Data and statistics

Data and statistics provide the public with context and understanding of the impacts alcohol and other drugs have on the community, families and individuals.

Use of alcohol in Australia

Estimated social cost of alcohol ‘abuse’ in Australia, through losses of productivity, traffic accidents, crime and health care is just over $14 billion.

Many Australians consume alcohol in quantities that cause few adverse effects.

According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2016, of those 14 years and older:

  • 5.9% of Australians drink alcohol daily. This is a decrease from 2013 (6.5%) and 2001 (8.3%)
  • 77% (3 in 4) consumed at least one serve of alcohol in the last 12 months
  • 23% had not consumed alcohol in the last 12 months
  • There was twice the likelihood of males drinking alcohol daily than females ( 7.6% for males compared to 4.2% for females).
  • There has been little change to the statistics regarding female alcohol intake in Australia, however the proportion of males drinking alcohol daily decreased from 8.5% in 2013 to 7.6% in 2016, as did the proportion drinking at least weekly (43%-41%).
  • People in the 60-69 year age group were the only age group to significantly decline their daily alcohol intake (12.3% to 10.2%). There was a slight, but not significant decline for most of the other age groups.
  • Persons 70 years or older were most likely to drink daily (males 19.5% and females 8.7%). This has been consistent over recent years, with a percentage of people who consume alcohol daily increasing with each age group.
  • 4.8% of Australians who had consumed at least one serve of Alcohol in the last 12 months had attempted to reduce their intake of alcohol in that year. The main reason for this was their own health.

It is important to remember that these numbers reference individuals and their experiences. Mindframe acknowledges the individuals, families, carers, colleagues and communities impacted by alcohol and other drug use in Australia.