• The proportion of children who reported ever having had a proper alcoholic drink increased with age, from 4% of boys aged 8 to 53% of boys aged 15, and from 2% of girls aged 8 to 54% of girls aged 15. Overall, 16% of boys and 15% of girls aged 8 to 15 reported having experience of drinking alcohol. This is the lowest level ever reported by the Health Survey for England, down from 45% in 2003.
  • Regular drinking in this age group was rare. 1% of boys and 1% of girls aged 8 to 15 reported usually drinking once a week or more. The proportion who reported drinking at least once a week increased from fewer than 1% of both boys and girls aged 8 to 5% of boys and 4% of girls aged 15.
  • 5% of both boys and girls aged 13 to 15 reported drinking alcohol in the last seven days. Boys were more likely than girls to have drunk beer, lager, cider or shandy (5% compared with 3%), whereas girls were more likely than boys to have drunk wine (2% compared with 1%). 

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