A total of 9.5% of children aged 4-17 in the US have at some point been diagnosed with ADHD, according to statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control. While prevalence statistics often rely on the administration of mental health screening tests, the latest statistics reflect actual diagnoses given to the children by physicians or mental health care providers. The CDC also identified significant trends based on gender and income levels.
The latest statistics came from the National Health Interview Survey of the National Center for Health Statistics. Between 2011-13, information was collected for 29,968 children aged 4–17. Respondents were asked, “Has a doctor or health professional ever told you that [sample child] had attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD)?”
There were differences based on age, gender and income.
“For those aged 4–5, prevalence was 2.7%, 9.5% for those aged 6–11, and 11.8% for those aged 12–17,” stated a CDC data brief. “13.3% of boys and 5.6% of girls aged 4–17 had ever been diagnosed with ADHD.”
The ADHD rates were highest among children with public insurance at 11.7%, and lowest among uninsured children at 5.7%. Among children with private insurance, the rate was 8.6%.
Of families with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty threshold, 10.4% of children had been diagnosed with ADHD, compared with 8.8% of children in families with incomes at or above 200% of the poverty threshold.
Association Between Diagnosed ADHD and Selected Characteristics Among Children Aged 4–17 Years: United States, 2011–2013 (NCHS Data Brief, Number 201, May 2015)