ADHD statistics Uk (a critical review)

In this guide, we will briefly review ADHD statistics Uk, and make some additional considerations. 

ADHD statistics Uk

In the UK, between 2% and 5% of school-age children are currently considered to have ADHD. On the other hand, when talking about adult prevalence, it is estimated to be between 3% and 4% of the total population, although it is very likely that most of these people are not properly diagnosed with ADHD. ADHD statistics Uk also estimates that about 60% of adults who have had the disorder in childhood will have it in adulthood as well. 

As you can see, there is a significant proportion of the population in the UK who are likely to have symptoms of ADHD. ADHD statistics Uk shows the reality of the country around this disorder that can affect various areas of life. 

ADHD statistics Uk: some additional facts

On the other hand, ADHD statistics Uk also allows one to go beyond the mere prevalence of the disorder in the country. In this way, figures are also expressed around the ethnic differences that may exist in ADHD diagnoses. 

It shows that in 2014 no significant differences were found between the different groups that were evaluated, which represented ethnic differences. This was found in the age groups above 16 years. This suggests that there are no ethnically specific variables that may have a differential weight in the expression of ADHD in the population. 

It is important to note that the above data was obtained through the use of screening, i.e., it is not formally a diagnosis. When talking about ADHD statistics, it is important to differentiate between data that point to diagnoses themselves and data that refer to the information provided by individuals about their own functioning. 

Clearly, diagnosis by a professional also involves the person talking about their own experience, and trusting the information to be accurate. However, this is not the only resource that the professional uses to arrive at an accurate diagnosis of the disease that is being presented. 

When screening is used to measure ADHD statistics, there may be some differences. People may not report everything they feel, for some reason, such as social stigma or fear of being singled out. There may also be behaviors that people do not consider pathological when they are. 

ADHD statistics Uk: the implications of not getting treatment 

The above-mentioned data have been used to generate a series of discussions around the issue and the actions that should be taken to serve the population adequately. One of the main problems faced by mental health care, in general, is the difficulty in accessing an adequate diagnosis. 

Many children and adults do not receive an adequate diagnosis when it is relevant and appropriate in terms of time, and this can have negative implications on their quality of life. Some of these will be mentioned below: 

ADHD statistics Uk: what happens when ADHD is not diagnosed and/or treated in children? 

Here are some of the consequences of undiagnosed and/or untreated ADHD. We can assume, of course, that if a child is not properly diagnosed, there is also a greater risk that the treatment will not meet his or her needs (if there is any treatment at all). 

  • Children may begin to have trouble making new friends. This may happen for different reasons, one of which is the discrimination that surrounds mental illness. Even if there is no diagnosis, people are likely to exhibit some type of symptom, which in the case of ADHD is often quite noticeable to others. The symptoms of impulsivity, for example, are often expressed in behavioral ways. 
  • Another difficulty may be starting to have problems with short-term memory retention. Because of inattention, children hardly enter the information they receive into their cognitive systems, so memory can be affected secondarily. As we know, we generally need memory for many of our daily tasks, and this is much more obvious in school. 
  • Children may also have difficulty engaging in conversation. The main difficulty would be problems in concentrating on the information being exchanged during the conversation, which could lead to other errors in communication, and thus problems in interpersonal relationships. As we see, there are many negative implications from the symptoms of this mental disorder. 
  • It is also possible that, given the impulsiveness that is common in some cases, children react very intensely and even aggressively to certain situations, which would not fit in very well in social situations, where children are usually expected to be relatively calm and controlled in their behavior. These children with ADHD may suffer from tantrums, and thus generate other types of consequences.
  • It may also be in the context of bullying, whether as a victim or not. Given the discrimination surrounding mental disorders, children with ADHD may be bullied by their peers at school, abused, or mistreated. It is also possible that the situation is reversed and, given the difficulty in controlling impulses, children may become perpetrators and may abuse others. 
  • This disorder also means that children usually find it difficult to keep up with the activities that school demands. They may find it difficult to do their homework, plan different activities, or concentrate enough in class to be able to respond to what is asked of them as part of their academic training. 
  • Finally, children may also have problems with sleep regulation. They may not be able to fall asleep at night, and the next day they may be too tired to cope with daily activities. It is also possible that children wake up suddenly during the night and this prevents them from getting a good night’s sleep. 

The above and others may be part of the consequences that children suffer when they are not properly diagnosed with ADHD, and therefore do not receive treatment that suits their needs. ADHD statistics Uk is also a call for this situation to improve. 

What about adults? 

On the other hand, in the case of adults, there are also negative consequences when there is not a proper diagnosis and/or treatment.

Many of the adults with ADHD may have developed coping strategies that allow them to respond to the situation in ways that don’t greatly affect them, so they may, to some extent, have learned to manage their symptoms. 

However, these strategies may also fail them and they may decide to seek professional help. When adults are not properly diagnosed and/or treated, they may suffer from the following consequences, among others: 

  • First, having the ability to concentrate for long periods of time. This could be affected, and we all know that this is a skill that adults need to a great extent. Whether it is for work, study or other activities. There are simply periods of time during the day when we need to be focused on something specific.
  • On the other hand, adults may become forgetful and their long-term memory may work against them. Remembering routine tasks, small instructions, information to keep in mind for a period of time… all this could make it so difficult that your person needs urgent professional help. 
  • Untreated symptoms of ADHD can also trigger a person to become disorganized and seem irresponsible or disinterested in their daily tasks. 
  • Impulsivity can also occur in adults, so if symptoms are not properly treated, people may have trouble controlling their behavioral impulses, which may cause them and others to feel uncomfortable, especially in the context of social situations. 
  • There may also be outbursts of anger or despair, which is not functional and can cause a lot of discomfort for the person, in addition to the interpersonal problems that can arise. 
  • Another possibility is that the person may end up developing low self-esteem, given the “mistakes” he or she makes (which are really symptoms that could be properly treated). 
  • On the other hand, it is possible that the person’s social skills become very poor, and that the spaces where they share with other people start to become very difficult and almost unmanageable. He may become clumsy, anxious, and so on. 
  • Finally, as a result of the absence of proper treatment and/or diagnosis, there can also be a feeling that everything is out of control and that his difficulties are overtaking him. Can you imagine how difficult this can be for a person? 

ADHD statistics Uk: not everything is so difficult! 

On the other hand, it has also been found that some people with ADHD discover great abilities that they possess, which allows them to have an advantage in some contexts. For example, some develop the ability to focus very intensely on a task, which increases their productivity. 

They may also develop a high level of resourcefulness so that they can be flexible at times when improvisation is necessary. The curiosity, creativity and intuitive thinking of some of these people may also be higher than normal, which gives them certain benefits. 

Finally, people with ADHD can also develop other extremely useful skills, such as resilience (for them, at least in principle, there are many activities that are very difficult and energy-consuming), positivity, and increased sensitivity. 


ADHD statistics uk makes it clear that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is highly prevalent and should be addressed as it generates or has the potential to generate many negative consequences in people’s lives. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about ADHD statistics

How common is ADHD in the UK?

In the UK, between 2% and 5% of school-age children are considered to have ADHD. On the other hand, when talking about adult prevalence, it is estimated to be between 3% and 4% of the total population, although it is very likely that most of these people are not properly diagnosed with ADHD.

How many people have ADHD in England?

About 1.5 million adults in the UK have this condition of mental impairment. However, ADHD Action mentioned that only about 120,000 of them receive a formal diagnosis. 

Is ADHD classed as a disability UK?

ADHD is undoubtedly a condition that can affect people’s lives in the long term, given its symptoms. 

Is ADHD a form of autism?

Although ASD is symptom-linked to ADHD, ADHD is not one of the conditions that make up ASD. 

Is ADHD considered a mental illness?

Yes, ADHD is a mental illness that makes it difficult to perform tasks related to attention and impulse control. It is usually diagnosed in children, but can also be found in some adults.


  1. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  2. Too few children receiving treatment for ADHD, figures suggest

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