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

Unemployed 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 monthly basis. Unemployed Australians aged 18-24 years and 40-49 years are the age groups most like to drink at these levels on a weekly basis. Unemployed Australians aged 30-39 years are the most likely to drink at these levels on a yearly basis.

73% of unemployed Australians aged 14-17 years abstain from alcohol; 11%* drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 2%** drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 10%* do so on a monthly basis; and 5%** do so on a weekly basis. 22% of unemployed Australians aged 18-24 years abstain from alcohol; 30% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 10%* drink at levels that increase their short-term 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 18% do so on a weekly basis. 28% of unemployed Australians aged 25-29 years abstain from alcohol; 36% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 10%* drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 15%* do so on a monthly basis; and 11%* do so on a yearly basis. 33% of unemployed Australians aged 30-39 years abstain from alcohol; 28% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 14% drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 9% do so on a monthly basis; and 16% do so on a weekly basis. 35% of unemployed Australians aged 40-49 years abstain from alcohol; 34% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 4%* drink at levels that increase their short-term 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 19% do so on a weekly basis. 28% of unemployed Australians aged 50-59 years abstain from alcohol; 43% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 7%* drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 9%* do so on a monthly basis; and 13% do so on a weekly basis. 24% of unemployed Australians aged 60-69 years abstain from alcohol; 42% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 10%* drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 7%* do so on a monthly basis; and 16% do so on a weekly basis. 90% of unemployed Australians aged 70+ years abstain from alcohol; 0% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 10%** drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury (5 or more drinks on a single drinking occasion) on a yearly basis; 0% do so on a monthly basis; and 0% do so on a weekly basis. * 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.

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.

Unemployed: Not currently working and actively seeking employment.