ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a mental health disorder that causes impulsive behavior and high levels of hyperactivity. As ADHD statistics reveal, both children and adults can suffer from this disorder, despite the general belief that this disorder affects children exclusively.
People who suffer from this disorder have trouble sitting still for longer periods of time, as well as focusing their attention on only one thing at a time.
If you want to learn more about what causes ADD, ADHD in kids, ADHD in adults, and how to deal with ADHD, keep reading.
Top 10 Most Intriguing ADHD Facts and Statistics
- Usually, the first symptoms of ADHD in children appear between the ages of 3 and 6.
- More than 6 million children in the US have been diagnosed with ADHD.
- On average, 60% to 85% of children continue to have ADHD in their teen years.
- Approximately 6 in 10 children with ADHD also suffer from another disorder.
- ADHD sufferers’ siblings are 35% more likely to suffer from ADHD, as well.
- Children from English speaking households are 4 times more likely to suffer from ADHD, as some interesting facts about ADHD show.
- More than 47% of adults with ADHD also suffer from anxiety.
- Every year ADHD costs the US more than $42.5 billion.
- More than 75% of children with ADHD also suffer from sleep disorders.
- More than 67% of adults with ADHD have sleep problems.
If you, or someone you care about, have ADHD, don’t be afraid, because you’re not alone. Here are some of the most important stats and facts that will prove that to you.
Overall ADHD Facts and Statistics
1. What is ADHD?
This is one of the most common mental health disorders among children, but it’s also very common in adults. Scientists are still not sure what the main cause of ADHD is, but symptoms of ADHD in kids include inattentiveness, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.
2. There are three types of ADHD.
Depending on which symptoms of ADHD a person is displaying, there can be a predominantly inattentive presentation, when a person has difficulties paying attention to details, organizing tasks, and following the instructions.
As facts about ADHD report, the second type is the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation, when a person has difficulty staying still, fidgets, talks a lot, and has trouble controlling their impulsivity.
The third type is the combined presentation, when a person displays a combination of the previous two types.
3. People with severe ADHD have, on average, a 25-year shorter life expectancy.
A center for actuarial studies has researched with a large number of ADHD suffering participants. The research and statistics on ADHD have confirmed that people who suffer from ADHD have lower levels of self-consciousness, which is linked to early death due to various causes.
4. Couples whose children are suffering from ADHD are three times more likely to separate or divorce.
One study has found that parents of children diagnosed with ADHD have higher chances of divorcing before their child is eight years old than parents whose children do not suffer from this disorder. Of course, as the CDC ADHD statistics report, the study doesn’t suggest that having a child with ADHD is the only risk factor for a divorce or separation.
5. Usually, the first symptoms of ADHD in children appear between the ages of 3 and 6.
Although this is not only a children’s disorder, since adults suffer from ADHD, too, the first symptoms usually appear in early childhood. The average age for diagnosing ADHD is 7 years. However, it’s very hard to diagnose ADHD, since children showing the symptoms are often labeled as problematic and troublemaking.
ADHD in Children Statistics
6. More than 6 million children in the US have been diagnosed with ADHD.
The National Survey of Children’s Health, NSCH, from 2016, has revealed that 9.4% of children in the US have ever been diagnosed with ADHD. This data includes around 388,000 young children, aged 2 to 5, 2.5 million children aged 6 to 11, and 3.3 million adolescents, aged 12 to 17.
But how common is ADHD on the global level?
7. It’s estimated that the prevalence of ADHD on the global level is around 5%.
The research shows that globally the prevalence of ADHD ranges from 2% to 7%. On average, 5% of children around the world are inattentive, impulsive, and hyperactive, which meets the diagnostic criteria for ADHD.
8. Currently, more than 5 million children in the United States are diagnosed with ADHD.
As the NSCH’s ADHD diagnosis statistics from 2016 show, there are millions of children who are currently suffering from ADHD. That accounts for 8.4% of all the children in the US. Approximately 335,000 of them are aged 2 to 5, 2.2 million are 6 to 11, and 2.9 million of them are adolescents, aged 12 to 17.
9. The average onset age for ADHD is 6 years.
Based on the research data, the more severe cases of ADHD are diagnosed earlier in childhood. As the ADHD diagnosis statistics report, the average age for diagnosing severe ADHD is 4 years. Moderate ADHD is diagnosed when the child is around 6 years old, and the average age for mild ADHD is 7 years.
10. On average, 60% to 85% of children continue to have ADHD in their teen years.
Research shows that the majority of children who are diagnosed with ADHD when they are between 6 and 12 years old, continue to suffer from this disorder throughout their teenage years. Additionally, stats about ADHD also show that almost 50% of teenagers continue to suffer from ADHD in their adulthood.
11. Approximately 6 in 10 children with ADHD also suffer from another disorder.
As the national parent survey from 2016 revealed, 5 in 10 children with ADHD also had a behavior or conduct problem, and 3 in 10 children had anxiety. Other mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders that affect children with ADHD also include depression, Tourette’s syndrome, and autism spectrum disorder.
12. As ADHD statistics reveal, about 70% of those who have ADHD will be treated for depression at some point in their lives.
This is a serious disorder, which, if not treated, can cause the loss of ability to focus and concentrate, which can furthermore lead to problems in school, and even to the inability to graduate successfully. It can also cause problems at work, trouble in relationships, driving accidents, trouble with the law, as well as eating and sleeping disorders, as the untreated ADHD statistics show.
(ADHD Awareness Month)
13. ADHD sufferers’ siblings are 35% more likely to suffer from ADHD, as well.
Studies show that 10% to 35% of immediate family members of children with ADHD are likely to suffer from the disorder as well. Genetics plays a significant role in this disorder, and identical twins are more likely to be affected than non-identical ones. Additionally, numerous international studies on twins with ADHD have found that ADHD heritability is 76%, on average, and ADHD hereditary statistics confirm this.
14. Approximately 3 in 4 children with ADHD in the US have received some kind of treatment for their condition.
In 2016, around 62% of children with ADHD were taking some sort of medication for their condition. Approximately 47% received behavioral treatment, and out of all of them, around 32% received both medication and behavioral therapy. However, close to 23% of children with this disorder received no treatment.
15. Children from English-speaking households are 4 times more likely to suffer from ADHD, as some interesting facts about ADHD show.
In addition to this, ADHD in girls is less likely to occur, since boys are at 3 times higher risk. Also, children who live 2 times below the average poverty line are at greater risk of suffering from this disorder.
16. About 6 out of 10 children with ADHD have received some kind of skills training.
Research shows that 3 out of 10 children received parent-delivered behavior therapy. Furthermore, ADHD statistics from 2016 show that 4 out of 10 children went through social skills training, 3 out of 10 children with ADHD had peer interventions, and 2 out of 10 children suffering from ADHD received cognitive behavioral therapy.
In addition to this, almost 9 in 10 children with ADHD received school support that included help in the classroom, as well as school accommodation.
17. The rate of ADHD among non-Hispanic black girls has risen by 90% in just 9 years.
As some of the ADHD race statistics report, this disorder affects all races equally. However, Caucasian children have the highest percentage of ADHD diagnosis, 9.8%, and Latinos have 5.5%. The ADHD diagnosis has been on the rise from 2003, when it was at 7.8%. It has risen to 9.5% in 2007, and then to 11% in 2011, with the lowest rates in Nevada and New Jersey, at 4.2% and 5.5% respectively, and the highest rates in Kentucky and Arkansas, with 14.8% and 14.6%, respectively.
Adult ADHD Statistics
18. According to the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, the prevalence of ADHD among adults in the US is 4.4%.
The diagnostic interview data also shows that the prevalence is higher in males – 5.4%, compared to the prevalence in females – 3.2%. In addition to this, the non-Hispanic white group had a higher ADHD prevalence – 5.4%, than all the other races and ethnicities.
19. Adults suffering from ADHD are 1.5 times more likely to suffer from other disorders, as well.
People with ADHD are more likely to develop a substance abuse disorder, such as the addiction to marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, and cocaine. ADHD also has a 27.4% prevalence in obese adults. The likeliness of ADHD increases with the increase in a person’s body mass index.
20. More than 47% of adults with ADHD also suffer from anxiety.
According to the ADHD statistics on adults, 8% of adults with this disorder also have a generalized anxiety disorder. Over 11% have PTSD, close to 9% have panic disorder, and 4% are agoraphobic. In addition to this, more than 20% of these adults have some kind of social phobia, and close to 3% have OCD.
21. Every year ADHD costs the US more than $42.5 billion.
This means that, individually, suffering from ADHD can cost more than $14,500 annually, according to some ADHD statistics. And these costs do not refer only to medical expenses like ADD medication for adults, or Adderall for ADHD, but also to the loss of work, education expenses, juvenile justice, and numerous other costs.
22. ADHD adults are 3 times more likely to suffer from a major depressive disorder.
They are also 4 times more likely to suffer from other mood disorders. For example, more than 12% of adults with ADHD also suffer from dysthymia, according to ADHD stats. Over 19% suffer from bipolar disorder, and close to 20% suffer from intermittent explosive disorder.
23. Close to 61% of adults with ADHD are more likely to get fired from their job.
Compared to this data, only 43% of adults who don’t have ADHD get fired. Additionally, 33% are more likely to get laid off, compared to 13% of adults without ADHD. They are also 11 times more likely to be unemployed, and 6 times more likely to be in an unskilled occupation.
Stats on ADHD and Sleep
24. Around 75% of children with ADHD also suffer from sleep disorders.
Scientists are still not sure exactly how ADHD and sleep are related, but sleep disorders caused by ADHD usually appear when the child is around 12 years old. Both ADHD symptoms and medication can cause various disturbances in children’s sleep, and sleep deprivation can worsen the symptoms of ADHD.
25. Approximately 50% of children with ADHD suffer from sleep-disordered breathing.
According to the ADHD statistics worldwide, more than half of children with ADHD also have sleep apnea. Symptoms of ADHD in adults and children are different, and sleep-deprived ADHD-suffering adults and children act differently. Adults tend to be sluggish, while children often speed up, which is why, sometimes, sleep deprivation is confused with ADHD in children.
(National Sleep Foundation)
26. Roughly 67% of adults with ADHD have sleep problems.
One research has discovered that almost two-thirds of people with ADHD have problems with their sleep. This may seem like one of the fun facts about ADHD state, but as we have already mentioned – sleep deprivation only makes ADHD symptoms worse, which in turn prevents people from maintaining regular sleep patterns, and it becomes a vicious circle.
27. Half of the children with ADHD and 75% of adults suffer from insomnia.
A great majority of adults with ADHD have sleep-onset insomnia, which means that they have difficulty falling asleep. Sometimes it may take them up to one hour to fall asleep, because their mind is racing. Also, according to some statistics of ADHD, the number of children with ADHD is two times higher compared to their peers without ADHD.
28. Up to 44% of people with ADHD also suffer from restless leg syndrome (RLS).
One study, conducted in clinical samples, found that there is a relation between ADHD and RLS. People who have RLS very often suffer from insomnia, too, because their involuntary leg movements keep them from falling asleep. Furthermore, this leads to sleep disruption and daytime sleepiness, which can cause ADHD in children.
29. Statistics about ADHD show that 26% of children with ADHD have periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD).
Since sleep disruption can be a cause of ADHD, as mentioned, scientists have conducted a test with 27 children who have ADHD. They found that 18 out of those children had five or more periodic limb movements in sleep per hour, which qualified them for PLMD. The research has also discovered that even some of the parents had a history of PLMD.
30. ADHD statistics from 2018 report that adults who suffer from narcolepsy were two times more likely to have ADHD diagnosis as children.
Narcolepsy is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder that makes it hard for the patient to stay awake. This sleep disorder could lead to inattention and impulse control problems, which are the main symptoms of ADHD. However, there is a danger of misdiagnosis, since narcolepsy and ADHD have some overlapping symptoms. Additionally, there are some overlapping medications for treating these conditions, as well.
ADHD myths and facts
31. ADHD is not really a medical condition.
The NIH, CDC, and APA all recognize ADHD as a medical condition. Furthermore, scientists have proven that ADHD is hereditary, and that one in four people who suffer from this disorder have a parent who also suffers from ADHD. So, ADHD is a very real condition, and it has an enormous impact on the everyday life of the person who suffers from it.
32. There’s been much overdiagnosis of ADHD lately, which is why ADHD medications are overprescribed.
ADHD diagnosis statistics for 2017 estimate that ADHD affects roughly 3% to 10% of children, and as we have seen from these stats, not all of them are receiving ADHD medications as a treatment for their condition. Hence, there’s simply not enough information to claim that ADHD is overdiagnosed.
33. Children who take medication for ADHD abuse drugs later in their life.
Untreated ADHD may actually cause substance abuse, while proper treatment reduces this risk. Facts on ADHD show that medication for this disorder has been safe to use and effective for more than 50 years. These medications can’t cure the condition completely, but they can help manage and ease the symptoms.
34. Bad parenting is what causes ADHD in children.
Everyone who suffers from ADHD has some behavioral problems, not just children. However, people who don’t know that a child has ADHD might think that their behavior is due to bad parenting and the lack of discipline. This is all part of the ADHD facts and myths – when people can’t see a physical injury, they forget that someone can suffer from a medical condition with no physical signs.
35. Children who suffer from ADHD will outgrow this condition with time.
As already mentioned, half of the children with ADHD continue to suffer from this condition throughout their adulthood. The majority of adults are undiagnosed and untreated, which means that they may experience substance abuse, mental health issues, difficulties in career and education, legal and financial problems, as well as relationship difficulties.
How many people have ADHD?
According to the data from 2013, close to 11% of children in the United States have been diagnosed with ADHD at some point in their lives. That number has risen from 7.8% in 2003. The ADHD rate in adults is lower, and it’s around 4%. Of course, this data doesn’t include undiagnosed adults.
How common is ADHD in the world?
Some recent studies have estimated that the number of people suffering from ADHD around the globe is 5.29%. The same study also claims that ADHD is an essential and universal disorder that affects the entire population around the world.
Do people with ADHD forget things?
Unfortunately, yes. Forgetfulness is an everyday occurrence for some people who suffer from ADHD. Generally, it’s not dangerous, but it can affect one’s career or education, since it can be seen as a lack of intelligence or even carelessness.
Is ADHD more common in one ethnicity?
One study has found that racial and ethnic differences in ADHD diagnosis usually happen before kindergarten and continue until eighth grade. Generally, children belonging to minorities are less likely to be diagnosed and treated with ADHD than white children.
Is ADHD more common today?
The number of people diagnosed with ADHD is higher than ever. It has increased from 6.1% in 1997-1998, to 10.2% in 2015-2016. Various studies and research have confirmed that this is the most common disorder in children today. They haven’t yet discovered the cause, but they do know that it’s inherited.
What famous people have ADHD?
Having ADHD doesn’t mean that the person can’t have a successful professional or academic life. Numerous celebrities suffer from this disorder but still manage to lead extraordinary lives. Some of them include Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, Adam Levine, the Maroon 5 frontman, Justin Timberlake, Paris Hilton, Simone Biles, Solange Knowles, and many, many more.
The Bottom Line
ADHD is just a diagnosis, and we hope that these ADHD statistics have helped you realize that although this disorder will not go away on its own, it’s not the most dangerous disorder to have. Medical disorders are not an excuse for an unhappy and unsuccessful life, even though they can make everyday living much more difficult.
We hope that this list will help you feel less scared if you or someone you love have ADHD, and we hope that it will show you that you’re not alone. The key to managing this disorder well is a good treatment plan and a strong character that will prevent you from ever giving up.