ADHD News & Research

Study: Prevalence of ADHD Lowest Among Non-Hispanic Asian Children

The prevalence of ADHD is substantially lower among Non-Hispanic Asian youth, according to a new study of racial-ethic disparities across groups and sex. Across all racial-ethnic groups, male participants had higher ADHD prevalence than did females.

July 14, 2021

ADHD prevalence rates are lowest among Non-Hispanic Asian boys and girls, according to a recent Journal of Attention Disorders study.1 Prevalence of ADHD was 11.3% among non-Hispanic White children and 10.7% among non-Hispanic Black children — significantly higher than the 2.2% prevalence rate found among non-Hispanic Asian children in the study. Prevalence was also higher in male participants compared to females across all racial-ethic groups.

Data was drawn from the 2004 to 2018 National Health Interview Survey for 120,129 children aged 5 to 17.

Non-Hispanic White children had higher ADHD prevalence rates than did Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Asian children, but they had prevalence rates similar to Non-Hispanic Black and Non-Hispanic Alaskan Native/American Indian children. Females had consistently lower prevalence rates than did males — 5.86% vs. 13.26% — but racial-ethnic differences persisted across sex.

The difference in ADHD prevalence rates between Non-Hispanic White children and Non-Hispanic Black children was not as severe as reported in prior studies, which suggests that the gap in ADHD prevalence rates among White and Black youth may have diminished in recent years or contained errors in the past. Researchers concluded: “The low ADHD prevalence for Non-Hispanic Asians and the high ADHD prevalence for Non-Hispanic Alaskan Native/American Indians emphasizes the importance of including and distinguishing between multiple racial-ethnic groups, since prevalence rates vary substantially among groups that are often congregate in the ‘other’ category or neglected as a whole.”

View Article Sources

1 Wong AWWA, Landes SD. Expanding Understanding of Racial-Ethnic Differences in ADHD Prevalence Rates among Children to Include Asians and Alaskan Natives/American Indians. Journal of Attention Disorders. June 2021. doi:10.1177/10870547211027932