Anyone running a sports bar in Sutherland Shire, or anywhere else in the AU might have noticed a slight decrease, only to pass it off as just bad days, but data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that this isn’t just a dry spell.
In the AU, beer and cider consumption has dropped, with Aussies across the country cutting down on overall alcohol consumption. The numbers are now the lowest the country’s seen in 55 years, though wine and spirits consumption have taken less of a hit, perhaps showing how the tastes and preferences of Aussies have changed when it comes to alcohol.
Data from the ABS noted that beer is continuing its drop, with an annual average decrease of 2.4% over the past decade, in spite of many a sports bar in Sutherland Shire and across the country seeing import beers and craft beers becoming the recent trend.
Pre-mixed or ready-to-drink beverages dropped by 0.7% from 2016-2017, while cider declined by 1.3% during the same time. To contrast, alcohol from wine and spirits grew by 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively.
According to Louise Gates, the ABS’s Director of Health Statistics, Australia consumed a total volume of 186 million litres of pure alcohol from 2016-2017, which amounts to approximately 9.4 litres for every person in the country aged 15 and over.
Gates noted that these annual figures are the lowest they’ve ever been since 1961-62, and it’s continuing the downward trend that has been observed since 2008-09.
It was during 1974-75 that Aussie’s drinking habit hit its highest, where it stayed for the next couple of years until early in 1980, when it begin to decline. Annual consumption in the country stayed around 10 litres per capita starting from early 90s, and then went up after the turn of the century, before going back down again.
According to analysis from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, not drinking had become so fashionable for Aussies that about 22.9% of people considered themselves teetotallers. Similarly, the percentage of Aussies drinking to excess dropped to 17.1% in 2016, compared to 2013’s 18.2%.
The group with the most people exceeding the regular drink levels the National Health and Medical Research Council set is the 55-64 year age group.
The NHMRC recommends no more than two drinks on any given day, and no more than four on occasions to avoid alcohol-related injury.
Currently, the guidelines are under review, with the AU set to unveil a new national alcohol strategy, which has been delayed to late in 2019.