Learning disability statistics: autism

Approximately 1% of the population has an autism spectrum condition

  • The prevalence rate of autistic spectrum conditions is higher in men (2%) than women (0.3%).
  • 60-70% of people who have an autistic spectrum condition will also have a learning disability.
  • The prevalence of autism increases with greater severity of learning disability or lower verbal IQ. 
  • (Source: NHS Report - 'Estimating the prevalence of autistic spectrum conditions in adults', 2012)
  • 4.5% of single men have an autism spectrum condition
  • Autism spectrum conditions are associated with educational qualification. The rate is lowest among those with a degree level qualification (0.2%) and highest among those with no qualifications (2.1%).
  • The likelihood of a positive assessment for an autism spectrum condition varies with tenure and the level of deprivation in the local area. Those living in accommodation rented from a social landlord were the most likely to have an autism spectrum condition. 
  • This is strongly evident among men - 8.0% of men in social housing are identified with an autism spectrum condition (Source: Autism Spectrum Disorders in adults living in households throughout England, 2007)