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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Illustration of a series of thin blocks of various shapes, sizes and colors positioned to resemble a bar graph.
Photograph by
Richard Drury

Accounting for autism’s prevalence

by  /  20 September 2023

Spectrum’s 2021 book, “Autism by the Numbers: Explaining its Apparent Rise,” took a systematic look at the “surprisingly rapid, persistent and global rise” in autism prevalence figures and examined the societal shifts and methodological subtleties, among other factors, that may explain why more people are diagnosed with the condition each year. In this collection of past coverage, we return to that title alongside other news stories about autism’s prevalence.

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wooden pebble shapes stacked on top of each other, at varying heights, and according to colors of the spectrum.

Autism by the numbers: Explaining its apparent rise

by  /  22 December 2021

Is autism really more common among children today than in generations past? This new downloadable book offers an in-depth guide to the various factors that have helped to drive autism prevalence numbers up.

Global autism prevalence map

Map of global autism prevalence

by  /  5 November 2018

View an interactive map of studies on autism prevalence around the world. The map highlights places where information is available — and places where information is missing.

Out-of-focus photograph of a young girl sitting at a desk using an eraser.

U.S. study charts changing prevalence of profound and non-profound autism

by  /  19 April 2023

Profound autism prevalence rose from 2002 to 2016, though not nearly as much as non-profound autism did.

Overhead picture of a racially diverse group of children playing while lying on a blue carpet.

U.S. autism prevalence continues to rise as race and sex gaps shrink, new stats show

by  /  23 March 2023

About 1 in 36 children in the United States has autism, up almost 20 percent from the previous estimate, reflecting improved identification, particularly among girls and Black, Hispanic and Asian or Pacific Islander children.

A map of England displaying autism incidence.

Autism incidence in England varies by ethnicity, class, location

by  /  6 December 2022

High rates of autism are linked to lower socioeconomic status and minority ethnic groups, according to the largest-ever autism incidence study.

Birds-eye-view of children sitting on grass in a circle formation each inside a hula hoop to represent improved identification and diagnosis of autism.

U.S. autism prevalence inches upward as racial gaps close

by  /  2 December 2021

Autism prevalence in the United States rose to 1 in 44 children in 2018, up from 1 in 54 in 2016.