ever been diagnosed with ADHD than White (14.7%) and Black children (16.9%), according to ADHD statistics.

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