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How many people are affected/at risk for learning disabilities?

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There is a wide range in estimates of the number of people affected by learning disabilities and disorders. Some of the variation results from differences in requirements for diagnosis in different states.

Some reports estimate that as many as 15% to 20% of Americans are affected by learning disabilities and disorders.1 In contrast, a major national study found that approximately 5% of children in the United States had learning disabilities. It also found that approximately 4% had both a learning disability and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Other research, conducted in 2006, estimated that 4.6 million school-age children in the United States have been diagnosed with learning disabilities.2


  1. Department of Education. (2010). Twenty-ninth annual report to congress on the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Parts B and C. 2007. Retrieved June 12, 2012, from http://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/osep/2007/parts-b-c/ [top]
  2. Pastor, P. N., & Reuben, C. A. (2008). Diagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and learning disability: United States, 2004-2006. Vital and Health Statistics, 10. Retrieved June 26, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_10/Sr10_237.pdf (PDF - 327 KB) [top]

Last Updated Date: 11/30/2012
Last Reviewed Date: 02/28/2014
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