Report: 1 in 10 school-aged kids has ADHD

A new report shows that more than 1 in 10 kids has been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The report, compiled from the latest 2020-2022 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), describes the percentages of children and adolescents between the ages of 5-17 years old who have ever been diagnosed with ADHD. The report breaks down the data by age, group, sex, race and income.

The report found that the prevalence of ever-diagnosed ADHD was 11.3% in children 5-17 years old. 

It also found that boys (14.5%) had a higher prevalence than girls (8%), and children ages 5-11 were less likely than children ages 12-17 to have ADHD.


Children listen to their teacher as they sit in a classroom on the first day of the start of the school year (Credit: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images)

White non-Hispanic children between the ages of 5-17 were more likely to have ADHD (13.4%) versus Black non-Hispanic (10.8%) and Hispanic (8.9%) children. 

The report also found that the prevalence of ADHD decreased as the level of family income increased.

The findings were published on March 20 as an "NCHS Data Brief."  The NCHS is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What is ADHD?

According to the CDC, ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders of childhood. 

It is characterized by a pattern of inattention, impulsivity, or hyperactivity that leads to functional impairment experienced in multiple settings.

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Symptoms of ADHD occur during childhood, and many children continue to have symptoms and impairment through adolescence and into adulthood.

ADHD medication shortage in 2023

Last year, a shortage of ADHD medications sparked concern among some parents of children who had children with the disorder.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first announced the medication shortage in October 2022.

Data from SingleCare, an online prescription savings service based in Boston, Massachusetts, showed there was a 33% spike in ADHD medication fills for children between 6 and 17 years of age in August-September 2020-2022 as compared to June-July 2020-2022.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.