ADHD Rates Holding Steady in US Children


While the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in US children increased from the late 1990s to 2016, more recent data show rates remained steady at around 10% from 2017 to 2022.


  • Based on prior data, the prevalence of ADHD in children rose from 6.1% in 1997-1998 to 10.2% in 2015-2016, with a 42.0% increase from 2003 to 2011. The new report provides updated prevalence data for 2017-2022.

  • The cross-sectional analysis used data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) from 2017 to 2022 for more than 37,609 US children and adolescents 4 to 17 years old (52% male, 53% non-Hispanic White, 24% Hispanic, 11% non-Hispanic Black and 12% non-Hispanic other race).

  • Information on healthcare provider-diagnosed ADHD was reported by a parent or guardian.


  • A total of 4098 children and adolescents (10.9%) were reported to have an ADHD diagnosis during the study period.

  • The weighted prevalence of ADHD ranged from 10.08% to 10.47% from 2017 to 2022, which is similar to the prevalence in 2015-2016 (10.20%).

  • There was no significant change on an annual basis or in all subgroups evaluated. Notably, the estimated prevalence of ADHD among US children and adolescents was higher than worldwide estimates (5.3%) in earlier years (1978-2005).

  • The prevalence of ADHD in US children differed significantly by age, sex, race/ethnicity, and family income, in line with previous findings, with higher rates in those 12-17 years (vs 4-11 years), males, non-Hispanic populations, and those with higher family income.


The estimated ADHD prevalence remains “high” and “further investigation is warranted to assess potentially modifiable risk factors and provide adequate resources for treatment of individuals with ADHD in the future,” the authors write.


The study, with first author Yanmei Li, Guangdong Pharmaceutical University, Guangzhou, China, was published online October 4 in JAMA Network Open.


Information on ADHD relied on parent-reported diagnosis, which may lead to misreporting and recall bias. The NHIS underwent a major redesign in 2019, which may affect comparability with prior years and the COVID-19 pandemic affected collection in 2020.


The study had no specific funding. The authors report no relevant financial relationships.

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