Australian youth aged 12-17 years in the general population

What proportion of Australians aged 12-17 years drink alcohol?

Most Australian youth aged 12-17 years (80%) do not drink alcohol.  Of those who drank alcohol in the past 12 months, 12% drank yearly, 6% drank monthly, and 1% drank weekly.

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

Please note: Percentages may not tally to 100% due to rounding.

The proportion of ‘abstainers’ among young people in the general population differs from the proportion of school students who have ‘never consumed’ alcohol due to the use of different survey measures. In the secondary students’ survey (ASSAD), those who have never consumed alcohol are defined as those who had not had even a sip of an alcoholic drink in their lifetime. In the general population survey (NDSHS), abstainers are those who have never had a full serve of alcohol.

Proportions of young people in the general population who drink yearly, monthly, or weekly also differ from proportions of school students drinking yearly, monthly, or weekly due to differences in survey measures. The ASSADS measure indicates any alcohol use (even one drink) and the proportions overlap.  The NDSHS measure indicates usual drinking frequency over the past 12 months and proportions do not overlap.

Are male or female Australians aged 12-17 years more likely to drink alcohol?

Among Australian youth aged 12-17 years, boys and girls are approximately equally likely to drink alcohol.

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: The proportion of ‘abstainers’ among young people in the general population differs from the proportion of school students who have ‘never consumed’ alcohol due to the use of different survey measures. In the secondary students’ survey (ASSAD), those who have never consumed alcohol are defined as those who had not had even a sip of an alcoholic drink in their lifetime. In the general population survey (NDSHS), abstainers are those who have never had a full serve of alcohol.

Proportions of young people in the general population who drink yearly, monthly, or weekly also differ from proportions of school students drinking yearly, monthly, or weekly due to differences in survey measures. The ASSADS measure indicates any alcohol use (even one drink) and the proportions overlap.  The NDSHS measure indicates usual drinking frequency over the past 12 months and proportions do not overlap.

Are younger or older Australians aged 12-17 years more likely to drink alcohol?

Among Australian youth aged 12-17 years, older youth are more likely to drink weekly, monthly and yearly than younger youth, and are less likely to abstain from alcohol.

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.

The proportion of ‘abstainers’ among young people in the general population differs from the proportion of school students who have ‘never consumed’ alcohol due to the use of different survey measures. In the secondary students’ survey (ASSAD), those who have never consumed alcohol are defined as those who had not had even a sip of an alcoholic drink in their lifetime. In the general population survey (NDSHS), abstainers are those who have never had a full serve of alcohol.

Proportions of young people in the general population who drink yearly, monthly, or weekly also differ from proportions of school students drinking yearly, monthly, or weekly due to differences in survey measures. The ASSADS measure indicates any alcohol use (even one drink) and the proportions overlap.  The NDSHS measure indicates usual drinking frequency over the past 12 months and proportions do not overlap.

When Australians aged 12-17 years drink alcohol, how much do they consume?

The largest proportion (48%) of Australian youth aged 12-17 years who drink alcohol usually consume 1-2 standard drinks per drinking occasion. A substantial proportion (21%) consumes seven or more standard drinks.

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

Please note: These data differ from quantity of consumption data presented for young people in the general population due to differences in measures. In the secondary students’ survey (ASSAD), data measures indicate the average amount of alcohol consumed over a week. In the general population survey (NDSHS), data measures indicate the amount of alcohol usually consumed on a single drinking occasion.

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

When Australians aged 12-17 years drink alcohol, do males or females drink more?

When Australian youth aged 12-17 years drink alcohol, boys are more likely than girls to drink seven or more standard drinks per drinking occasion. Girls are more likely than boys to drink one to four standard drinks.

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: These data differ from quantity of consumption data presented for young people in the general population due to differences in measures. In the secondary students’ survey (ASSAD), data measures indicate the average amount of alcohol consumed over a week. In the general population survey (NDSHS), data measures indicate the amount of alcohol usually consumed on a single drinking occasion.

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

Do younger or older Australians aged 12-17 years drink more alcohol?

Among Australian youth aged 12-17 years, older youth tend to consume more standard drinks per occasion than younger youth. 

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: These data differ from quantity of consumption data presented for young people in the general population due to differences in measures. In the secondary students’ survey (ASSAD), data measures indicate the average amount of alcohol consumed over a week. In the general population survey (NDSHS), data measures indicate the amount of alcohol usually consumed on a single drinking occasion.

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

What proportion of Australians aged 12-17 years drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of injury?

Three percent of Australian youth aged 12-17 years drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury at least once per year, 4% do so at least once per month, and 1%* do so at least once per week.

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

Please note: All measures of alcohol drinks refer to standard drinks.

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

Short-Term Risk of Alcohol-Related 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.

Are Australian males or females aged 12-17 years more likely to drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of injury?

Among Australian youth aged 12-17 years, boys are more likely than girls to drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury on a yearly and monthly basis.

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: All measures of alcohol drinks refer to standard drinks.

Proportions of young people who drink at risk levels differ from the proportions of school students who drink at risk levels due to the use of different measures.  The data presented here indicate regular weekly, monthly, and yearly risk drinking, whereas the ASSADS data presented for school students indicates risk drinking only over the past week.

Short-Term Risk of Alcohol-Related 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.

Are younger or older Australians aged 12-17 years more likely to drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of injury?

Among Australian youth aged 12-17 years, older youth are more likely than younger youth to drink at levels that increase their short-term risk of alcohol-related injury on a yearly, monthly, or weekly basis.

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: 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.

Which alcohol beverages do Australians aged 12-17 years usually drink?

The main alcohol beverage consumed by Australian youth aged 12-17 years is premixed spirits.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2016 National Drug Strategy Household.

Please note: Percentages do not tally to 100% as only the five most common main beverage types selected are reported.

Data presented here concerns young Australians who have consumed alcohol in the past 12 months.  These data differ from ASSADS data concerning beverage types consumed by school students which only includes students who drank in the past week and excludes those who chose more than one beverage type.

Do male and female Australians aged 12-17 years usually drink different alcohol beverages?

Among Australian youth aged 12-17 years, the main type of alcohol beverage usually consumed by both boys and girls is premixed spirits.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey.

* 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 do not tally to 100% as only the five most common main beverage types selected are reported.

Data presented here concerns young Australians who have consumed alcohol in the past 12 months. These data differ from ASSADS data concerning beverage types consumed by school students which only includes students who drank in the past week and excludes those who chose more than one beverage type. 

Do younger and older Australians aged 12-17 years usually drink different alcohol beverages?

Among Australians aged 12-17 years, both younger and older youth mainly consumed premixed spirits.

Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). 2016 National Drug Strategy Household Survey.

* 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 do not tally to 100% as only the five most common main beverage types selected.

Data presented here concerns young Australians who have consumed alcohol in the past 12 months.  These data differ from ASSADS data concerning beverage types consumed by school students which only includes students who drank in the past week and excludes those who chose more than one beverage type. 

Where do Australians aged 12-17 years drink alcohol?

The most common places where Australian youth aged 12-17 years consume alcohol are: parties at someone’s house (60%), at their own or their partner’s home (39%), or at a friend’s house (38%).

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 do not tally to 100% as respondents could select more than one location. Only the five most commonly reported locations are reported here. Other locations not reported include: at restaurants/cafes, in licensed premises (e.g., pubs, clubs), at school/TAFE/university, at work, in public places (e.g., parks, beaches), and in a car/other vehicle.

Data presented here concerns young Australians who have consumed alcohol in the past 12 months.  These data differ from ASSADS data concerning the drinking locations of school students which only includes students who drank in the past week and excludes those who chose multiple drinking locations.

Do male and female Australians aged 12-17 years drink alcohol in different locations?

Among Australian youth aged 12-17 years, both boys and girls are most likely to drink at parties at someone’s house.

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 do not tally to 100% as respondents could select more than one location. Only the five most commonly reported locations are reported here. Other locations not reported include: at restaurants/cafes, in licensed premises (e.g., pubs, clubs), at school/TAFE/university, at work, in public places (e.g., parks, beaches), and in a car/other vehicle.

Data presented here concerns young Australians who have consumed alcohol in the past 12 months. These data differ from ASSADS data concerning the drinking locations of school students which only includes students who drank in the past week and excludes those who chose multiple drinking locations.

Do younger or older Australians aged 12-17 years drink alcohol in different locations?

Among Australians aged 12-17 years, older youth are more likely to drink at parties at someone’s house or at a friend’s house. Younger youth are more likely to drink at their own/their partner’s house.

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 do not tally to 100% as respondents could select more than one location.  Only the five most commonly reported locations are reported here. Other locations not reported include: at restaurants/cafes, in licensed premises (e.g., pubs, clubs), at school/TAFE/university, at work, in public places (e.g., parks, beaches), and in a car/other vehicle.

Data presented here concerns young Australians who have consumed alcohol in the past 12 months. These data differ from ASSADS data concerning the drinking locations of school students which only includes students who drank in the past week and excludes those who chose multiple drinking locations.