Information & Resources for Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities

Basics of LD: How many children have learning disabilities?


How many children have learning disabilities?

Additional Info:

Authorities’ estimates range from 0.5% to 30%.

Various studies have put the prevalence around 6-8% percent of the school-age population. Each year, the U.S. Department of Education reports the number and percentage of school-age children receiving special education for learning disabilities in public schools. For the school year 1998-1999, just under 4.5% of 6- to 21-year olds (2.8 million) in US schools had been identified as having learning disabilities. More recently, that percentage has declined. In 2005, 2008, and 2011, the comparable percentages were 4.15, 3.85, and 3.4%. There is a great amount of debate about the reasons for this change in prevalence.