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 weekly and monthly basis. Unemployed Australians aged 25-29 years are the most likely to drink at these levels on a yearly basis. 

51% of unemployed Australians aged 14-17 years abstain from alcohol; 18%* drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 9%* drink at levels that their increase 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 7%* do so on a weekly basis. 16% of unemployed Australians aged 18-24 years abstain from alcohol; 21 drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 12% 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; 29% do so on a monthly basis; and 22% do so on a weekly basis. 28% of unemployed Australians aged 25-29 years abstain from alcohol; 26% 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; 10%* do so on a monthly basis; and 21% do so on a yearly basis. 37% of unemployed Australians aged 30-39 years abstain from alcohol; 31% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 8%* 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 15% do so on a weekly basis. 29% of unemployed Australians aged 40-49 years abstain from alcohol; 36% drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 11% 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 16% do so on a weekly basis. 21% of unemployed Australians aged 50-59 years abstain from alcohol; 44% 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 18% 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); 13%* 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 14%* do so on a weekly basis. 35%** of unemployed Australians aged 70+ years abstain from alcohol; 65%* drink at low risk levels (4 or less drinks on a single drinking occasion); 0% 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). 2013 National Drug Strategy Household Survey (NCETA secondary analysis, 2015).

* 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.