Alcohol: Fewer young people drinking - but binge drinking still a problem
A Drinkaware survey indicates fewer young people are drinking alcohol compared to older generations.
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Fewer young people are getting boozy than previous generations, according to a new survey.
Data compiled by Drinkaware suggests that a greater number of under 25s are non-drinkers, a number that has risen sharply since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. According to the 2023 survey, 21 per cent of young people do not drink alcohol, compared to 14 per cent in 2018. By contrast, 13 per cent of over 25s are permanently sober.
More than half of under 25s drink less than once a week (46 per cent), a seven per cent decrease from last year. Meanwhile, the percentage for over 25s has remained consistent.
Drinkaware researchers said: "While the proportion of young adults who do not drink has increased, research also finds that young adults are drinking less often and drinking lower amounts of alcohol when they do drink. Despite evidence suggesting young adults may be drinking less than they have done historically, this does not necessarily tell the full story as alcohol consumption may have contributed to young adults being one of the groups most impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"These behaviours may be driven by the occasions in which young adults drink and by some of the reasons for drinking. Abstinence from alcohol among young adults is receiving increasing academic study with numerous papers investigating these trends."
However, when young people do go out drinking, researchers claim the stereotype of binge drinking is still present. Young adults are still more likely to binge drink than over 25s (74 per cent vs 63 per cent) although the gap is closing year-on-year.
"[Although young people] are more likely to binge drink at least once a month, the proportion of young drinkers who do has fallen," researchers said.
"While binge drinking rates are declining, young adults are still the age group most likely to binge drink in the UK and more likely to binge drink at least once a month, increasing their risk of experiencing alcohol-related harm."