Autism is a neurological and developmental condition related to brain development and impacts how individuals perceive and socialize with others. Signs are usually observed in the early childhood years. Autism is defined by a specific set of behaviors that affect a person’s ability to interact and communicate with others. There are different degrees of autism, but some common behaviors associated with this disability include poor motor skills, delayed speech, difficulties with reasoning, and very narrow interests.
In recent years, cases of autism have risen. For example, in 2016, about 1 in 54 children in the United States was identified with ASD by age 8. This is a 10% increase from 2014. No single cause has been identified, but early diagnosis is key to improved outcomes, although there is no cure and children do not grow out of this disability.
Tracking the rates of autism around the world is a bit of a challenge. This is because many nations do not track or report their autism rates. There are also no specific, uniform criteria for assessing autism. Even if there were, there are many nations that do not have the resources to conduct assessments.
The Global Health Data Exchange compiled the autism rates for all countries worldwide for people of any age. The countries with the lowest autism rates were developed countries in Europe. France has the lowest autism rates of 69.3 per 10,000 people or 1 in 144 people. Portugal follows with 70.5 per 10,000 or 1 in 142.
The ten countries with the lowest autism rates are;
- France: 69.3 per 10,000/1 in 144
- Portugal: 7.5 per 10,000/1 in 142
- Iceland: 71.9 per 10,000/1 in 139
- Norway: 72.0 per 10,000/1 in 139
- Italy: 72.0 per 10,000/1 in 139
- Germany: 72.2 per 10,000/1 in 139
- Greece: 72.4 per 10,000/1 in 138
- Austria: 72.6 per 10,000/1 in 138
- Belgium: 73.0 per 10,000/1 in 137
- Spain: 73.0 per 10,000/1 in 137
There are five countries with autism rates above 100 per 10,000. These countries are: