These figures have been extracted from the Northern Ireland School Census collected by the Department of Education.
- The estimated prevalence of autism within the school aged population in Northern Ireland has increased by 1.3 percentage points from 1.2% in 2008/09 to 2.5% in 2016/17.
- There is a significant difference in the estimated prevalence rates of autism between the genders, with males four times more likely to be identified with autism than females, in line with international findings.
- The Northern Ireland urban population has a statistically significant higher prevalence rate than the rural population.
- The estimated prevalence of autism has increased across all school years, between 2009/10 and 2016/17, with the greatest increase in the number of children identified with autism occurring in the oldest (Year 12 – Aged 16 years old) group of children.