Are younger or older unemployed Australians more likely to drink at levels that increase their long-term risk of alcohol-related disease or injury?

Unemployed Australians aged 40-49 years and 60-69 years are the age groups most likely to drink at levels that increase their long-term risk of alcohol-related disease or injury.  

71% of unemployed Australians aged 14-17 years abstain from alcohol; 25% drink at low risk levels (an average of two or less drinks per day); 2%** drink at risky levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of 3-4 drinks per day); and 3%** drink at high risk levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of five or more drinks per day). 21% of unemployed Australians aged 18-24 years abstain from alcohol; 59% drink at low risk levels (an average of two or less drinks per day); 12%* drink at risky levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of 3-4 drinks per day); and 7%* drink at high risk levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of five or more drinks per day). 28% of unemployed Australians aged 25-29 years abstain from alcohol; 63% drink at low risk levels (an average of two or less drinks per day); 2%** drink at risky levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of 3-4 drinks per day); and 8%* drink at high risk levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of five or more drinks per day). 32% of unemployed Australians aged 30-39 years abstain from alcohol; 52% drink at low risk levels (an average of two or less drinks per day); 5%* drink at risky levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of 3-4 drinks per day); and 11%* drink at high risk levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of five or more drinks per day). 34% of unemployed Australians aged 40-49 years abstain from alcohol; 45% drink at low risk levels (an average of two or less drinks per day); 9% drink at risky levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of 3-4 drinks per day); and 12% drink at high risk levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of five or more drinks per day). 28% of unemployed Australians aged 50-59 years abstain from alcohol; 55% drink at low risk levels (an average of two or less drinks per day); 10%* drink at risky levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of 3-4 drinks per day); and 8%* drink at high risk levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of five or more drinks per day). 23% of unemployed Australians aged 60-69 years abstain from alcohol; 53% drink at low risk levels (an average of two or less drinks per day); 13%* drink at risky levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of 3-4 drinks per day); and 11%* drink at high risk levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of five or more drinks per day). 90% of unemployed Australians aged 70+ years abstain from alcohol; 0% drink at low risk levels (an average of two or less drinks per day); 10%** drink at risky levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of 3-4 drinks per day); and 0% drink at high risk levels associated with long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury (an average of five or more drinks per day). * Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution. ** Estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2018).

* Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

** Estimate has a relative standard error greater than 50% and is considered too unreliable for general use.

Please note: Percentages may not tally to 100% due to rounding. All measures of alcohol drinks refer to standard drinks.

Long-Term Risk of Alcohol-Related Disease or Injury: Current Australian alcohol guidelines state that long-term risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury increases when you consume an average of three or more standard drinks per day.

Standard Drink: A drink that contains 10 grams (or 12.5 millilitres) of alcohol.

Unemployed: Not currently working and actively seeking employment.