Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 45, Issue 12, pp 4135–4139 | Cite as

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

  • J. Paul LeighEmail author
  • Juan Du
Brief Report


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.


Costs Non-medical services Prevalence 



First author acknowledges partial support from Autism Speaks (7636) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (U54OH007550).

Author contribution

Both authors contributed to the inception, design, writing, calculations, and organization of the research and manuscript.

Supplementary material

10803_2015_2521_MOESM1_ESM.doc (150 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 151 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, Department of Public Health Sciences, MS1CUniversity of California, Davis, School of MedicineDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Economics, Strome College of BusinessOld Dominion UniversityNorfolkUSA

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