UK alcohol consumption at 23-year low15th April, 2014 by Lauren Eads
New figures released by the British Beer and Pub Association have confirmed a drop in UK alcohol consumption of 2.1% in 2013 – the lowest level recorded since 1990.
Alcohol consumption dropped to 7.7 litres per head in 2013, adding to an 18% decline in consumption per head since 2004, its lowest level this century.
In 1980 Britons were consuming 7.4 litres of alcohol each year, rising to 7.9 litres in 1990, reaching its peak in 2004 when consumption hit 9.4 litres per person.
Since then consumption has continued to drop with this being the seventh year in the past nine that there has been a fall, according to the British Beer and Pub Association which compiles the new data every year based on HMRC alcohol tax returns.
In total, Britons drank seven billion fewer units of alcohol in 2013 compared with 2004, with each person estimated to have drunk 7.7 litres of alcohol in 2013.
Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive, said: “We have now experienced a decade of falling alcohol consumption. While total consumption per head is not synonymous with alcohol-related harm, these are interesting figures, as the percentage of those drinking at harmful levels has also been falling, as have the number of under-18s drinking.”
“The industry will continue to work to tackle alcohol misuse, but there are several encouraging trends, and accurate and up-to-date figures are important for the debate around alcohol.”
The figures come following news that Australia’s alcohol consumption was at a 15-year low with consumption of beer in the country dropping to its lowest levels in nearly 70 years.