4307.0.55.002 - Apparent Consumption of Alcohol: Extended Time Series, 1944-45 to 2008-09 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/01/2011  First Issue
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This publication provides estimates of apparent consumption of alcohol based on the availability of alcoholic beverages in Australia. It provides estimates of the quantity of pure alcohol available for consumption from beer, wine, spirits, and ready to drink (pre-mixed) beverages, plus estimates of the total volume of beer and wine available for consumption.

For beer, data is available for 1944-45 onwards. For wine, estimates of pure alcohol are available for 1960-61 onwards while estimates of the volume of wine are available from 1944-45 onwards. For spirits, estimates of pure alcohol are available for 1960-61 onwards.

Also provided are estimates of apparent per capita consumption for each of the above alcoholic beverages, for the population aged 15 years and over. This population is consistent with international standards for measuring trends in apparent consumption over time. See the Explanatory Notes for more information regarding population estimates used to calculate apparent per capita consumption.

It should be noted that estimates of 'apparent consumption' are derived using information relating to supply (that is, data on domestic sales of Australian produced wine, excise data on alcohol produced for domestic consumption, data on imports and an estimated component for home production), as opposed to actual consumption from a survey, and only provide a measure of what alcohol is available for consumption in a given financial year. No adjustments are made for:
  • changes in stocks;
  • duty-free alcohol imported by individual overseas travellers; or
  • for alcohol that has been stored or cellared, used in the preparation of food or discarded as waste.

All alcohol available for consumption in a particular year is therefore assumed to have been consumed in that year. See the Explanatory Notes for more information on data sources.

Data for earlier years of the series have been compiled from various ABS historical sources, while data for more recent years have been obtained from contemporary ABS datasets. For earlier years, little documentation is available regarding details of how the data were produced, and/or subsequent revisions. Different issues of the historical sources may present different estimates for the same years. In most cases, the most recently published data has been selected for inclusion in this publication. The magnitude of any differences in source data does not affect the overall interpretation of changes in alcohol consumption over time.

Given the historical nature of the series, the data is most useful as a guide to long-term trends in apparent alcohol consumption in Australia. No particular emphasis should be placed on any one year, or on year-to-year changes.

Changes in this publication

Data presented in this publication supercede those published in previous issues of Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia (cat. no. 4307.0.55.001), Apparent Consumption of Foodstuffs, Australia (cat. no. 4306.0) and earlier associated publications. In particular:
  • assumptions made regarding the alcohol content of wine have changed, resulting in revisions to the entire series of estimates of apparent consumption of pure alcohol in wine;
  • apparent consumption of wine (in volume) for 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 have been revised; and
  • apparent consumption of beer (in volume) and assumptions regarding the alcohol content of beer have been revised for 2005-06 to 2008-09, resulting in changes to these years for both volume and alcohol content of beer.

Refer to the Explanatory Notes for more details.