4307.0.55.001 - Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2013-14 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/05/2015   
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6 May 2015
Embargo: 11:30 am (Canberra Time)

Apparent alcohol consumption hits a 50 year low

Australians are drinking less alcohol overall than any time in the previous 50 years, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"Across all alcoholic beverages, there were 9.7 litres of pure alcohol available for consumption in 2013-14 for every person in Australia aged 15 years and over," said Louise Gates from the ABS. "This is the lowest level since the early 1960’s."

"The pattern of alcohol consumption has changed significantly over this period.

"Fifty years ago, beer made up three quarters of all alcohol consumed, but now makes up under half at 41 per cent.

"Wine's share has increased over the same period from 12 per cent to 38 per cent."

Australians currently consume more white wine than red wine - 270 million litres of white wine compared with 190 million litres of red wine in 2013-14, while full strength beer remains the most popular type of beer, accounting for around three quarters of all beer in 2013-14.

"Over the past decade we have seen the popularity of mid strength beer grow at the expense of low strength beer," said Ms Gates. "mid strength beer now makes up 19 per cent of all beer consumed in Australia, while low strength beer accounts for five per cent.

"Spirits including Ready to Drink (pre-mixed beverages) increased from 13 per cent of all pure alcohol consumed in 1963-64 to 19 per cent in 2013-14. Cider accounted for a small but growing proportion, at two per cent in 2013-14."

Further information is available in Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2013-14 (cat. no. 4307.0.55.001) on the ABS website - https://www.abs.gov.au

Media note:

  • Estimates of 'apparent consumption' are obtained from information related to supply (for example, excise data on alcohol produced for domestic consumption, and data on imports) and do not represent actual consumption.
  • No account is taken of 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 assumed to have been consumed in that year.
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • Media request and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070.