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What Age Group Drinks The Most Alcohol? Answered (2024)

What age group drinks the most alcohol?

According to a national survey conducted in 2019, a whopping 85 percent of people aged 18 and older have reported that they had drunk alcohol at one point in their lives — that’s around 17 adults out of 20. But what age group drinks the most alcohol? Answered (2024) We’ll break down the math and tell you about it here. 

What Age Group Drinks the Most Alcohol?Most Alcoholic Age Group in the US A Gallup Poll survey on adults’ Consumption Habits showed that many factors, like age and gender, influence one’s drinking habits.

Younger people are more likely to drink than older people, and men are more inclined to have a tipple than women. [1

While many people may have reported having had a drink sometime in their lives, only 43 percent of them had consumed five or more drinks within the past month, averaging fewer than three servings per week. 

Here’s something that stays consistent, however — men tend to drink more than women, no matter which age group they’re in. 

A Closer Look at What Age Group Drinks the Most Alcohol?

A Closer Look 

Underage 

  • A 2019 National Drug Strategy Household Survey in Australia revealed that 2.8 percent of underage teenagers (around 14 to 17-year-olds) drank weekly.
  • While this number may seem small, it is still illegal for kids this age to be seen with alcohol, and it’s best to encourage them to practice responsible drinking (if we can’t completely prevent them). [2]
  • The same survey revealed that around 66 percent of teens in this age group have never had a full serving of alcohol, so that’s great news.

Adults

Adults
  • Adults over 18 years old make up the bulk of alcohol consumption.
  • In a National Health Interview Survey conducted last 2018, around 66.3 percent of adults consumed alcohol within the past year.
  • Of those who said they drank, 45.7 percent of them engaged in light drinking (three or fewer drinks per week), 15.5 percent moderate drinking (around four to seven drinks per week), and 33.7 percent did not indulge in alcohol at all.
  • Adults who were regularly upset, anxious, and depressed were twice as likely to engage in drinking more than usual compared to those who didn’t often have these feelings. 

Elderly

  • The University of Michigan surveyed several adults aged 50 to 80 on Healthy Aging.
  • 67 percent — about two in three adults — reported drinking alcohol within the past year.
  • Of those 67 percent who said they drank, 42 percent said they did so monthly or less often.
  • The majority of them revealed that they drank because they enjoyed the alcohol’s taste (around 50 percent), were in a social gathering (49 percent), or wanted to relax (38 percent).

What Age Group Drinks the Most Alcohol? Main Causes

Main Causes For Alcoholism Across Various Age Groups Family History

Believe it or not, family history plays a huge role in alcoholism.

Some people have a strong impulse to drink often and a lot, and it’s said there is a link between alcoholism and genetics/physiology.

Scientists have revealed that at least 51 genes in various chromosomes make one more susceptible to alcoholism, which can be passed down through generations. 

Early Age Drinking

Early Age Drinking

Early age drinking and other environmental factors can also contribute greatly to alcoholism.

If you were exposed to alcohol at a young age or have seen your parents drink on occasion, you are more likely to develop alcoholism as an adult because you’ll tend to look at it as a pretty normal part of life. 

Early binge drinking, especially as a teenager, can also develop into full-blown alcoholism, but of course, alcoholism can occur at any age. 

Peer Pressure

People who spend most of their time with frequent drinkers are often inclined to join in the “fun” or else be teased and branded as a killjoy.

Those starting college or a new job will often have a strong desire to fit in and be well-liked among others and will probably partake in alcohol even though they previously didn’t.

Before you know it, they’ll be present in most happy hour gatherings and begin associating fun with alcohol, which signals an impending alcohol abuse problem. But what percentage of Americans consume alcohol?

Stress

Stress

It’s normal to want something that relaxes us whenever we’re faced with stressful situations, like long work hours and dealing with strenuous tasks.

It becomes problematic when alcohol becomes our relaxant, as what happens with many of those who become dependent on it.

It’s important for us to find ways to destress without having to turn to alcohol or other addicting substances. 

Related Posts:

What age group consumes the most alcohol?

Generally, young adults aged 18 to 25 tend to consume the most alcohol. This demographic often engages in social activities where alcohol is readily available, such as parties, college events, and nightlife.

Why do young adults drink more alcohol?

Factors contributing to higher alcohol consumption among young adults include social pressure, peer influence, stress relief, curiosity, and a desire to fit in with their peers. Additionally, the legal drinking age in many countries falls within this age range, making access to alcohol easier.

Are there differences in alcohol consumption among age groups?

Yes, there are significant differences. While young adults may consume alcohol more frequently, older adults may have more moderate drinking habits. Factors such as lifestyle changes, responsibilities, health concerns, and cultural norms can influence alcohol consumption patterns across different age groups.

What are the risks of heavy alcohol consumption among young adults?

Heavy alcohol consumption among young adults can lead to various health and social consequences, including alcohol poisoning, accidents, impaired judgment, risky behaviors, addiction, academic or professional problems, and long-term health issues such as liver disease, cardiovascular problems, and neurological damage.

How can alcohol consumption among young adults be reduced?

Strategies to reduce alcohol consumption among young adults include implementing stricter alcohol policies and regulations, increasing awareness about the risks of excessive drinking, promoting healthier coping mechanisms for stress, providing education on responsible alcohol use, and offering alternative social activities that do not involve alcohol.

Is binge drinking common among young adults?

Yes, binge drinking, which is defined as consuming a large amount of alcohol in a short period with the intention of becoming intoxicated, is relatively common among young adults. This behavior poses significant health risks and is associated with accidents, injuries, and long-term health problems.

What role do parents and educators play in addressing alcohol consumption among young adults?

Parents and educators play crucial roles in educating young adults about responsible alcohol use, setting positive examples, and fostering open communication about the risks associated with excessive drinking. Providing support, guidance, and resources can help young adults make healthier choices regarding alcohol consumption.

Conclusion 

Young adults aged 18 to 24 years old have the highest rate of alcohol consumption among other age groups — statistics show that 63 percent of them have had a drink sometime in the recent past. 

This can be attributed to the fact that many from this age group go through some form of life upheaval at this age, whether that’s going off to college, starting a new job, or moving away from home.

They can and will cling onto anything (in this case, alcohol) that can give them a semblance of stability. 

Those over 50 were also inclined to have a drink or two occasionally. 43 percent of them said they had a drink once a month or even less often. 

References: 

  1. https://news.gallup.com/poll/353858/alcohol-consumption-low-end-recent-readings.aspx
  2. https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/illicit-use-of-drugs/national-drug-strategy-household-survey-2019/contents/summary
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