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4307.0.55.002 - Apparent Consumption of Alcohol: Extended Time Series, 1944-45 to 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/01/2011  First Issue
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BEER



Pure alcohol in beer

Beer has remained the most prevalent alcoholic beverage in Australia, in terms of both volume and pure alcohol, over the past 50 years, although there have been large changes in the pattern of consumption of beer over this period. In 1960-61 beer made up around 76% of total apparent consumption of pure alcohol, but 40 years later (2000-01) had decreased to 50%. In 2008-09 beer comprised 44% of total apparent consumption of pure alcohol (Graph 3).


Graph 3: Apparent consumption of pure alcohol, Beer as a proportion of all alcohol, 1961 to 2009


In per capita terms, apparent consumption of pure alcohol from beer rose strongly in the decade following World War II, followed by a period of slower growth (Graph 4). Apparent consumption of beer peaked in 1973-74 and 1974-75 at an average 9.2 litres of pure alcohol per person aged 15 years and over. Since then, the prevalence of beer has decreased markedly, reaching 4.6 litres of pure alcohol per person in 2004-05 and remaining at this level in the following years. This is half that of the peak in the mid 1970s, and the lowest since 1947-48.


Graph 4: Apparent per capita consumption of pure alcohol in beer, 1945 to 2009

TABLE 2: APPARENT CONSUMPTION OF BEER

Total volume available for consumption
Pure alcohol available for consumption
Year ended 30 June(b)
Volume

'000 litres
Per capita(a)

litres
Volume

'000 litres
Per capita(a)

litres

1949
633 543
109.41
30 410
5.25
1959
1 003 263
144.17
48 157
6.92
1969
1 462 732
169.70
70 211
8.15
1979
1 888 520
176.45
90 649
8.47
1989
1 925 546
148.45
85 819
6.62
1999
1 758 991
118.29
75 607
5.08
2009
1 872 810
106.59
81 148
4.62

(a) Litres per person aged 15 years and over.
(b) See data cube for all years 1944-45 to 2008-09.


Total volume of beer

Graph 5 illustrates the changes in apparent consumption of beer, in volume terms, since World War II. Apparent consumption of beer in Australia peaked during the mid 1970s and early 1980s, at around 1,900 million litres each year. Since then, total apparent consumption of beer has remained relatively steady.


Graph 5: Apparent consumption of beer, Total volume, 1945 to 2009


Beer volume data shows, however, that apparent consumption of beer in per capita terms has fallen significantly since the mid-1970s, when the average volume of beer available for consumption was around 190 litres per person aged 15 years and over (Graph 6). By 2008-09 this had decreased to 107 litres per person, the lowest apparent per capita consumption of beer since 1947-48.


Graph 6: Apparent per capita consumption of beer, 1945 to 2009


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