Improving access to social care for adults with autism
How many people have autism?
- An estimated 400,000–500,000 adults have autism in the United Kingdom (UK). This represents 1.16 per cent (3) of the entire UK population.
- 20–33 per cent of adults with learning disabilities known to councils with adult social services responsibilities also have autism (totalling 35,000–58,000 people across England) (4). This figure excludes the many people with autism who do not use social services, often because they are excluded.
- A King's College London report (5) estimates that the cost of autism in adults is £25.5 billion per year (59 per cent in services, 36 per cent in lost employment and 5 per cent in family expenses).
- The prevalence of autism appears to be increasing, but this is largely attributable to a better understanding of the autistic spectrum and the nature of the condition among referrers and those - such as psychiatrists - who carry out diagnoses.