General talk about ADHD usually focuses on issues like symptoms, medication, and diagnosis. However, not as many people are sharing the hard facts and numbers surrounding this condition.
To learn more about ADHD statistics, we dove into scientific studies and sifted through lots of data. In this guide to the real numbers behind ADHD, you'll find some of the key stats that will inform you on how many people have ADHD, how much it costs to treat, and other important details.
How Many People Have ADHD?
Those who feel isolated by their ADHD may be heartened by the statistics regarding the overall prevalence of the condition. ADHD is probably more common than you think, and seeing that in real numbers can make people with ADHD feel less alone. Understanding just how many people are affected by it also has the potential to help in larger ways, like decreasing stigma and increasing access to health care.
Another reason it's important to look at ADHD prevalence rates is to analyze who is being diagnosed in higher or lower numbers. Just because a certain group has higher rates of ADHD doesn't necessarily mean that they're at a higher risk of having this condition. Instead, these numbers could reflect the unconscious biases we have about ADHD. For instance, it's thought that girls and women are likely underdiagnosed since their ADHD symptoms tend to be less noticeable than those of boys and men.
Here are some of the numbers to know about the prevalence of ADHD:
- According to the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), the overall prevalence rate of ADHD in children and adolescents was 10.2% in 2016.
- The NHIS also reported that in 2016 (the most recent year with NHIS data available), the ADHD prevalence rate in boys was 14%, while in girls it was only 6.3%.
- In adults ages 18-44, the prevalence rate of ADHD is 4.4% according to the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R).
- The NCS-R also reported a higher prevalence rate in men (5.4%) compared to women (3.2%).
Growing ADHD Numbers
It's not just that ADHD affects a significant portion of the population. It's also the fact that those numbers are climbing at a noteworthy rate. This isn't just due to the recent increase in awareness of ADHD, either. The growing number of ADHD diagnoses has been going on for a while and shows no signs of stopping any time soon.
There are a number of reasons for more people having ADHD now than in the past. As mentioned above, more people are talking openly about it now, which increases awareness. There's also a better and more nuanced understanding of ADHD today, which helps doctors to avoid a misdiagnosis. And while kids were primarily the ones receiving ADHD diagnoses in years past, the number of adults being diagnosed is growing.
Here are some of the numbers to know about increasing rates of ADHD:
- In children ages 4 to 17, the prevalence of ADHD was around 6% in the 1990s. The prevalence of ADHD in that same age group had grown to 10% by 2016.
- There was a 123.3% increase in ADHD prevalence in adults between 2007 and 2016. During that same period, the ADHD prevalence rate in children ages 5 to 11 only increased by 26.4%.
- The increase in ADHD diagnosis rates among girls has been three times higher than that of boys over the past two decades.
How Much ADHD Costs
The financial ripple effects of an ADHD diagnosis are important to consider, especially when knowing just how common this condition is. There are many factors to consider when calculating ADHD's economic burden, including treatment, healthcare, education, and parental work loss.
Here are some of the numbers to know about the costs of ADHD:
- One study on the economic impact of ADHD found that the annual cost was about $12,000 - $17,500 per person for kids and teens with the condition.
- Adults with diagnosed ADHD have average healthcare costs ranging from $4,929 to $5,651, while the average costs for those without the condition were $1,473 to $2,771.
Treatment for ADHD
One of the most important ADHD statistics to keep in mind is the following:
- Stimulant medications have been found to improve symptoms in 70% to 80% of children and 70% of adults with ADHD
While there is no cure for ADHD, the right treatment can be incredibly effective at helping to manage symptoms on a day-to-day basis. If you're in need of ADHD treatment, you can reach out to the licensed clinicians at Done to get the help you need.