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Booze news: Australians’ alcohol habits by age

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2014 – December 2014 (n=18,133). Base: Australians 18+

Last year, 68% of Australian adults drank alcohol in any given four-week period, with the average volume consumed over this time being 23.6 glasses per person. The most popular place for partaking was at home and, contrary to popular stereotypes, Australians aged under 30 were slightly less likely to drink than those aged 30 and older.

The latest findings from Roy Morgan Research show that 66% of Aussies aged between 18 and 29 drink alcohol in any given weeks, compared with 69% of those aged 30 and older.

The older age group’s higher drinking incidence appears to be the result of their enthusiasm for a glass of vino: nearly half (48%) of Aussies aged 30+ drink wine in an average four weeks, compared with less than a third (32%) of under-30s.

Alcohol consumption by age: under-30 vs 30+


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), January 2014 – December 2014 (n=18,133). Base: Australians 18+

When it comes to other alcoholic beverages, however, the under-30s tend to out-drink their elders. They are more than twice as likely as the 30+ group to drink Ready-to-Drinks/RTDs (20% vs 8%), cider (20% vs 8%), white spirits (22% vs 9%) and rum (10% vs 4%) in an average four weeks, and are also ahead on beer (39% vs 36%) and dark spirits (21% vs 17%).

Very little separates the two age groups in terms of number of glasses drunk in any given four-week period, with the under-30s consuming an average of 24.21 glasses and those aged 30+ just behind them on 23.47 glasses.

Angela Smith, Group Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“Young people are often portrayed as binge-drinkers in the media, but our latest data shows that slightly more Australians aged 30 and older drink alcohol in an average four weeks than their younger counterparts. However, it should be noted that this result primarily reflects the comparatively high proportion of Australians 30+ who consume wine.

“In contrast, the under-30s are much more likely to drink most other alcohol types. Rum is an interesting example, with brands like Sailor Jerry and Kraken raising their profile among this demographic recently with their youth-focused, hipsterised branding and increased availability in nightclubs and bars.

“While the most popular place for both age groups to partake is in the comfort of their own home, Aussies under 30 are much likelier than those aged 30+ to drink ‘on premises’ (in licensed venues such as nightclubs, pubs and festivals).

“To remain competitive in today’s crowded alcohol market, beverage marketers and licensed premises need to have a detailed knowledge of the demographics, attitudes and activities of their target market so they can tailor their communications accordingly.”

For comments or more information please contact:
Roy Morgan - Enquiries
Office: +61 (03) 9224 5309

About Roy Morgan

Roy Morgan is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices throughout Australia, as well as in Indonesia, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate


25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%