A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has revealed that autism rates are rising at an accelerating rate in the United States, with 1 in 36 American 8-year-olds (2.8%) now being diagnosed with the disorder.
This figure is significantly higher than the 1 in 44 (2.3%) rate reported in 2021 and over three times the 1 in 150 (0.7%) rate reported in 2005.
Note: The CDC presents its autism data findings three years after the year in which the data was collected, i.e., the data presented this week was collected in 2020. Here is the data from the CDC since 2000 which is presented in the chart above.
The CDC's report also highlights recent changes in autism diagnosis rates based on race, ethnicity, and gender. While historically autism was more prevalent in white children than in children of other races, this latest report indicates that the situation is moving towards "equity in services" (their words) for all minorities.
Additionally, boys have historically been diagnosed more than girls, but the latest data shows that the gender gap is closing with more girls receiving autism diagnoses than before.
California has the highest autism rate of any state in America, at 4.5%.