In 2014 the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released data on an autism surveillance study. The new data estimated the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as 1 in 68 among eight-year children within multiple communities of the United States.
The new figure was about 30% higher than the previous estimate they reported in 2012 and approximately 120% higher than the estimates for 2002. This provides for a rough 6-15% increase each year during the last decade.
The overall ASD prevalence in South Carolina has matched the steep increase in national numbers (http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/states/ADDM-South-Carolina-fact-sheet.pdf); 6.3/1000 in the 2000 birth cohort to 11.1/1000 in the 2008 cohort. This is a 76% increase in 8 years. Boys are consistently found to have a higher prevalence rate than girls, 4-5:1.
According to the 2013 South Carolina Census (http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/45000.html), and considering only individuals under 18 years of age, there are approximately over 16,000 people who would fit the diagnosis of ASD within our state.