Written by Dr. Savannah Muncy, Pharm.D on
October 25, 2021
Written by Dr. Savannah Muncy, Pharm.D on:

Medically Reviewed by our Medical Affairs Team

The ADHD statistics in the United States are staggering. ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a mental health disorder. It affects millions of Americans and costs billions of dollars each year.

The prevalence of ADHD has been steadily increasing over the past decade and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. It is important for those who suffer from ADHD as well as those who don’t to understand what it entails.

Get to know more about this condition so that you can better help them. They need information, not stigma or shame. In this blog post, we will explore some facts about ADHD that you may not have known before.

What percent of the population has ADHD in the United States?

According to epidemiological research, around 5% of adults have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD occurs in males and females. In most cases, ADHD will continue throughout a person’s lifetime.

According to statistics, ADHD is the most common neurobehavioral disorder diagnosed in children. There is no cure, and most children do not outgrow it. Approximately two-thirds or more of children with ADHD will need treatment into adulthood.

ADHD Prevalence in Children

6.1 million children (9.4 percent) have an ADHD diagnosis. These children are between the ages of 2-17. The diagnosis of ADHD was long associated with boys than girls, but this is no longer the case. Due to the fact that males are more hyperactive and are subsequently diagnosed, girls are often overlooked.

  • 388,000 (2.4 percent) of children ages 2-5 years old.
  • 2.4 million (9.6 percent) of children ages 6-11 years old.
  • 3.3 million (13.6 percent) of children ages 12-17 years old.

ADHD is the most common neurodevelopmental disorder in children. ADHD is a chronic condition that affects many areas of development and functioning.

ADHD Prevalence in Adults

ADHD is a mental health disorder that affects an estimated 2.8 percent of American adults. The United States has the highest rate of ADHD in adults compared to other countries worldwide.

ADHD is not just a problem for children, ADHD can also continue into adulthood, and is the most common mental disorder in adults.

A 2019 study estimated that the prevalence of adult ADHD was 0.96 percent. This percentage had doubled from 0.43 percent ten years before. ADHD is extremely underdiagnosed in adults.

ADHD Treatment in Children

When children have ADHD, there are different ways they can get help. Parents can also do things to help their children without medicine. Medication is used the most in the treatment of ADHD. Around 75 percent of children receive some type of ADHD treatment. In children:

  • 31.7 percent receive medication and behavior treatment.
  • 30.3 percent take only ADHD medication.
  • 14.9 percent will receive only behavioral treatment.

62 percent of children currently take an ADHD medication. While 46.7 percent of children receive behavioral treatment for their ADHD.

ADHD medication in children has both positive and negative effects. ADHD medication can help students in school. It also has the potential to affect their growth if they are taking these medications for an extended period of time.

Children also receive support from their schools when they have ADHD. ADHD can cause children to have trouble paying attention in school, which is the reason ADHD affects students grades. This lack of concentration causes ADHD sufferers to have bad grades. ADHD can make it more difficult to find friends, which is why most children with ADHD are bullied at school.

  • 80 percent of children who have ADHD receive school-based support.
  • 40 percent of children have been given social-skills training.
  • 31 percent of children have participated in parent training.
  • 20 percent of children have received cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Related Conditions

ADHD is increasingly being diagnosed in teens who suffer from other mental health disorders. These include depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

ADHD can also be mistaken for bipolar disorder. It is very important for people who have ADHD to know the difference between the two. Then they can know how to best treat this condition without falling into an incorrect diagnosis.

For two-thirds of children who have ADHD, they have at least one other condition.

  • 51.5 percent of children who have ADHD will also have behavioral/conduct problems.
  • 32.7 percent of children with ADHD also have anxiety problems.
  • 16.8 percent of children with ADHD will have depression.
  • 13.7 percent of children with ADHD have also been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
  • 1.2 percent of children with ADHD have been diagnosed with Tourette syndrome.
  • Around 45 percent of children with ADHD also have a learning disorder.
  • Loss of Control Eating (LOC-ES), a type of eating disorder, affects 12 times more children with ADHD.

Children with ADHD

The majority of children with an ADHD diagnosis have mild to moderate symptoms:

  • 43.7 percent have moderate ADHD symptoms.
  • 41.8 percent have mild ADHD symptoms.
  • 14.5 percent have severe ADHD symptoms.

Severe ADHD is usually given an earlier diagnosis, at five years old.

ADHD is likely hereditary. 41 to 51 percent of families with a minimum of one child diagnosed with ADHD will have a parent with the condition.

One in five students who are diagnosed with ADHD does not receive the proper school-based services that they need to succeed. ADHD can cause students to struggle, which is why this statistic is important. Parents should contact their child’s school and talk to them about an EOP or 504 plan for their child.

Parents should also contact their child’s teachers to ask for ADHD accommodations. Students with ADHD need their parents to help them do well in school and get the support they need from teachers.

The number of children who have ADHD has been tracked via parent-reported ADHD diagnosis. There is little evidence about how reliable these reports are as a sign of a medical diagnosis.

When they used numbers from parent reports, the estimate for ADHD was about the same as when they used numbers from health care records. This means that using what parents report may be a valid way to track how many children have ADHD in the community.

Teens with ADHD

Teens with ADHD are at increased risk for substance abuse, anxiety disorders, mood disorder. They may also have problems in school such as truancy or dropping out due to the fact they can’t keep up academically.

About two-thirds of teens who suffer from ADHD also have problems with anxiety. This is because ADHD can make teens feel stressed by their everyday life. This can lead to other problems like anger, depression, or even learning disabilities.

Teenagers with ADHD tend to be in more traffic accidents, be issued moving violations and engage in risky driving behaviors. ADHD also causes teens to have an increased risk of self-harm, suicide attempts and suicidal ideation.

27 percent of teens with ADHD will also have substance abuse disorder. Teens with ADHD tend to also clash with their parents more. Teenage girls with ADHD will tend to struggle with social acceptance and have poor self-esteem. Teen boys with ADHD have more problems in school. This is with attendance, GPA, or focusing on homework.

  • Teen boys with ADHD miss school three to ten percent of the year.
  • Teen boys are more likely to drop out of high school between 2.7 and 8.1 percent of the time.
  • Teen boys with ADHD fail 7.5 percent of their classes.
  • Teen boys with ADHD have lower GPAs. Usually five to nine points lower than teen boys without ADHD.

Adults with ADHD

According to statistics on ADHD adults account for roughly 5 percent of diagnosis. ADHD is usually diagnosed in children, however ADHD does not end when a child becomes an adult. ADHD will continue into adulthood and the symptoms of ADHD must still be present.

ADHD can make life difficult for adults. It can be hard to hold a job, maintain healthy relationships and keep up with responsibilities of everyday life. This can include things such as paying bills on time or cooking dinner. ADHD can cause adults to fall into debt, lose their jobs and even have their car repossessed. This is due to the ADHD brain’s inability to focus long enough on the task at hand.

Women are more likely to find an ADHD diagnosis as an adult. Girls tend to have inattentive ADHD and are not diagnosed as children. This is because their behavior is not as disruptive as children who have hyperactive ADHD.

Women who have ADHD are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem and have anxiety. ADHD medication is used less often by females than males.

ADHD Statistics: Demographics, Race & Ethnicity

ADHD affects many children and adults worldwide. It’s important to understand that there are certain demographics in America and around the world who suffer from ADHD more than others.

In the years 2016-2018, about 13.8% of children aged 3-17 had ever been diagnosed and had ADHD or a learning disability. Black children (16.9%) were more likely to be diagnosed than white (14.7%), Hispanic (11.9%), and American Indian/Alaska Native children (12%).

This means that non-Hispanic black children aged 3–10 years, were more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD or a learning disability. This is compared with non-Hispanic white or Hispanic children.

Kids aged 3-10 are less likely to have ADHD or a learning disability than kids ages 11-17. This is true for every race and ethnicity.

For children of all racial and ethnic groups, the federal poverty level had an impact on the diagnosis of ADHD or a learning disability. Only non-Hispanic white children were diagnosed differently by parental education.

Rates of ADHD among adults of all races and ethnicities are increasing, but gaps remain.

  • White individuals: 0.67 in 2007 increasing to 1.42 percent in 2016.
  • Asian individuals: 0.11 in 2007 increasing to 0.35 percent in 2016.
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander individuals: 0.11 in 2007 increasing to 0.39 percent in 2016.
  • Black individuals: 0.22 in 2007 increasing to 0.69 percent in 2016.
  • Hispanic individuals: 0.25 in 2007 increasing to 0.65 percent in 2016.
  • American Indian and Alaskan Native individuals: 0.56 in 2007 increasing to 1.14 percent in 2016.

How common is ADHD in 2021 in the United States?

In the past, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder was not taken as seriously as it is now. In the United States, many people now get help for their mental health problems. This means that ADHD is found and properly diagnosed more frequently.

ADHD is the most common mental health problem of children and adolescents in the United States. ADHD is estimated to affect over 6 million children.

Who is most affected by ADHD in the United States?

Male children are more frequently diagnosed with ADHD. This is because males tend to have more hyperactive symptoms that cause disruption. The proportion of males with ADHD is 12.9 percent, whereas the proportion of females with ADHD is 5.6 percent.

Children ages 12-17 years old are most likely to be diagnosed with ADHD. When children enter secondary school, they often start to show symptoms of ADHD. As they work on their independence and personal responsibility, it becomes more obvious that they have the condition. In 2016, 3.3 million kids ages 12-17 had been diagnosed with ADHD.

Which race has the most ADHD?

The prevalence of ADHD in adults varies by racial and ethnic groups:

  • ADHD is higher for non-Hispanic black individuals aged 18–49 years (11%)
  • Hispanic (13%)
  • Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (12%)
  • Asian (15%)
  • White individuals (14%)

ADHD affects many people, but some groups are affected more. For example, those who live below the poverty line and girls versus boys. It also affects adults ages 26-34.

A study of 19 research papers including over 150,000 US Black children ages 12 to 18 years old showed an ADHD prevalence rate of 14%. The authors stated that black people are more likely to have ADHD than the general population of the US. More attention needs to be paid to the ADHD diagnoses of Black people. There are different social backgrounds that need to be taken into account.

ADHD Statistics in the US in 2020

More Americans are seeking treatment for their symptoms today than ever before. This could be a positive sign of improvement because ADHD awareness continues increasing as well.

Current statistics show that 5.4 million children, or 8 percent of children in the United States ages 3-17, have ADHD. Approximately 4.4 percent of adults in the United States have ADHD.

ADHD Statistics Worldwide

According to a study, the global prevalence of ADHD is approximately 2.2% in children and adolescents (aged <18 years). Overall, the mean frequency of ADHD among adults aged 18-44 years is about 2.8%. This study looked at people from many countries around the world.

A study of 175 research papers found that 7.2 percent of children have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. We can use the US Census Bureau to figure out how many children are in this age group in the world. There were 1,795,734,009 people aged 5-19 worldwide in 2013. This means that 7.2 percent of these people have ADHD which is 129 million children worldwide who have ADHD.

The estimated worldwide prevalence of adult ADHD was 3.4 percent. This is based on DSM-IV screening of 11,422 adults for ADHD in 10 nations in the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East.

2021

  • The percentage of people who have ADHD is 2.8% to 5%. Different countries have different rates. Experts think that adults with ADHD are often not diagnosed.
  • ADHD occurs more in men (12.9%) than women (4.9%).
  • 7.2% of children under the age of 18 suffer from ADHD across the world.
  • According to statistics, teenagers with ADHD are more likely to injure themselves. Female teenagers with combined-type ADHD are more likely to injure themselves. This is compared to male teenagers with inattentive-type ADHD.

2015

  • 2015-2016, overall prevalence of ADHD was 10.2 percent. Prevalence in ages 4-11 was 7.7 percent. Prevalence in ages 12-17 was 13.5 percent.

2010

  • In 2010 worldwide, 2.9% of people had ADHD. This is the same for males and females aged 5 to 19 years old. Male ADHD prevalence in 2010 was 2.2% (2.0-2%) while female prevalence was 0.7% (0%, 0-.8). In 2010, 3.6 percent of boys (3.3-4%) had CD, whereas 1 .5 percent of girls (1.4-1.7) did so.
  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), ADHD is regarded to be present all around the world. It has some regional variances in ADHD prevalence.

2005

  • 2005 prevalence of ADHD worldwide was estimated at between 0.78 percent to 15.84 percent. This is in children and adolescents under 18 years of age based on ADHD diagnosis scales.

2000

  • From 1998 to 2000, 7% of children were identified with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) every year. That number rose to 9% between 2007 and 2009.

Facts About ADHD

Statistics about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can help us learn more. ADHD affects millions of adults and children in the United States.

ADHD prevalence rates have been going up over the years. This is especially true for women and girls who are diagnosed with ADHD later on in life compared to other gender identities.

ADHD statistics of ADHD in children and adults also show that ADHD prevalence rates are higher among boys than girls.

ADHD affects people from all walks of life, including across race and ethnicity. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “ADHD impacts 12 percent (or more) of U.S. children aged three through 17 years.” ADHD statistics also show that ADHD prevalence rates are the same in Hispanic and non-Hispanic children.

A study found that it costs five times more to raise a child with ADHD, than a child without the disease. This same study found that families without ADHD children only spend an average of $2,848 per child each year. This is compared to the $15,036 that is spent by families who have a child diagnosed with ADHD.

ADHD treatment can help manage ADHD symptoms, which will improve a person’s quality of life if they have ADHD. There are different ADHD treatments for adults compared to children. This is because adult ADHD has unique challenges that are different from ADHD in children.

ADHD affects millions of people worldwide, not just those who live in the United States. ADHD statistics show that ADHD prevalence rates are higher among boys compared to girls.

Gender does not impact how long someone will have ADHD throughout their lifetime or what type of treatment they will need. Statistics also show that ADHD prevalence rates are higher in the United States compared to other countries around the world.

The ADHD is a brain disorder that can cause problems in school and at home including:

  • Not listening to directions or finishing tasks.
  • Having trouble focusing.
  • Being easily sidetracked

ADHD affects adults as well. ADHD symptoms often continue into adulthood. Adults with ADHD have many of the same challenges as children with ADHD, such as: 

  • Trouble organizing work or daily activities.
  • Getting distracted by things happening around them.
  • Having several projects going on at one time.          
  • Focusing poorly even when they are interested in something.

The Bottom Line

With so many people being diagnosed with ADHD every year, it’s important to know what you can do about it. The statistics for people with ADHD are alarming.

The number of people with this disorder will go up if it is not treated or considered when developing treatment options for other disorders. If you have been recently diagnosed with ADHD, please don’t feel alone in this experience!

We are here to help you understand what is going on with your ADHD. We have information about the different treatments and how ADHD impacts daily life. You can also find out more about how to manage symptoms. Start your free consultation today!

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