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Alcohol Use Statistics

Alcohol and Health
Alcohol and your health statistics infographic
  • The proportion of the population who consumed alcohol daily declined between 2007 (8.1%) and 2010 (7.2%) 1.
  • A higher proportion of 12-17 year olds abstained from alcohol (61.6%) than had consumed it in the last 12 months (38.4%) 1.
  • The proportion of 12-15 year olds and 16-17 year olds abstaining from alcohol increased in 2010 (from 69.9% in 2007 to 77.2% in 2010 and from 24.4% to 31.6%, respectively) 1.
  • In 2010, 1 in 5 people aged 14 years or older consumed alcohol at a level that put them at risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury over their lifetime, and this remained stable between 2007 (20.3%) and 2010 (20.1%). However, the number of people drinking in risky quantities increased from 3.5 million in 2007 to 3.7 million in 2010 1.
  • About 2 in 5 (39.7%) people aged 14 years or older drank, at least once in the last 12 months, in a pattern that placed them at risk of an alcohol-related injury from a single drinking occasion; but there was a modest by statistically significant decline in risky drinking over the previous 12 months from 2007 (41.5%) 1.
  • Males were far more likely than females to consume alcohol in risky quantities, and those aged between 18-29 years were more likely than any other age group to consume alcohol in quantities that placed them at risk of an alcohol-related injury, and of alcohol-related harm over their lifetime 1.
  • The proportion of pregnant women abstaining during pregnancy increased in 2010 (from 40% in 2007 to 52% in 2010) 1.
  • The proportion of people being physically abused by a person under the influence of alcohol increased in 2010 (from 4.5% to 8.1%), while the proportion of people driving a vehicle or verbally abusing someone while under the influence of alcohol decreased in 2010 1.

Alcohol drinking status, people aged 12 years or older, by age and sex, 2010 (%)

Drinking Status Age Group (years) : 12-17 18-19 19-20
Daily 0.1 1.2 2.1
Weekly 5.1 38.6 43.9
Less than weekly 33.2 46.5 39.2
Recent drinker* 38.4 86.3 85.3
Ex-Drinker** 2.3 3.5 3.7
Never a full serve of alcohol 59.3 10.2 11.1

* Consumed at least a full serve of alcohol in the previous 12 months.
** Consumed at least a full serve of alcohol but not in the previous 12 months.

Alcohol drinking status, people aged 14 years or older, by state/territory, 2010 (%)

Drinking Status Western Australia Australia
  Male % Female % Male % Female %
Daily 11.2 3.7 9.6 4.9
Weekly 46.9 39.9 45.2 33.9
Less than weekly 27.9 36.2 28.8 38.7
Ex-drinker 5.9 8.1 6.4 8.3
Never a full serve of alcohol 8.0 12.2 10.0 14.2

* Consumed at least a full serve of alcohol but not in the previous 12 months.

Daily drinking status, people aged 14 years or older, by state/territory, 2001 to 2010

Victims of alcohol-related incidents in the previous 12 months, people aged 14 years or older, by sex, 2007 and 2010 (%)

  Males Females Persons
Incident 2007 2010 2007 2010 2007 2010
Verbal Abuse 29.3 27.3 ↓ 21.5 21.7 25.4 24.5
Physical Abuse 5.9 9.7 ↑ 3.1 6.6 ↑ 4.5 8.1 ↑
Put in Fear 12 12.7 14.1 15.8 ↑ 13.1 14.3 ↑
Any Incident 32.8 30.6 ↓ 26.5 26.5 29.6 28.5

 

Harmful alcohol use:
A pattern of use that is causing damage to health, which may be physical (eg. liver cirrhosis, cancer) or mental (eg. depressive episodes related to heavy alcohol intake) and typically occurs over the medium to long term. Harmful use commonly, but not in all cases, has negative social consequences. Put simply, harmful use means the drinker is already experiencing harm.

 
References

1 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2011). 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey report. Drug statistics series no. 25.Cat. no. PHE 145.Canberra: AIHW