Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Young people shun alcohol, study shows

11 October 2018

Young people are turning their backs on alcohol, according to a new study from a team of researchers at UCL.

Researchers looked at official health data from the last decade and found almost a third of 16 to 24-year-olds in 2015 said they didn't drink, compared with around one in five in 2005.

Non-drinking was found across a broad range of groups, suggesting it was becoming "more mainstream".

Binge drinking rates also decreased - from 27% in 2005 to 18% in 2015, based on Health Survey for England figures.

Almost 10,000 people were questioned, with the results demonstrating a clear decline in consumption of alcohol among young adults.

The new research, by a team including Noriko Cable from ICLS, revealed that the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds who do not drink alcohol has increased from 18% in 2005 to 29% in 2015.

Just 28% admitted drinking above the recommended limits, compared with 43% a decade earlier in 2005.

And the number of lifetime abstainers also increased significantly, from 9% in 2005 to 17% in 2015.