News Release


New Analysis of Health Behaviours by Ethnicity Published by NHS Digital

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News Release, (2022, June 30). New Analysis of Health Behaviours by Ethnicity Published by NHS Digital. Psychreg on General.
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The report presents findings from Health Survey for England (HSE) data collected between 2011 and 2019, analysed by ethnicity. The analysis was conducted by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and UCL.  

Information from 73,947 adults living in England on longstanding health conditions, well-being, obesity, smoking, and drinking alcohol is included.  

The information is based on age-standardised statistics. Age-standardisation accounts for differences in age profiles between groups and is important when comparing health across groups as health conditions and behaviours can vary with age.  

Drinking alcohol  

Those most likely to report drinking alcohol in the last 12 months were from white backgrounds. White British men (91%) and women (86%) and White Irish men (90%) and women (88%) reported drinking alcohol in the last year.  

The groups least likely to report drinking alcohol in the last year were Pakistani men (9%) and women (2%) and Bangladeshi men (13%) and women (8%).  

Drinking above recommended levels (14 or more units a week) was most common among white Irish men (45%) and women (26%) and was also high among white British men (36%) and women (18%).  


Those least likely to be regular smokers were men from Black African (9%), Indian (12%) and Chinese (12%) backgrounds. Indian (2%), Pakistani (3%), Chinese (3%) and Black African (4%) women were least likely to be regular smokers.  


Chinese women (22%) and men (36%) were least likely to be overweight or obese . Women from black Caribbean (74%), Pakistani (74%) and Black African (73%) backgrounds were most likely to be overweight or obese. The proportions of men from other backgrounds who were overweight or obese did not vary greatly. 

Longstanding health conditions  

Longstanding health conditions (conditions likely to last 12 months or more) were most common among Black Caribbean (45%) and White British men (40%).  

Among women, those of Pakistani background (49%) were most likely to have a longstanding health condition. Chinese women (19%) were least likely.  


Wellbeing is measured on a scale ranging from 14 for the lowest possible well-being to 70 for the highest possible well-being. The highest average (mean) mental wellbeing scores were reported by Black African men (55.4) and women (55.1).  

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