Statistical Bulletin. Drinking Habits Amongst Adults, Correction. Key points:

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1 Statistical Bulletin Drinking Habits Amongst Adults, 2012 Coverage: GB Date: 17 December 2013 Geographical Area: Region Theme: Health and Social Care Correction A minor error was found in table 11 of the reference tables. This has impacted the proportions of those who had never smoked and ex-smokers who consumed alcohol in the last week, who consumed alcohol on at least five days in the last week, and the proportions who exceeded specified drinking levels. The impact is minimal, with estimates changing by a maximum of two percentage points. Figure 11 and Figure 12 have been corrected as a result, as well as some of the quoted values in the 'Drinking and Smoking' section. under the 'Drinking in 2012' heading. This was corrected at 15:45 on 12 March Key points: In % of adults (people aged 16 and over) living in private households in Great Britain drank alcohol at least once in the week before being interviewed. This proportion has been declining both for men and women. Between 2005 and 2012 the proportion of men who drank alcohol in the week before being interviewed fell from 72% to 64%, and the proportion of women fell from 57% to 52%. The proportion of adults who drank frequently (those who drank alcohol on at least five days in the week before being interviewed) has also been declining. Between 2005 and 2012 there was a fall from 22% to 14% in the proportion of men who were frequent drinkers, and from 13% to 9% in the proportion of women. In 2012 people aged 65 and over were most likely to have drunk frequently, both for men (23%) and women (14%). Young people (those aged 16-24) were more likely to have drunk very heavily (more than 12 units for men and 9 units for women) at least once during the week (27%), with similar Office for National Statistics 1

2 proportions for men (26%) and women (28%). Only 3% of those aged 65 and over were very heavy drinkers. Very heavy drinkers were five times more likely than other drinkers to have drunk strong beer/ stout/lager/cider, and more than twice as likely to have drunk spirits or liqueurs, on their heaviest drinking day in the week before interview. Smokers (25%) were more than twice as likely as non-smokers (11%) to have drunk very heavily at least once during the week. Why do these results matter? The Department of Health estimates that the harmful use of alcohol costs the National Health Service in England around 3.5 billion a year and 8% of all hospital admissions involved an alcoholrelated condition. Drinking can lead to over 40 medical conditions, including cancer, stroke, hypertension, liver disease and heart disease. Reducing the harm caused by alcohol is therefore a priority for the Government and the devolved administrations. Excessive consumption of alcohol is a major preventable cause of premature mortality with alcohol-related deaths accounting for 5.3% of all deaths in England and Wales in The Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN), General Lifestyle Survey (GLF) and General Household Survey (GHS) are important sources for monitoring trends in alcohol consumption. These drinking data are widely used by universities and health organisations. The School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) at the University of Sheffield has used the data to carry out alcohol-related public health research. Public Health England also uses the data on drinking to estimate the proportion of deaths and illnesses that can be attributed to alcohol consumption. Information on the proportion of men drinking more than eight units of alcohol in a day and women drinking more than six units in a day is used as a proxy measure of binge drinking (known as heavy episodic drinking). In particular it is used as an outcome measure for the Government's Alcohol Strategy. The OPN, GLF and GHS have measured drinking behaviours for over 30 years. This release presents findings from these surveys on recent trends in drinking habits in Great Britain, and compares the drinking habits of different groups of adults in Trends in Drinking In % of adults 1 in Great Britain (GB) drank alcohol in the week before being interviewed. There was a two percentage point fall for both men and women compared with This continues the general decline in the proportion of adults drinking in GB since The decline between 2011 and 2012 was driven by the age group. The proportion of men aged who drank in the last week fell from 67% to 63% between 2011 and In comparison there was a fall from 56% to 50% in this proportion amongst women of the same age. Office for National Statistics 2

3 Over the eight year period between 2005 and 2012, men were consistently more likely than women to have drunk alcohol in the last week, Figure 1. Figure 1: Drinking Frequency in the Last Week, by Gender, Great Britain, Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, General Lifestyle Survey, General Household Survey - Office for National Statistics Notes: 1. Bases include all people aged 16 and over living in private households in Great Britain. Download chart XLS format (32.5 Kb) 11% of adults in GB were frequent drinkers (drank alcohol on at least five days in the week before being interviewed) in Men were consistently more likely than women to be frequent drinkers. There was a fall from 16% to 14% between 2011 and 2012 in the proportion of men who were frequent drinkers. There was no change in the proportion of women who were frequent drinkers (9%). Those aged were the main cause of the decline in the proportion of adults who drank in the last week, and in the proportion of adults who were frequent drinkers, between 2005 and Office for National Statistics 3

4 People were asked how much alcohol they drank on their heaviest drinking day in the last week (HDD). There was a decline between 2005 and 2012 in the proportion who exceeded 4/3 units on their HDD (that is, four units for men and three units for women), Figure 2. There was also a decline between 2005 and 2012 in the proportion who exceeded 8/6 units on their HDD (eight units is the the same as four pints of normal strength lager, and six units the same as two large glasses of wine). These falls were present in all age groups except those aged 65 and over. Figure 2: Amount of Alcohol Drank on Heaviest Drinking Day in the Last Week, by Gender, Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, General Lifestyle Survey, General Household Survey - Office for National Statistics Notes: 1. Bases include all people aged 16 and over living in private households in Great Britain. Download chart XLS format (31.5 Kb) Notes for Trends in Drinking Office for National Statistics 4

5 1. Adults include all those aged 16 and over living in private households. Drinking in 2012 Drinking in the Last Week In % of adults 1 in Great Britain (GB) drank alcohol in the last week (the week before interview). This proportion varied by different groups. Men (64%) were more likely than women (52%) to have drunk in the last week. This is true for all age groups apart from those aged Men and women aged were almost equally likely to have drunk in the last week, Figure 3. Figure 3: Drinking in the Last Week, by Age and Gender, 2012 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey - Office for National Statistics Notes: 1. Bases include all people aged 16 and over living in private households in Great Britain. Download chart XLS format (17.5 Kb) Office for National Statistics 5

6 The proportion who drank in the last week also varied by age. Those aged were least likely to have drunk in the last week (49%), and those aged (65%) were most likely. However, when 16 and 17 year olds are excluded, there is no difference between the proportions of year olds and those aged 65 and over who drank in the last week. The proportion of 16 and 17 year olds who said that they drank in the last week was low. This is most likely because in GB the legal age for alcohol purchases is 18. A higher proportion of working adults (65%) drank in the last week than those who were not working (48%). This is in contrast to findings from the 'Opinions and Lifestyle Survey - Smoking Habits Amongst Adults, 2012' publication, which found that the level of smoking prevalence in 2012 was highest amongst those who were unemployed (not working but looking for work). Figure 4: Drinking in the Last Week, by Employment Status, 2012 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey - Office for National Statistics Notes: 1. Bases include all people aged 16 and over living in private households in Great Britain. 2. International Labour Organisation definitions of employment status have been used. Unemployed people are those not currently in work, but looking for work. Examples of economically inactive people are retired people and students. Office for National Statistics 6

7 Download chart XLS format (31.5 Kb) There was variation in the proportion of adults who drank in the last week between most ethnic groups, Figure 5. Six out of 10 White adults drank in the last week, compared to aproximately two out of 10 Asian and Asian British adults. The proportion of people who don't drink at all (abstinence) is known to vary by ethnic group. Abstinence is highest amongst South Asians, particularly those from Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Muslim backgrounds. Abstinence is often influenced by religion which is closely associated with ethnicity. Figure 5: Drinking in the Last Week, by Ethnicity, Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey - Office for National Statistics Notes: 1. Bases include all people aged 16 and over living in private households in Great Britain. Download chart XLS format (30 Kb) Office for National Statistics 7

8 Adults living in London (51%) and the West Midlands (52%) were least likely to have drunk in the last week when compared with other English regions. However in these regions a higher proportion of people are from non-white ethnic groups. Our analysis indicates that once other factors such as ethnicity have been accounted for, adults in London were no less likely than those from other English regions to have drunk in the last week. Frequent Drinkers Adults who drank on five or more days in the week before interview have been classed as frequent drinkers. In % of all adults were frequent drinkers. The likelihood of being a frequent drinker increased with age, Figure 6. 3% of year olds were frequent drinkers, increasing to 18% of those aged 65 and over. Men (14%) were more likely to be frequent drinkers than women (9%), and this gap increased with age. Figure 6: Frequent Drinkers, by Age and Gender, 2012 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey - Office for National Statistics Notes: 1. Bases include all people aged 16 and over living in private households in Great Britain. 2. Frequent drinkers are those who drank alcohol on at least five days in the week before interview. Office for National Statistics 8

9 Download chart XLS format (30.5 Kb) Single adults were less likely than other adults to be frequent drinkers. However our analysis found that single people were more likely to be younger, and that this reduced the likelihood of a single adult being a frequent drinker. When other factors, such as age, were accounted for, single adults were no less likely than others to be frequent drinkers. White adults (12%) were four times as likely as those from non-white ethnic groups (3%) to be frequent drinkers. This is consistent with drinking in the last week. Heavy Drinking Respondents were asked about their heaviest drinking day in the last week (HDD). They were asked about the types and measures of alcoholic drinks consumed on that day. These drinks have been converted into units of alcohol based on assumed alcohol levels for each measure/type of drink (more information on this can be found in background note 3). For the purposes of this release, those who drank in the week before interview and who drank more than 8/6 units (that is, eight units for men and six units for women) on their HDD have been classed as heavy drinkers. Eight units is roughly equivalent to four pints of normal strength lager, and six units roughly equivalent to two large glasses of wine. Those who drank more than 12/9 units on their HDD have been classed as very heavy drinkers. 12 units of alcohol is roughly equivalent to six pints of normal strength lager, and nine units roughly equivalent to three large glasses of wine. In 2012 a quarter of adult drinkers were heavy drinkers. Male drinkers (29%) were more likely to be heavy drinkers than female drinkers (21%), regardless of age. The likelihood of being a heavy drinker decreased with age, Figure 7. Office for National Statistics 9

10 Figure 7: Heavy Drinking, by Age and Gender, 2012 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey - Office for National Statistics Notes: 1. Bases include all people aged 16 and over living in private households in Great Britain. 2. Heavy drinkers include men who drank more than 8 units of alcohol at least once in the week before interview and women who drank more than 6 units. Download chart XLS format (31 Kb) Younger adults were less likely to have drunk frequently, but younger drinkers were more likely to have drunk heavily. The opposite was true for older adults, who were more likely to have drunk frequently, but older drinkers were less likely to have drunk heavily. Economically inactive drinkers (such as students and retired people) were half as likely to be heavy drinkers (15%) when compared with drinkers who were in or looking for work (30%). Further analysis found that economically inactive people tended to be older. When other factors such as age are accounted for, drinkers who were economically inactive were no less likely than others to be heavy drinkers. Office for National Statistics 10

11 Single drinkers (39%) and cohabiting drinkers (36%) were more likely to be heavy drinkers than married drinkers (19%) or widowed/divorced/separated drinkers (20%). White drinkers were almost three times as likely to have been very heavy drinkers (14%) as nonwhite drinkers (5%). Alcoholic Drinks Consumed In 2012, 64% of female drinkers drank wine on their heaviest drinking day in the last week (HDD), making it the most popular type of drink amongst women. The exception was the age group, where female drinkers showed a preference for spirits/liqueurs over wine. 59% of male drinkers drank normal strength beer/lager/cider/shandy on their HDD. Normal strength beer/ lager/cider/shandy was the most popular type of drink amongst all ages of male drinker. Amongst older male drinkers the popularity of normal strength beer/lager/cider/shandy decreased and the popularity of wine increased. A small proportion of drinkers drank sherry/martini or alcopops on their HDD. 9% of female drinkers aged 65 and over drank sherry/martini on their HDD; a higher proportion than any other age/gender group. In contrast drinkers aged (8%) were more likely than those in other age groups to have drank alcopops. Very heavy drinkers were five times more likely than other drinkers to have drunk strong beer/stout/ lager/cider, and over twice as likely to have drunk spirits or liqueurs, Figure 8. The difference in the proportion who drank strong beer/stout/lager/cider was even greater for male drinkers, where the proportion was nearly six times higher amongst men who drank very heavily (28%) than it was amongst other male drinkers (5%). Office for National Statistics 11

12 Figure 8: Alcoholic Drink Preferences of Very Heavy Drinkers, 2012 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey - Office for National Statistics Notes: 1. Bases include all people aged 16 and over living in private households in Great Britain who drank alcohol in the last week. 2. Very heavy drinkers include men who drank more than 12 units of alcohol at least once in the last week and women who drank more than 9 units. 3. Sherry/martini includes port, vermouth, Cinzano and Dubonnet. 4. Wine includes champagne and babycham. 5. Drink types relate to the types of drink consumed on respondents' heaviest drinking day in the week before interview. Download chart XLS format (31.5 Kb) Drinking and Health In 2012 four out of five adults rated their general health positively (as either good or very good). However there was a relationship between self-reported health status and drinking habits. 83% of adults who said that they drink alcohol nowadays rated their general health positively compared with Office for National Statistics 12

13 68% of adults who said that they do not. A contributing factor may be that people who rated their health as bad or very bad may be unable to drink alcohol because of health issues. Those who didn't drink at all and those who drank every day in the last week were least likely to rate their health positively, Figure 9. Figure 9: Self-Reported Health and Drinking Frequency, 2012 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey - Office for National Statistics Notes: 1. Bases include all people aged 16 and over living in private households in Great Britain. Download chart XLS format (17 Kb) Adults' perceptions of heavy drinking levels are higher than the official measures. Adults who drink more than 8/6 units on their HDD are considered binge (or heavy episodic) drinkers in the Government's Alcohol Strategy. Eight units is the same as four pints of normal strength lager, and six units is the same as two large glasses of wine. Whilst 14% of all adults in 2012 were classified as binge drinkers using this measure, less than 1% felt that they were heavy drinkers. Office for National Statistics 13

14 Adults' self reported health was also related to their self reported level of drinking. Adults who felt that they drink heavily were less likely than other adult drinkers to rate their general health positively, Figure 10. Only 56% of adults who felt that they drink heavily rated their general health positively, compared with 82% of other adults who said that they do drink, Figure 10. Figure 10: Self-Assessed Drinking Habits and General Health, 2012 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey - Office for National Statistics Notes: 1. Bases include all people aged 16 and over living in private households in Great Britain. Download chart XLS format (17 Kb) Drinking and Smoking Smokers have been grouped into light smokers (smoke on average up to 10 cigarettes per day), moderate smokers (10 up to 20 cigarettes per day) and heavy smokers (20 or more cigarettes per day). Office for National Statistics 14

15 Drinkers who smoked (25%) were more than twice as likely as those who did not smoke (11%) to be very heavy drinkers, regardless of how much they smoked, Figure 11. Figure 11: Smoking and Very Heavy Drinking, 2012 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey - Office for National Statistics Notes: 1. Very heavy drinkers include men who drank more than 12 units of alcohol at least once in the last week, and women who drank more than 9 units. 2. Bases include all people aged 16 and over living in private households in Great Britain who drank alcohol in the last week. Download chart XLS format (32 Kb) Heavy smokers (21%) were most likely to have been frequent drinkers. They were almost twice as likely as light smokers (11%) or moderate smokers (11%) to be frequent drinkers, Figure 12. Ex-smokers (18%) were also more likely than light or moderate smokers to have been frequent drinkers, with those who have never smoked least likely (8%). Office for National Statistics 15

16 Figure 12: Smoking and Frequent Drinking, 2012 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey - Office for National Statistics Notes: 1. Bases include all people aged 16 and over living in private households in Great Britain who drank alcohol in the last week. 2. Frequent drinkers are those who drank alcohol on at least 5 days in the last week. Download chart XLS format (32 Kb) Drinking During Pregnancy Pregnant women aged were far less likely than women who were not pregnant to have drunk in the last week. One in 10 pregnant women drank in the last week compared with five in 10 of all other women. None of the pregnant women interviewed were frequent drinkers, compared with 5% of all other women aged Notes for Drinking in 2012 Office for National Statistics 16

17 1. Adults include all those aged 16 and over living in private households. Background notes 1. Measuring Alcohol Consumption Obtaining reliable information about drinking behaviour is difficult, and social surveys consistently record lower levels of consumption than would be expected from data on alcohol sales. This is partly because people may consciously or unconsciously underestimate how much alcohol they drink. Drinking at home is particularly likely to be underestimated because the quantities consumed are less likely to have been measured and also more likely to be larger than those dispensed in licensed premises. There are different methods for obtaining survey information on drinking behaviour. One approach is to ask people to recall all episodes of drinking during a set period (See Goddard E (2001) 'Obtaining information about drinking through surveys of the general population (275.9 Kb Pdf), National Statistics Methodology Series NSM 24). However, this is time-consuming and is not suitable for the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN), where drinking is only one of a number of subjects covered. Since 1998 respondents have been asked questions about their drinking behaviour in the seven days before interview. Specifically, people responding to the OPN are asked on how many days they drank alcohol during the previous week. They are then asked how much of each of six different types of drink (normal strength beer; strong beer; wine; spirits; fortified wines; and alcopops) they drank on their heaviest drinking day during the previous week. These amounts are converted to units of alcohol and summed to give an estimate of the number of units the respondent consumed on their heaviest drinking day (see background note 3 for further details of the number of units assumed to be in each measure of each type of drink). 2. Change in survey vehicle In 2012, the survey vehicle for collecting drinking data changed from the General Lifestyle Survey (GLF) to the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN). The OPN uses the same initial approach to sampling as the GLF. That is, a random sample of addresses is drawn from the Postcode Address File (PAF). Initially, a sample of postcode sectors is drawn, and from within those, a list of addresses is chosen. The design means that every address and every person in Great Britain has an equal chance of selection. The PAF is ordered by region and other socio-demographic indicators provided by the census. Ordering the PAF helps to ensure the sample represents the general population of Great Britain. GLF analysis was based on four waves of longitudinal data, weighted to produce cross-sectional estimates. The OPN only produces cross-sectional estimates. Both the OPN and GLF surveys use Computer Aided Personal Interviewing (CAPI). Interviewers visit sampled addresses and interview respondents with the aid of a laptop. Face to face interviewing helps to maximise participation in the survey, which is around 60% of sampled addresses for both surveys. Office for National Statistics 17

18 of the trends reported on in this release are based on the same questions previously included on GLF. Therefore, no trend changes will have been introduced as a result of changing question wording. After data collection, the results are 'weighted' to ensure they represent the general population of Great Britain. The approach to weighting is the same for both surveys. Firstly, an adjustment is made to account for those respondents who chose not to take part in the surveys (or, for OPN, the chances of selection within a household - see 'What are the differences?', below). Secondly, the samples are grossed up to total the GB population, taking account of the age and gender profile of the population, as well as the distribution of people across Local Authorities. What are the differences? The primary difference between these two surveys is the approach to interviewing residents of sampled addresses. The GLF aimed to interview all residents in the household aged 16 or above. The OPN only interviews one person aged 16 or above in each sampled household. The OPN randomly selects a resident for interview, thus reducing the potential for selection bias. Despite a different approach to within household sampling selection, the achieved number of interviews is broadly the comparable between the two surveys. The GLF achieved approximately 13,500 adult interviews per year compared to approximately 13,000 adult interviews per year on the OPN. There was a reduction in the number and detail of questions migrated from the GLF to the OPN. Details of the questions that were moved from the GLF to the OPN are provided in Appendix A of the Future of the GLF (108.9 Kb Pdf) update. As part of the OPN, respondents have also been given the option to record normal strength beer/lager/cider/shandy and strong beer/stout/lager/cider in measures of schooners. A schooner is a glass that contains two-thirds of a pint. When estimating the number of units of alcohol that a person drank, the units for schooners have been pro-rated to account for this difference in size. What do these differences mean for comparability? Every effort has been made to minimise the potential for discontinuity between the results from the two surveys. Our analysis shows that the results of the OPN are comparable with those of the GLF. The reduction in achieved sample size has not led to significant loss in precision. The confidence intervals around key estimates such as the proportion of adults in Great Britain who drank alcohol in the last week are comparable between the GLF and OPN. Results have been found to follow the same patterns by various socio-demographic characteristics such as age, gender and employment status. The comparability of these estimates is deemed sufficient to make comparisons between 2012 and previously reported results. However, the reduction in questions asked on topics covered by the GLF has led to a discontinuation of some outputs. For example, in the case of smoking, the age at which people Office for National Statistics 18

19 started smoking is no longer reported on, as the source data is not collected on the OPN. Similarly, questions on tobacco dependency were no longer asked from January Recent changes in methodology The conversion of volumes of alcoholic drinks to units of alcohol is based on assumptions about the size of a given measure (for example, a glass of wine) and the alcohol content of the type of drink, that is, the percentage of alcohol by volume (ABV). In recent years there have been changes to both of these factors and these have been reflected in revisions to the conversion method. The survey does not ask about the specific ABV of every alcoholic drink consumed but assumes an average for each type of drink. The revised method changed the number of units assumed to be in drinks in the normal strength beer, lager and cider and strong beer, lager and cider categories but the main impact was on drinks in the wine category. Background note 3 gives details of the number of units assumed to be in each measure of each alcoholic drink type. The revised method had a large impact on the estimates of units of alcohol consumed from wine because it changed both the assumed ABV of wine (from 9 to 12%) and the size of a glass of wine. Until 2006 a glass of wine was assumed to be 125 ml. Respondents are now asked whether they have consumed small (125 ml), standard (175 ml) or large (250 ml) glasses of wine. It is now assumed that a small glass contains 1.5 units, a standard glass contains 2 units and a large glass contains 3 units. Discussion of the impact of these changes on the estimates of consumption can be found in the report on the 2009 data. 4. Assumed alcohol by volume (ABV) percentages for different types and measures of alcoholic drink Table 1, below, shows the assumed number of units of alcohol present in each measure of each drink type. Office for National Statistics 19

20 Table 1: Units of Alcohol Assumed to be in an Alcoholic Drink, by Drink Type and Measure, 2012 Drink Type Measure Units Normal strength beer/ lager/cider/shandy Normal strength beer/ lager/cider/shandy Normal strength beer/ lager/cider/shandy Normal strength beer/ lager/cider/shandy Normal strength beer/ lager/cider/shandy Normal strength beer/ lager/cider/shandy Strong beer/stout/lager/ cider Strong beer/stout/lager/ cider Strong beer/stout/lager/ cider Strong beer/stout/lager/ cider Strong beer/stout/lager/ cider Strong beer/stout/lager/ cider Half Pint 1.0 Pint 2.0 Small Can 1.5 Large Can 2.0 Bottles 1.5 Schooners Half Pint 2.0 Pint 4.0 Small Can 2.0 Large Can 3.0 Bottles 2.0 Schooners Spirits/liqueurs Standard single (25ml) 1.0 Spirits/liqueurs 35ml 1.5 Spirits/liqueurs Standard double (50ml) 2.0 Sherry/martini, including port, vermouth, Cinzano and Dubonnet Wine, including champagne or babycham Wine, including champagne or babycham Glass 1.0 Small Glass (125ml) 1.5 Medium Glass (175ml) 2.0 Office for National Statistics 20

21 Drink Type Measure Units Wine, including champagne or babycham Wine, including champagne or babycham Wine, including champagne or babycham Large Glass (250ml) 3.0 Bottle 9.0 Unknown 2.0 Alcopops Small Can 1.5 Alcopops Standard Bottle 1.5 Alcopops Large Bottle 3.5 Table source: Office for National Statistics Table notes: 1. A schooner is a serving of two thirds of a pint. To estimate the number of units for somebody who has been drinking schooners, the number of schooners has been multiplied by 4/3 for normal strength beer/lager/cider/ shandy and by 8/3 for strong beer/stout/lager/cider. Download table XLS format (32.5 Kb) 5. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting or from the Media Relations Office Copyright Crown copyright 2013 You may use or re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. To view this licence, visit or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or This document is also available on our website at Statistical contacts Name Phone Department Dr Craig Orchard +44 (0) Office for National Statistics Office for National Statistics 21

22 Issuing Body: Office for National Statistics Media Contact Details: Telephone: (8.30am-5.30pm Weekdays) Emergency out of hours (limited service): Office for National Statistics 22

23 Index of Tables Table Title Number Proportion who Drank Alcohol in the Last Week, by Age and Gender, Amount of Alcohol Drank on Heaviest Drinking Day in the Last Week, by Age and Gender, Drinking Habits by Age and Gender, Drinking Habits and General Health, Types of Alcoholic Drink Consumed on Heaviest Drinking Day in the Last Week, by Age and Gender, Types of Alcoholic Drink Consumed by Very Heavy Drinkers and Other Drinkers on Their Heaviest Drinking Day in the Last Week, by Gender, Drinking Habits by Employment Status, Drinking Habits by Relationship Status, Drinking Habits by Ethnicity, Drinking Habits by Region, Drinking Habits and Smoking, Drinking Habits in Pregnancy,

24 1 Proportion who Drank Alcohol in the Last Week, by Age and Gender, Persons aged 16 and over, Great Britain Men Drank alcohol in the last week Weighted base 2012 (000s) = 100% Percentages Unweighted sample men , ,232 1, ,627 1, ,574 1, ,955 5,700 Drank alcohol on five or more days in the last week men , ,229 1, ,627 1, ,568 1, ,945 5,690 Women Drank alcohol in the last week women , ,189 2, ,926 2, ,517 1, ,035 6,930 Drank alcohol on five or more days in the last week women , ,181 2, ,926 2, ,517 1, ,027 6,930 Source: General Lifestyle Survey and Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, Office for National Statistics data includes October - December 2004 due to a change of survey period from financial to calendar year. Results from 2006 to 2011 include longitudinal data. unweighted bases are rounded to the nearest 10. Bases for earlier years can be found in the General Lifestyle Survey reports for the respective year.

25 2 Amount of Alcohol Drank on Heaviest Drinking Day in the Last Week, by Age and Gender, 2012 Persons aged 16 and over, Great Britain Weighted base 2012 (000s) = 100% Percentages Unweighted sample Men Drank more than 4 units of alcohol on at least one day men Drank more than 8 units of alcohol on at least one day men , ,225 1, ,618 1, ,565 1, ,929 5, , ,225 1, ,618 1, ,565 1, ,929 5,690 Women Drank more than 3 units of alcohol on at least one day women Drank more than 6 units of alcohol on at least one day women , ,177 2, ,919 2, ,515 1, ,995 6, , ,177 2, ,919 2, ,515 1, ,995 6,920 Source: General Lifestyle Survey and Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, Office for National Statistics data includes October - December 2004 due to survey change from financial year to calendar year. Figures produced using the updated methodology for converting volumes of wine to alcoholic units assuming an average size wine glass. Results from 2006 to 2011 include longitudinal data. Figures produced using the updated methodology taking into account data on wine glass size. unweighted bases rounded to the nearest 10. Bases for earlier years can be found in the General Lifestyle Survey reports for the respective year.

26 3 Drinking Habits by Age and Gender, 2012 persons aged 16 and over, Great Britain Percentages Weighted bases 2012 (000s) = 100% Unweighted sample persons Drank alcohol in the last week Men Women Drank alcohol on 5 or more days in the last week Men Women persons who drank alcohol in the last week - units of alcohol drank on heaviest drinking day Up to 4/3 units 2 Men Women More than 4/3 units, up to 8/6 units 2 Men Women More than 8/6 units, up to 12/9 units 2 Men Women More than 12/9 units 2 Men Women ,521 8,232 7,627 4,574 23, ,670 1,970 1,590 5, ,402 8,189 7,926 5,517 25, ,240 2,170 1,990 6, ,923 16,422 15,553 10,091 48,990 1,000 3,910 4,140 3,570 12, ,521 8,229 7,627 4,568 23, ,670 1,970 1,590 5, ,402 8,181 7,926 5,517 25, ,240 2,170 1,990 6, ,923 16,410 15,553 10,085 48,972 1,000 3,900 4,140 3,570 12, ,762 5,216 5,390 2,894 15, ,080 1, , ,625 4,119 4,652 2,459 12, ,160 1, , ,386 9,335 10,042 5,353 28, ,240 2,670 1,850 7, ,762 5,216 5,390 2,894 15, ,080 1, , ,625 4,119 4,652 2,459 12, ,160 1, , ,386 9,335 10,042 5,353 28, ,240 2,670 1,850 7, ,762 5,216 5,390 2,894 15, ,080 1, , ,625 4,119 4,652 2,459 12, ,160 1, , ,386 9,335 10,042 5,353 28, ,240 2,670 1,850 7, ,762 5,216 5,390 2,894 15, ,080 1, , ,625 4,119 4,652 2,459 12, ,160 1, , ,386 9,335 10,042 5,353 28, ,240 2,670 1,850 7,250 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, Office for National Statistics 1 2 unweighted bases rounded to nearest 10. Units specified differ for men and women. For example 4/3 units means 4 units for men and 3 units for women.

27 4 Drinking Habits and General Health, 2012 persons aged 16 and over, Great Britain Self-assessment of general health Very Good Good Fair Bad Very Bad Weighted base 2012 (000s) = 100% Percentages Unweighted sample persons ,463 12,520 persons who......drink alcohol nowadays...do not drink alcohol nowadays ,800 9, ,663 2,790 Number of days in week before interview that alcohol was consumed ,366 5, ,565 2, ,445 1, ,969 1, , , , , Number of units of alcohol consumed on heaviest drinking day in week before interview Drank no alcohol in week before interview Up to 4/3 units 2 More than 4/3 units, up to 8/6 units 2 More than 8/6 units, up to 12/9 units 2 More than 12/9 units ,366 5, ,491 3, ,352 1, , , Frequency of alcohol consumption in last 12 months Drank no alcohol in last 12 months Once or twice a year Once every couple of months Once or twice a month Once or twice a week 3 or 4 times a week 5 or 6 times a week Almost every day ,134 2, ,123 1, ,003 1, ,671 1, ,433 3, ,926 1, , ,333 1,000 Self perception of alcohol consumption habits - persons who state that they......never drink...hardly drink at all...drink a little...drink a moderate amount...drink quite a lot...drink heavily ,706 1, ,305 3, ,328 3, ,283 3, , Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, Office for National Statistics 1 2 unweighted bases rounded to nearest 10. Units specified differ for men and women. For example 4/3 units means 4 units for men and 3 units for women.

28 5 Types of Alcoholic Drink Consumed on Heaviest Drinking Day in the Last Week, by Age and Gender, 2012 persons aged 16 and over who consumed alcohol in week before interview, Great Britain Percentages Age Normal strength beer/lager/cider/shandy Male Female Strong beer/stout/lager/cider Male Female Spirits or liqueurs Male Female Sherry or martini Male Female Wine, including champagne and babycham Male Female Alcopops Male Female Weighted base 2012 (000s) = 100% Male Female 1,762 5,223 5,394 2,900 15,279 1,643 4,127 4,652 2,459 12,881 3,405 9,351 10,046 5,359 28,160 Unweighted sample Male Female 240 1,090 1,410 1,000 3, ,160 1, , ,250 2,670 1,860 7,270 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, Office for National Statistics 1 unweighted bases rounded to nearest 10.

29 6 Types of Alcoholic Drink Consumed by Very Heavy Drinkers 1 and Other Drinkers on Their Heaviest Drinking Day in the Last Week, by Gender, 2012 people aged 16 and over who drank last week, Great Britain Percentages Men Women Proportion of very heavy drinkers 1 who consumed drink type on heaviest drinking day in week before interview Normal strength beer/lager/cider/shandy Strong beer/stout/lager/cider Spirits or liqueurs Sherry or martini Wine, including champagne and babycham Alcopops Proportion of all other drinkers who consumed alcohol in week before interview Normal strength beer/lager/cider/shandy Strong beer/stout/lager/cider Spirits or liqueurs Sherry or martini Wine, including champagne and babycham Alcopops Weighted base 2012 (000s) = 100% Very heavy drinkers others who drank alcohol in week before interview Unweighted sample Very heavy drinkers others who drank alcohol in week before interview ,330 1,547 3,878 12,932 11,307 24, ,200 3,130 6,320 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, Office for National Statistics Very heavy drinkers are those who consumed more than 12/9 3 units of alcohol on at least one day in the last week. unweighted bases rounded to nearest /9 units means 12 units for men and 9 units for women.

30 7 Drinking Habits by Employment Status 1, 2012 persons aged 16 and over, Great Britain persons Drank alcohol in the last week In Employment 1 ILO Unemployed 1 Economically Inactive 1 Drank alcohol on five or more days in the last week In Employment 1 ILO Unemployed 1 Economically Inactive 1 persons who drank alcohol in the last week - units consumed on heaviest drinking day Up to 4/3 units 3 In Employment 1 ILO Unemployed 1 Economically Inactive 1 More than 4/3 units, up to 8/6 units 3 In Employment 1 ILO Unemployed 1 Economically Inactive 1 More than 8/6 units, up to 12/9 units 3 In Employment 1 ILO Unemployed 1 Economically Inactive 1 More than 12/9 units 3 In Employment 1 ILO Unemployed 1 Economically Inactive 1 Percentages Weighted bases 2012 (000s) = 100% Unweighted samples Men Women Men Women Men Women ,320 13,215 28,536 3,270 3,350 6, ,535 1,183 2, ,100 10,637 17,736 2,100 3,270 5, ,955 25,035 48,990 5,700 6,930 12, ,317 13,211 28,528 3,270 3,350 6, ,535 1,183 2, ,093 10,633 17,726 2,090 3,270 5, ,945 25,027 48,972 5,690 6,930 12, ,525 7,904 18,429 2,330 2,030 4, , ,920 4,489 8,408 1,210 1,380 2, ,262 12,855 28,117 3,730 3,530 7, ,525 7,904 18,429 2,330 2,030 4, , ,920 4,489 8,408 1,210 1,380 2, ,262 12,855 28,117 3,730 3,530 7, ,525 7,904 18,429 2,330 2,030 4, , ,920 4,489 8,408 1,210 1,380 2, ,262 12,855 28,117 3,730 3,530 7, ,525 7,904 18,429 2,330 2,030 4, , ,920 4,489 8,408 1,210 1,380 2, ,262 12,855 28,117 3,730 3,530 7,250 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, Office for National Statistics International Labour Organisation definitions have been used to group people by employment status. Unemployed people are those who were not working, but looking for work. Examples of economically inactive people include students and retired people. Unweighted bases rounded to nearest 10. Units specified differ for men and women. For example 4/3 units means 4 units for men and 3 units for women.

31 8 Drinking Habits by Relationship Status, 2012 persons aged 16 and over, Great Britain persons Drank alcohol in the last week Single Married Cohabiting Widowed / Divorced / Separated Drank alcohol on five or more days in the last week Single Married Cohabiting Widowed / Divorced / Separated persons who drank alcohol in the last week Units of alcohol consumed on heaviest drinking day in the last week Up to 4/3 units 2 Single Married Cohabiting Widowed / Divorced / Separated More than 4/3 units, up to 8/6 units 2 Single Married Cohabiting Widowed / Divorced / Separated More than 8/6 units, up to 12/9 units 2 Single Married Cohabiting Widowed / Divorced / Separated More than 12/9 units 2 Single Married Cohabiting Widowed / Divorced / Separated Weighted bases 2012 (000s) = Percentages 100% Unweighted samples Men Women Men Women Men Women ,490 5,276 11,766 1,360 1,370 2, ,269 12,256 24,524 2,710 2,840 5, ,816 2,740 5, , ,379 4,761 7,141 1,080 2,090 3, ,955 25,035 48,990 5,700 6,930 12, ,486 5,276 11,762 1,360 1,370 2, ,265 12,247 24,513 2,710 2,840 5, ,816 2,740 5, , ,378 4,761 7,139 1,080 2,090 3, ,945 25,027 48,972 5,690 6,930 12, ,590 2,609 6, , ,223 6,691 14,913 1,860 1,580 3, ,011 1,536 3, ,438 2,017 3, , ,262 12,852 28,114 3,730 3,530 7, ,590 2,609 6, , ,223 6,691 14,913 1,860 1,580 3, ,011 1,536 3, ,438 2,017 3, , ,262 12,852 28,114 3,730 3,530 7, ,590 2,609 6, , ,223 6,691 14,913 1,860 1,580 3, ,011 1,536 3, ,438 2,017 3, , ,262 12,852 28,114 3,730 3,530 7, ,590 2,609 6, , ,223 6,691 14,913 1,860 1,580 3, ,011 1,536 3, ,438 2,017 3, , ,262 12,852 28,114 3,730 3,530 7,250 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, Office for National Statistics 1 2 Unweighted bases rounded to nearest 10. Units specified differ for men and women. For example 4/3 units means 4 units for men and 3 units for women.

32 9 Drinking Habits by Ethnicity, 2012 persons aged 16 and over, Great Britain Non-White ethnic groups Percentages White Non- White Mixed Asian or Asian British Black or Black British Chinese or any other ethnic group Persons Drank alcohol last week Drank alcohol on five or more occasions last week persons who drank alcohol last week - units consumed on heaviest drinking day last week Up to 4/3 units 1 More than 4/3 units, up to 8/6 units 1 More than 8/6 units, up to 12/9 units 1 More than 12/9 units 1 Weighted bases 2012 (000s) = 100%, for... Drank alcohol in the last week Drank alcohol on five or more occasions in the last week Units of alcohol drunk on heaviest drinking day in the last week Unweighted samples for... Drank alcohol in the last week Drank alcohol on five or more occasions in the last week Units of alcohol drunk on heaviest drinking day in the last week ,105 5, ,920 1,067 1,267 48,990 43,088 5, ,920 1,067 1,267 48,972 26,525 1, ,117 11,450 1, ,620 11,440 1, ,620 6, ,250 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, Office for National Statistics 1 2 Units specified differ for men and women. For example 4/3 units means 4 units for men and 3 units for women. Unweighted bases rounded to nearest 10.

33 10 Drinking Habits by Region, 2012 persons aged 16 and over North East North West Yorkshire and The Humber East Midlands West Midlands Region East of England London South East South West England Wales Scotland Percentages Great Britain persons Drank alcohol in the last week Drank alcohol on five or more days in the last week persons who drank alcohol in the last week Units of alcohol consumed on heaviest drinking day in the last week: Up to 4/3 units 1 More than 4/3 units, up to 8/6 units 1 More than 8/6 units, up to 12/9 units 1 More than 12/9 units 1 Weighted bases 2012 (000s) = 100%, for... Drank alcohol in the last week Drank alcohol on five or more occasions in the last week Units of alcohol consumed on heaviest drinking day in the last week Unweighted samples for... Drank alcohol in the last week Drank alcohol on five or more occasions in the last week Units of alcohol consumed on heaviest drinking day in the last week ,124 5,562 4,302 3,631 4,361 4,722 6,405 6,862 4,300 42,269 2,450 4,270 48,990 2,124 5,562 4,302 3,628 4,359 4,722 6,405 6,857 4,292 42,252 2,450 4,270 48,972 1,288 3,129 2,670 2,149 2,281 2,757 3,231 4,222 2,690 24,417 1,342 2,357 28, ,530 1,230 1,040 1,100 1,220 1,280 1,820 1,080 10, ,090 12, ,530 1,230 1,040 1,100 1,220 1,280 1,820 1,080 10, ,090 12, , , ,250 Source: Opinions and Lifestyle Survey, Office for National Statisticsal Statistics 1 2 Units specified differ for men and women. For example 4/3 units means 4 units for men and 3 units for women. Unweighted bases rounded to nearest 10.

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