Do younger or older Australians drink alcohol more often?

Older Australians typically drink alcohol more frequently than younger Australians: those in older age groups are more likely to drink daily or almost daily than those in younger age groups.

72% of Australians aged 14-17 years abstain from alcohol; and 21% drink 1 day per month or less; 5% drink 2-3 days per month; 2%* drink 1-2 days per week; 0.1%** drink 3-4 days per week; and 0.2%** drink 5-6 days per week, and 0% drink every day. 18% of Australians aged 18-24 years abstain from alcohol; 30% drink 1 day per month or less; 22% drink 2-3 days per month; 21% drink 1-2 days per week; 6% drink 3-4 days per week; 2% drink 5-6 days per week; and 0.6%* drink every day. 19% of Australians aged 25-29 years abstain from alcohol; 27% drink 1 day per month or less; 18% drink 2-3 days per month; 21% drink 1-2 days per week; 9% drink 3-4 days per week; 4% drink 5-6 days per week; and 2% drink every day. 17% of Australians aged 30-39 years abstain from alcohol; 25% drink 1 day per month or less; 15% drink 2-3 days per month; 20% drink 1-2 days per week; 14% drink 3-4 days per week; 6% drink 5-6 days per week; 3% drink every day. 16% of Australians aged 40-49 years abstain from alcohol; 23% drink 1 day per month or less; 12% drink 2-3 days per month; 20% drink 1-2 days per week; 15% drink 3-4 days per week; 9% drink 5-6 days per week; and 5% drink every day. 17% of Australians aged 50-59 years abstain from alcohol; 21% drink 1 day per month or less; 10% drink 2-3 days per month; 19% drink 1-2 days per week; 15% drink 3-4 days per week; 9% drink 5-6 days per week; and 8% drink every day. 21% of Australians aged 60-69 years abstain from alcohol; 19% drink 1 day per month or less; 10% drink 2-3 days per month; 15% drink 1-2 days per week; 14% drink 3-4 days per week; 12% drink 5-6 days per week; and 10% drink every day. 30% of Australians aged 70+ years abstain from alcohol; 19% drink 1 day per month or less; 8% drink 2-3 days per month; 11% drink 1-2 days per week; 9% drink 3-4 days per week; 10% drink 5-6 days per week; and 14% drink every 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.