Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)


Last updated 1 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 ADHD
  • although the table shows differences between groups in positive screenings, sample sizes were too small to draw reliable conclusions
  • these figures should not be used as evidence of real differences in the population as a whole

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures the percentage of people aged 16 or older in England who screened positive for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the 6 months 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 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 any of the 18 ethnic groups.


Read the detailed methodology document for the data on this page.

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

These statistics have been age-standardised so comparisons can be made between ethnic groups as if they had the same age profile (an age profile shows the number of people of different ages within an ethnic group). They do not tell you the actual percentage of people in each ethnic group who have or would have a positive screen for ADHD.

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

In the data file

See Download the data for:

  • unrounded figures
  • figures for all ethnic groups combined, including people whose ethnicity was not known
  • confidence intervals for each ethnic group – find out more about how we use confidence intervals to judge the reliability of estimates

3. By ethnicity and sex

Percentage of people aged 16 years and over who screened positive for ADHD in the past 6 months, by ethnicity and sex
Ethnicity All Men Women
Asian 8.9 7.9 10.2
Black 13.0 4.8 19.3
Mixed other 7.2 6.5 7.9
White British 10.2 11.0 9.4
White other 6.7 3.3 9.7

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

Summary of Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) By ethnicity and sex Summary

This data shows that:

  • no meaningful difference between ethnic groups was observed in terms of the likelihood of screening positive for ADHD

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_screen_positive_for_ADHD - Spreadsheet (csv) 3 KB

The percentage of adults who screened positive for ADHD in the six months prior to the survey in England 2014, by broad ethnic group and sex with 95% confidence intervals of the estimates. In this analysis a score of four or more was taken to be a positive screen for ADHD. Additionally, estimates of the percentage of adults with a score of six have been provided. These values do not have associated confidence intervals.