Aussies drinking less booze than have in past 15 years
AUSTRALIANS are drinking less alcohol overall than any time in the previous 15 years, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
"Across all alcoholic beverages, there were 9.9 litres of pure alcohol available for consumption in 2012-13 for every person in Australia aged 15 years and over," said Louise Gates, Director of Health from the ABS.
"This is the lowest level since the mid-1990s."
The decrease is mainly due to a continuation of the downward trend in apparent consumption of beer, at the same time as a flattening out in wine consumption.
"In terms of pure alcohol, consumption of beer has more than halved since the peak in the mid-1970s, and is now at the lowest level since 1945-46.
"For wine, there has been a steady increase in people's consumption over the long term but recently this trend appears to have plateaued, and in fact, per person consumption of wine has decreased slightly over the past three years.
"Ready-to-drink beverages have also seen a drop over the past five years, while consumption of spirits has remained relatively steady," said Ms Gates.
However, beer still comprised the greatest proportion of all pure alcohol consumed in Australia at 41%, followed by wine (37%), spirits (13%), and ready-to-drink beverages (7%). Cider is estimated to account for a small but growing proportion, at 2%.
AUSSIE DRINKING AT A GLANCE
There were 183.6 million litres of pure alcohol available for consumption from alcoholic beverages in Australia in 2012-13. This was 0.2% more than the amount available for consumption in 2011-12 (183.3 million litres).
The volume of pure alcohol available for consumption in the form of spirits increased by 4.1% between 2011-12 and 2012-13.
The volume of pure alcohol available for consumption in the form of Ready to Drink (pre-mixed beverages) decreased by 2.9%, beer by 0.6% and wine by 0.5% during this period.
Of all pure alcohol available for consumption in 2012-13, beer contributed 40.9%, wine 37.4%, spirits 13.1% and RTDs 6.6%.
Cider contributed a further 2.0%
On a per capita basis there were 9.9 litres of pure alcohol available for consumption per person in 2012-13, 1.6% less than the amount in 2011-12 (10.0 litres) and 8.2% less than 2007-08 (10.8 litres).
As a standard drink consists of 12.5 mls of pure alcohol, this is equivalent to an average of 2.2 standard drinks per day per person aged 15 years and over.
Note that these figures will overestimate the true level of alcohol consumed as beverages, as adjustments cannot be made for wastage and other factors such as for alcohol used in cooking.