menu ☰
menu ˟

Health survey Northern Ireland: first results 2017/18


Department of Health (NI)

Subject Keywords: Health, Alcohol Consumption, Smoking
Catalogue: Research and Evaluation
Type: Report
Region: Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s Health Survey 2017/18 reveals information on the health behaviours of the population.

The survey of 3,355 people aged 16 and over living in Northern Ireland gives an overview of lifestyle behaviours such as smoking, alcohol consumption and general health.

Some of the key findings include:

General health

  • 70% described their health as being good or very good, and the majority (86%) feel they lead a fairly or very healthy life.


  • Around one-fifth of respondents (18%) were current cigarette smokers. This is not a statistically significant change from the 20% reported in 2016/17 though smoking prevalence has fallen from 24% in 2010/11.
  • Smoking prevalence in the most deprived areas (30%) continues to be around three times that in the least deprived areas (11%).
  • A small proportion of respondents (8%) reported that they currently use electronic cigarettes, an increase from 6% in 2016/17. Around two-fifths of these respondents (40%) are current cigarette smokers while (56%) used to smoke on a regular basis.


  • Over a quarter of adults (27%) were classed as obese with a further 37% classed as overweight.
  • Obesity levels have shown an upward trend from the 23% recorded in 2010/11.
  • Whilst obesity levels were similar, males were more likely than females to be overweight.
  • Around three-quarters of children aged 2-15 were classed as either normal weight or underweight, while 18% were classed as overweight and 9% were classed as obese. Since 2010/11, the proportion of children classed as overweight or obese has remained at similar levels.


  • Around three-quarters of respondents aged 18 and over drink alcohol, 81% of males and 75% of females.
  • A fifth (18%) drink above recommended weekly limits, with males (31%) around three times more likely to do so than females (9%). 
  • The proportion of respondents drinking above recommended weekly limits has fallen from 24% in 2010/11.


  • Females (21%) showed more signs of loneliness than males (18%).
  • Respondents living in urban areas and those in the most deprived areas were more likely to report signs of loneliness than those in rural areas and the least deprived areas respectively.
  • Younger people (aged 16-34) showed more signs of loneliness (21%) than people aged 65 and over (14%).






Rights: © Public
Suggested citation:

Department of Health (NI). (2018) Health survey Northern Ireland: first results 2017/18 [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 17th September 2019].


View your saved citations and reading lists


Department of Health (Northern Ireland)
Click here to view all the resources gathered from this organisation's website.