CDC: Autism rates in the U.S. are skyrocketing, especially in California

SAN DIEGO — Autism rates are rising and changing quickly in the United States, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego provide a closer look into what that means, and how California in particular is seeing record numbers.

The latest analysis shows that 1 in 36 American 8-year-olds (2.8%) have been diagnosed with autism. This is notably higher than the reported 1 in 44 (2.3%) of children from December 2021. The figure looks even steeper when you compare it to the CDC’s first autism prevalence report from 2007, which showed only 1 in 150 children (0.7%) were.

Data for this analysis was collected by the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network, a CDC-funded program that aims to understand the prevalence and traits of children with autism. ADDM surveys children ages 4 and 8 in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin. The California ADDM site is conveniently based at UC San Diego and provides autism reports within the local county.

According to the ADDM Network, currently the median age of first diagnosis across these states for 8 year olds was a bit over 4 years. Just in California, the age was 3 years, which means children in this state are getting diagnosed quicker.

Mother working with child who has autism
Children with autism who receive support and programming early on are more likely to live successful, thriving lives as adults. (© New Africa –

California is unique because of the intense focus on early detection and extensive early services,” says study co-author Karen Pierce, PhD, professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine, co-director of the UC San Diego Autism Center of Excellence and principal investigator of the ADDM California site, in a media release. “Some children in San Diego are diagnosed with autism by their second birthday and connected to services quickly thereafter. This is great news because the sooner they can be connected to services and support, the more likely they are to thrive in school and in later life.”

Aside from state lines, there are differences in race and ethnicity as well.  All previous CDC reports have shown that white children were identified with the condition more often than others. This is the first year that shows the opposite. The researchers found that autism rates are higher in all minorities. However in California, there were no racial differences to note.

“This first-of-a-kind finding is exciting because it suggests a movement towards equity in services for all children on the spectrum,” notes Pierce.

The autism discussion can’t end without addressing the gender gap, either. Young boys are by and large diagnosed more often than girls. In fact, historically they have been 4 to 5 times more. This most recent report shows that the gap is closing, with more girls being diagnosed with autism. The ADDM Network shows a lower ratio between boys and girls overall, which means things are moving in the right direction. This same trend is happening in California individually, too.

Since ADDM only looks at specific states, it clearly doesn’t provide a true picture for the entire United States, but it still highlights the need for accessible early detection for families and their children. For those looking for more information, the CDC offers a program called “Learn the Signs. Act Early” , which provides free tools in several languages to help parents monitor their children’s development from as early as 2 months of age. They also offer a Milestone Tracker app to help keep track of things and communicate any important findings directly to their healthcare professionals.

The findings are published on the CDC website.

Follow on Google News

About the Author

Shyla Cadogan, RD

Shyla Cadogan is a DMV-Based acute care Registered Dietitian. She holds specialized interests in integrative nutrition and communicating nutrition concepts in a nuanced, approachable way.

The contents of this website do not constitute advice and are provided for informational purposes only. See our full disclaimer


  1. What is the relationship between parents who used marijuana and their children having autism?

  2. I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that California mandates vaccines for children to go to school.

    1. Philip
      It absolutely has everything to do with that! But it’s just so “exciting” that it’s now “EQUITABLE “!

    2. The CDC are fully aware that jabs cause the great majority of cases of autism, but they intentionally destroyed the evidence. A high-level CDC whistleblower exposed the truth years ago.
      Just like all the ‘sudden deaths’ since the Covid jab roll-out, they blame anything but the jabs.

    3. Tell that to my 95 year old autistic mother – born WAY before the vaccines were developed. For that matter, I’m 67 and autistic, and most of the vaccines were developed even after I was in school.

  3. I have a son with autism and he was diagnosed about 17 years ago when the rate was 1 in 150. At the time, that rate was considered alarming, but I wasn’t worried because of the advancement in diagnosis at the time. To this day, California still leads in early detection and diagnosis; therefore, one can conclude if you go looking for work, you’ll find it. There aren’t more autistic people these days; there’s more people looking for it.

  4. And once again adult autism is ignored. I am a 51year old autistic and am quite offended by that.

    1. I have Asperger’s (High Functioning Autism) and don’t get offended by factual data. In fact, I love it, even if it upsets some people with fragile minds.

  5. Thye diagnosis of Autism has been changed greatly; the “need” to have more kigs diagnosed is driven by :(1) drug mfgs wanting for sales of drugs that treat the condition-not a word about the dangers of long term drug use and serious side effects and (2) the education monopolie’s need to “special education”-procedures that are taxpayer funded and of unproven benefit

  6. It’s the shots man, the shots. Look it up. The vax schedule got ramped up in the late 80s and that coincides with the huge increase. There is an agenda to these vacs and ppl need to wtfu
    “Autism is not a scientific mystery. The autism epidemic is largely the result of bad laws, regulatory capture, and the CDC childhood vaccine schedule.”

    1. It would be interesting to understand the correlation between autism and geriatric pregnancies. Do we find more women in California having children at a later age compared to other states? I guess the same would go for the fathers – are they generally older in CA?

    2. Absolutely. And now they’ve added the Covid Frankenjab to the childhood jab schedule. A Crime Against Humanity, but our Luciferian ‘leaders’ couldn’t care less. They will wake up to their extreme crimes on Judgement Day.

  7. Absolutely agree Sandy, especially now with the COVID jab, it’s only gonna skyrocket up bigly. People are very naive to think our government and big pharma are here to help…🤣😂to them the depopulation game is a real deal…to us it’s a conspiracy theory…

  8. A major cause of autism is all the ultrasound radiation that fetuses are receiving when the pregnant mother keeps allowing and even keeps asking the doctor to perform ultrasounds on the fetus. Ultrasound radiation has a heating effect on the body. It is absolutely not important for a pregnant mother to know ahead of time the baby’s sex because a loving mother will love the baby no matter whether it turns out to be a girl or a boy; but, it definitely is important to not expose the developing fetus to high levels of radiation. Jeanice Barcelo has written a great book about all the harm that ultrasound radiation causes to one’s health, and she recently provided a video interview on the topic. (see link)

  9. While autism is a real thing my feeling is it is over diagnosed, as such I think studies like this are suspect. The problem with identifying autism is the sympton can be so vague almost anyone can be diagnosed as autistic which takes resources away from those who really suffer from the disease.

  10. Now compare the “vaccination rate” of the respective states with their autism increases.

  11. Huh? That more girls are being diagnosed with autism means things are moving in the right direction??

  12. “Diagnosed with…” that’s the clue. It has become a fad diagnosis used to pathologize people who don’t want to be bothered. Everybody’s expected to be a jabbering overactive extravert and whoever isn’t must be “diagnosed” as defective. This actually makes persons who are in need of help harder to identify and saddles otherwise normal people with the belief they themselves are defective.
    Everyone is supposed to be a shallow, easily controlled and influenced puppet.

Comments are closed.