Brief Report: Forecasting the Economic Burden of Autism in 2015 and 2025 in the United States

J Autism Dev Disord. 2015 Dec;45(12):4135-9. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2521-7.


Few US estimates of the economic burden of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are available and none provide estimates for 2015 and 2025. We forecast annual direct medical, direct non-medical, and productivity costs combined will be $268 billion (range $162-$367 billion; 0.884-2.009 % of GDP) for 2015 and $461 billion (range $276-$1011 billion; 0.982-3.600 % of GDP) for 2025. These 2015 figures are on a par with recent estimates for diabetes and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and exceed the costs of stroke and hypertension. If the prevalence of ASD continues to grow as it has in recent years, ASD costs will likely far exceed those of diabetes and ADHD by 2025.

Keywords: Costs; Non-medical services; Prevalence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / diagnosis
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / economics*
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Autistic Disorder / economics*
  • Autistic Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology