Young people aged 16-24 are less likely to drink alcohol than any other age group, according to the figures released by the Office for National Statistics last week.
Less than half of young people aged 16-24 drank alcohol in the week previous to the survey, and 27% stated that they do not drink alcohol at all.
Despite young people being less likely to drink alcohol, they are the most likely age group to binge drink. They are also more likely to drink spirits and liqueurs than any other age group. Binge drinking is defined as a man who exceeds 8 units of alcohol on one day, and a woman who exceeds 6 units.
The survey also found that the percentage of adults who said they drink alcohol is at its lowest level since 2005. In 2005, 64% of adults stated that they drink alcohol and in 2016 this dropped to 60%. There has also been a reduction in the number of people who drink alcohol on 5 or more days in the week.
The survey notes that drinking behaviour is likely to be impacted by culture and ethnicity. The survey found that teetolism was lower among white respondents than all other ethnic groups.
Main points from the survey show:
- 60% of adults aged 16 and above drank alcohol in the week previous to the survey
- 7.8 million people binge drink alcohol on their heaviest drinking day
- People who earn over £40,000 are more likely to be frequent drinkers and binge drink on their heaviest day compared to the lowest earners
- Binge drinking is more common in the north of England compared to other regions in England
- For men who binge drink, their preferred drink was beer, and for women it was wine
- Men are more likely to drink alcohol than women, 62% of men drank alcohol in the previous week to the report compared with 51% of women
- Since 2005, there has been a 2% point increase in the number of adult who state that they do not drink alcohol. Approximately 20% of adults were teetotal in 2016