Drinking in New Zealand

In 2017/18, almost 4 in every 5 New Zealand adults (78.7%) drank alcohol in the past year.

  • 82.9% of males and 74.8% of females were past-year drinkers.

In relation to hazardous drinking (8 points or more on the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)), in 2017/18:

  • around 775,000 NZ adults were hazardous drinkers (19.8% of New Zealand adults 15 years and above)
  • more than one-third (38.1%) of young men (aged 18 to 24 years) were hazardous drinkers
  • males (27.3%) were twice as likely as females (12.7%) to be hazardous drinkers
  • young adults aged 18 to 24 years had the highest rate (17%) of weekly heavy drinking (six or more drinks standard drinks on one occasion)
  • Whilst 18 to 24 year olds maintain the highest (31.7%) prevalence of hazardous drinking in the country, hazardous drinking patterns remain prevalent throughout older age groups in New Zealand, particularly among men.
Almost 1 in 5 New Zealanders have a drinking pattern that places them and/or others at risk of harm

Check the following topics to learn more about drinking trends in New Zealand

   

What we drink

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Drinking in the past year

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Trends in hazardous drinking

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Drinking trends in adolescents

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Drinking trends in older adults

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