Harmful and probable dependent drinking in adults
Last updated 4 March 2021 - see all updates
- 1. Navigate toMain facts and figures section
- 2. Navigate toThings you need to know section
- 3. Navigate toBy ethnicity and sex (low risk drinking) section
- 4. Navigate toBy ethnicity and sex (harmful or dependent drinking) section
- 5. Navigate toData sources section
- 6. Navigate toDownload the data section
1. Main facts and figures
- in 2014, White British people were more likely to drink at levels classed as 'hazardous, harmful or dependent' than all other ethnic groups, among both men and women
- although the data shows that a higher percentage of men than women drank at 'harmful or dependent' levels in all ethnic groups, sample sizes were small and any generalisations are unreliable
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data shows the percentage of people aged 16 and over in England who drank alcohol at hazardous, harmful or dependent levels in the year before being surveyed.
Percentages have been rounded to 1 decimal point.
Not included in the data
The data does not include:
- people who live in institutional settings, such as hospitals or prisons
- people who live in temporary housing, such as hostels or bed and breakfasts
- homeless people
The ethnic groups used in the data
Data is shown for the following 5 aggregated ethnic groups:
- Mixed and Other ethnic groups
- White British
- White Other
This is because the number of people surveyed was too small to make any reliable conclusions about all of the 18 ethnic groups used in the 2011 Census.
Read the detailed methodology document for the data on this page. You can also read more about the alcohol dependence (PDF opens in a new window or tab) part of the survey.
It is unlikely that everyone who drank at hazardous, harmful or dependent levels responded accurately when surveyed, particularly when interviewed in person. This may be because of the social stigma that some people attach to alcohol use. People were more likely to respond accurately in the self-completion section of the survey, but not everyone completed that section.
The statistics have been age-standardised so comparisons can be made between ethnic groups as if they had the same age profile (the number of people of different ages within an ethnic group). They do not show the actual percentage of people in each ethnic group who drank at hazardous, harmful or dependent levels.
The figures on this page are based on survey data. Find out more about:
- interpreting survey data, including how reliability is affected by the number of people surveyed
- how weighting is used to make survey data more representative of the whole group being studied
In the data file
See Download the data for:
- estimates for each of the alcohol risk levels by ethnicity
- confidence intervals for each ethnic group – you can read more about how we use confidence intervals to determine how reliable estimates are
3. By ethnicity and sex (low risk drinking)
|Other including Mixed||9.9||12.9||7.2|
Summary of Harmful and probable dependent drinking in adults By ethnicity and sex (low risk drinking) Summary
4. By ethnicity and sex (harmful or dependent drinking)
|Other including Mixed||2.4||3.9||1.1|
Summary of Harmful and probable dependent drinking in adults By ethnicity and sex (harmful or dependent drinking) Summary
5. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Every 7 years (further publications dependent on further surveys being commissioned)
Purpose of data source
The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey provides data on the prevalence of treated and untreated psychiatric disorders in English adults aged 16 and over.
6. Download the data
This file contains: ethnicity, sex, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) score, risk level, value, lower confidence interval, upper confidence interval, unweighted sample size