Among those not in the labour force, are younger or older Australians more likely to drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury?

Among those not in the labour force, Australians aged 18-24 years are the age group most likely to drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury on a weekly and monthly basis. Those aged 25-29 years are the most likely to drink at these levels on a yearly basis.

78% of Australians aged 14-17 years who are not in the labour force, abstain from alcohol; 14% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 4%* drink at levels that increase their short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 4% do so on a monthly basis; and 0.7%* do so on a weekly basis. 25% of Australians aged 18-24 years who are not in the labour force abstain from alcohol; 27% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 13% drink at levels that increase their short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 20% do so on a monthly basis; and 14% do so on a weekly basis. 24% of Australians aged 25-29 years who are not in the labour force abstain from alcohol; 30% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 17% drink at levels that increase their short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) drinks on a yearly basis; 17% do so on a monthly basis; and 12% do so on a weekly basis. 22% of Australians aged 30-39 years who are not in the labour force abstain from alcohol; 42% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 15% drink at levels that increase their short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 13% do so on a monthly basis; and 8% do so on a weekly basis. 22% of Australians aged 40-49 years who are not in the labour force abstain from alcohol; 47% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 10% drink at levels that increase their short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 12% do so on a monthly basis; and 9% do so on a weekly basis. 29% of Australians aged 50-59 years who are not in the labour force abstain from alcohol; 43% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 9% drink at levels that increase their short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 8% do so on a monthly basis; and 11% do so on a weekly basis. 24% of Australians aged 60-69 years who are not in the labour force abstain from alcohol; 54% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 7% drink at levels that increase their short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 5% do so on a monthly basis; and 10% do so on a weekly basis. 29% of Australians aged 70+ years who are not in the labour force abstain from alcohol; 60% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 4% drink at levels that increase their short-tern risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 2% do so on a monthly basis; and 5% do so on a weekly basis. * Estimate has a relative standard error of 25% to 50% and should be used with caution.

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.

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

Not in the Labour Force: Engaged in home duties, volunteer/charity work, student, retiree/pensioner, other.

Short-Term Risk of Alcohol-Related Injury: An individual’s risk of experiencing alcohol-related harm on a single occasion of drinking, e.g. from alcohol-related accident or injury. Current Australian alcohol guidelines state that drinking five or more standard drinks on any single occasion significantly increases short-term risk of alcohol-related injury.

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