Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)


Last updated 4 March 2021 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2014, there were no meaningful differences between ethnic groups in the percentage of people aged 16 and over who screened positive for probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the month before they were surveyed
  • although the table shows differences between groups, sample sizes were too small to draw reliable conclusions about these results

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures the percentage of people aged 16 and over in England who screened positive for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events. People may experience nightmares, flashbacks and feelings that can affect their daily life.

You can read more about PTSD on the NHS website.

Percentages are 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:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • 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.

A positive screen indicates that someone is likely to have PTSD based on symptoms they have described. A full clinical assessment would be needed for diagnosis.

It is unlikely that everyone who screened positive for PTSD responded accurately when surveyed, particularly when interviewed. This may be because of the social stigma that some people attach to some conditions. People were more likely to respond accurately in the self-completion section of the survey, but not everyone completed this section.

If someone could not take part in a long interview due to a physical or mental health condition, some information about this was recorded by the interviewer on the doorstep. This information may be biased if it was collected from another household member.

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 screened positive for PTSD.

The figures on this page are based on survey data. Find out more about:

In the data file

See Download the data for:

  • the unweighted number of people surveyed
  • confidence intervals for each ethnic group – find out more about how we use confidence intervals to determine how reliable estimates are

3. By ethnicity and sex

Percentage of people aged 16 years and over who screened positive for PTSD in the month prior to the survey by ethnicity and sex
Ethnicity All Men Women
Asian 5.8 6.1 5.3
Black 8.3 5.1 10.9
Mixed/Other 5.8 5.4 6.2
White - British 4.2 3.5 4.9
White - Other 2.2 1.8 2.5

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and sex’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and sex’ (CSV)

Summary of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) By ethnicity and sex Summary

This data shows that:

  • there were no meaningful differences between ethnic groups or between sexes in the proportion of adults screening positive for probable post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the month prior to the survey
  • differences between groups and between sexes were observed but they cannot be relied upon, most probably because of the small sample sizes involved

4. Data sources


Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics


NHS Digital

Publication frequency

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.

5. Download the data

APMS_adults_with_PTSD - Spreadsheet (csv) 5 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, sex, value, confidence intervals and sample size