There was a downward trend in the proportion of adults who drank alcohol in the last week, which fell from 67% in 1998 to 54% in 2019. The proportions of children who had ever drunk alcohol fell over the same period.
Adults who have drunk alcohol in the last week
Source: NHS Digital
Base: Adults aged 16 and over
Notes: Alcohol has become more affordable over time. Between 2009 and 2019, the price of alcohol increased by 5% relative to retail prices, whilst real disposable income per adult increased by 7% over the same period. For more details see here.
Year-on-year fluctuations may not indicate real changes and can be within the margins of sampling error. We comment only on the changes that are more likely to reflect a real change.