Last updated 1 March 2018 - see all updates
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1. Main facts and figures
on average, 73% of adults in England held a full driving licence between 2011 and 2015
White people were most likely to hold a full driving licence compared with all other ethnic groups, and Black people were least likely to
The ethnic categories used in this data
For this data, the number of people surveyed (the ‘sample size’) was too small to draw any firm conclusions about specific ethnic categories. Therefore, the data is broken down into the following 5 broad groups:
- Asian/Asian British
- Black/African/Caribbean/Black British
- Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups
- Other ethnic group
2. Driving licence holders by ethnicity
Summary of Driving licences Driving licence holders by ethnicity Summary
The denominators are the weighted number of people aged 17 and over in the NTS in each ethnic group. The numerators are the weighted number of people aged 17 and over in the NTS who held a full driving licence in each ethnic group.
Only people who gave a valid answer to the question of whether they held a full driving licence are included in the data.
The NTS data collection consists of a face-to-face interview and a 7-day self-completed written travel diary, allowing travel patterns to be linked with individual characteristics. The NTS covers travel by people in all age groups, including children.
In 2013, the survey coverage changed from sampling residents of England, Wales and Scotland, to residents of England only. Approximately 16,000 individuals, in 7,000 households in England, participate in the NTS each year.
Weighting is used to adjust the results of a survey to make them representative of the population and improve their accuracy.
For example, a survey which contains 25% women and 75% men will not accurately reflect the views of the general population, which has an even 50/50 split.
Statisticians rebalance or ‘weight’ the survey results to more accurately represent the general population. This helps to make them more reliable.
Survey weights are usually applied to make sure the survey sample has broadly the same gender, age, ethnic and geographic make up as the general population.
Responses to the NTS are weighted to take account of different population demographics, but are not grossed to England totals. They’re also weighted to take into account people who didn’t respond or didn’t complete their travel diary in full.
Statistics from the NTS were assessed during 2010 by the UK Statistics Authority. An assessment report (PDF opens in a new window or tab) was published in October 2010. The statistics were confirmed as National Statistics in July 2011.
Suppression rules and disclosure control
Values of fewer than 100 people or 300 trips (before weighting is applied) have been suppressed. ‘Suppression’ means the figures have not been included in the data, because the numbers involved are too small to draw any meaningful conclusions.
For example, in the latest 5-year period, there were only around 700 and 900 individuals in the 'Mixed' and 'Other' ethnic groups respectively, so the data does not support further detailed breakdowns as these estimates would be unreliable.
Where the size of the ethnic group population is small enough that an individual’s identity could be revealed, some other figures have also been excluded.
Figures are rounded to the nearest whole percentage. The percentages calculated in the tables are based on unrounded figures.
Previous National Travel Survey reports are available.
4. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Department for Transport
Purpose of data source
The National Travel Survey (NTS) is a household survey designed to monitor long-term trends in personal travel and to inform the development of policy.
It is the primary source of data on personal travel patterns within England, Scotland and Wales by residents of England.
The survey collects information on how, why, when and where people travel as well as factors affecting travel (for example, car availability and whether people hold driving licences).
5. Download the data
This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, value, denominator, numerator, sample size