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Apparent alcohol consumption up first time in 9 years

Apparent consumption1 of alcohol per person2 has increased for the first time in nine years, according to data released by the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

“In 2015-16, there were 189 million litres of pure alcohol3 available for consumption4, which is 9.7 litres for every person in Australia aged 15 years and over,” said Louise Gates, ABS Director of Health Statistics. “This is the first time the annual figure has increased since 2006-07.

“This is contrary to the long-term trend where the pure alcohol consumption per capita has dropped from 12.9 litres per person in 1975-76 to 9.7 litres in 2015-16.

“The main contributor to the rise in pure alcohol available for consumption per person was beer which also increased for the first time in nine years to 3.9 litres of pure alcohol per person aged 15 years and over.

“In 2015-16, beer represented 40 per cent of all pure alcohol available for consumption, a slight increase from 39 per cent in 2014-15, although still a decrease over recent decades from 45 per cent in 2005-06 and 54 per cent in 1995-96.”

  1. Estimates of ‘apparent consumption’ are obtained from information related to supply (for example, excise data on alcohol produced for domestic consumption, and data on imports) and do not represent actual consumption.
  2. No account is taken of changes in stocks, duty-free alcohol imported by individual overseas travellers, or for alcohol that has been stored or cellared, used in the preparation of food or discarded as waste.
  3. ‘Pure alcohol’ is the content of an alcoholic beverage that is alcohol – for example a ‘standard drink’ consists of 12.5 ml of pure alcohol.
  4. All alcohol available for consumption in a particular year is assumed to have been consumed in that year.

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