Christopher Chan

Hard to believe, but we're now boozing less

AUSTRALIANS are hitting the bottle less than at any time in the past 50 years, a study by the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed.

ABS director of health statistics Louise Gates said an average of 9.7 litres of pure alcohol had been consumed by Australians aged 15 and over in the 2013-14 financial year - the lowest since the early 1960s.

The traditional fixation on beer is also on the decline, with wine nipping at the heels of the country's most guzzled inebriant.

"Fifty years ago, beer made up three-quarters of all alcohol consumed, but now makes up under half at 41%," Ms Gates said.

"Wine's share has increased over the same period from 12% to 38%."

Aussie tipplers sank 270 million litres of white wine in the period compared with 190 million litres of red.

Full-strength remains the most popular type of beer, accounting for about three-quarters of all sales.

Spirit-drinking increased to 19% of all alcohol sold - up 6% on 50 years ago - and cider, at 2%, accounted for a small but growing proportion.


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