'The Prevalence of Autism (including Aspergers Syndrome) in School Age Children in Northern Ireland 2017'
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.