Details of the number of people diagnosed with autism are not available. The Medical Research Council (MRC) published a comprehensive review of autism research in December 2001, which provides an authoritative overview of the current state of knowledge on the prevalence, incidence and causes of autism. The report was commissioned by the Department of Health. It is available on the MRC website at www.mrc.ac.uk/pdf-autism-report.pdf.
The MRC report notes that according to recent reviews, there appears fairly good agreement that autism spectrum disorders affect approximately 60, and more narrowly defined autism 10 to 30, per 10,000 children under eight. The prevalence of autism among adult populations is not known.