One in 10 U.S. Children Is Diagnosed With ADHD

One in ten American children is affected by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report finds.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders in children. People with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention and controlling impulsive behaviors, or they can be overly active.

A new CDC report reveals that 11.3% of children ages 5–17 years had an ADHD diagnosis during 2020–2022. The rates were higher among boys than girls, 14.5% versus 8%, respectively.

The disorder is most common among White non-Hispanic children, with 13.4% of them being affected, compared to 10.8% Black non-Hispanic and 8.9% Hispanic children.

The prevalence of ADHD among children aged 12–17 was 14.3%, compared to 8.6% in the 5–11 years age group.

As the level of family income increased, the prevalence of ADHD dropped from 14.8% in those with family incomes of less than 100% of the federal poverty level to 10.1% in those with family incomes of 200% of the federal poverty level or more.

Does my child have ADHD?

Children with ADHD do not grow out of trouble focusing and behaving, that happens to most children from time to time. The symptoms of ADHD can be severe and cause difficulty at school and home. According to the CDC, the symptoms can include the following:

  • daydreaming a lot
  • forgetting or losing things a lot
  • squirming or fidgeting
  • talking too much
  • making careless mistakes or taking unnecessary risks
  • having a hard time resisting temptation
  • having trouble taking turns
  • having difficulty getting along with others

If you think your child may have ADHD, discuss the symptoms with your healthcare provider, who will guide you through the process of getting the diagnosis.

In adults, undiagnosed and untreated ADHD can cause difficulty at work, at home, or with relationships. Moreover, ADHD is often comorbid with other mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression, substance use disorder, and bipolar disorder.

ADHD can be a debilitating condition that now affects 11.3% of children and 2.5%–5% of adults in the U.S., although the actual numbers may be even higher.

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