Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Alcohol consumption among under-18s at a record low in 2014, UK government statistics show

Published:  23 July, 2015

New government statistics show that the number of 11- to 15-year-olds drinking alcohol has fallen to a record low.

Figures released by the Health & Social Care Information Centre showed that the number in that age group who tried an alcoholic drink in 2014 was 38%. When data was first collected in 1988 the figure was 62%.

The number of children that had drunk in the previous week fell to 8% - also the lowest since records began and a drop of two thirds since its peak of 25% in 1996.

The average consumption of alcohol among those who had drunk in the last week was 9.8 units, but a fifth had drunk 15 units or more.

The recommended maximum levels for adults are 3-4 units for men and 2-3 units for women.

The number of 11- to 15-year-olds who drank at least once a week has dropped to 4%, down on the record high of 20% in 2001.

Three out of 10 pupils had obtained alcohol in the previous four weeks and it was most likely to be given to them by family or friends.

Forty per cent who drank alcohol said they sometimes bought it themselves.

Six per cent of pupils claimed they sometimes or always drank energy drinks at the same time as they consumed alcohol.

Wine & Spirit Trade Association chief executive Miles Beale said the overall downward trend was "welcome and reassuring".

He added: "The number of young people drinking is at its lowest levels since the late 1980s when this information was first collected.

"The investment by the drinks industry in initiatives like Challenge 25 and Community Alcohol Partnerships has helped to contribute to this trend and has helped to change the British culture around the acceptability of under-age drinking.

"However, we must not - and will not - be complacent. While this is welcome progress, there is more to do.

"Our industry is committed to continued investment in measures that will maintain this trend in the future."