People aged in their 60s drink more often than any other age group, new research from Intermedia shows. Over one quarter of them say they drink most days, compared with less than 10 percent of people in the 20s.
The information is contained in the report ‘Alcohol Consumption in Australia 2017’, published by Intermedia. The report is based on a survey of 1,027 Australian consumers, asking about every aspect of their drinking habits. It contains a detailed demographic analysis of alcohol consumers in Australia – how much they drink, what they drink, where they drink, and where they buy alcohol.
We Australians think of ourselves as big drinkers. But we are actually not exceptional. On a global scale we are in the top 20, on a par with the major countries of Western Europe (in terms of litres of pure alcohol per capita per year). Eastern Europeans are the biggest drinkers, and countries with majority Muslim populations the lightest.
Alcohol plays an important part in Australian society, and there was been much commentary in recent years about the social and public health issues related to alcohol consumption. The level of consumption has declined in recent years, but concern about binge drinking and alcohol-fuelled violence have increased.
The nature of alcohol consumption in Australia is, we believe, widely misunderstood. This Intermedia study came about because we observed that, while there is substantial data on the size of the alcohol market in Australia, and many reports on consumption, there is very little data that has asked consumers how often they drink, what they are drinking, and where they are drinking it.
By asking these questions, and by matching the data against the demographics of the respondents, we have been able to develop a profile of Australians’ drinking habits not available from other perspectives.
This demographic analysis unveils many insights. For example:
- One third of heavy drinkers are women.
- Women drink much less often than men when out, except that they drink just as often as when visiting friends.
- Only about 10 percent of Australians never drink. They are evenly spread across all demographics, except that they are disproportionately found among lower income groups.
- Most drinkers drink at home, with over a quarter saying they drink at home a few times a week. Nearly one in five say they drink at home most days.
- Red and white wine are the most popular types of alcohol, with red wine most popular with older people.
- Only one quarter of the population are regular beer drinkers.