Drinking in the past year

In 2017/18, almost 4 in every 5 New Zealand adults (78.7% or around 3,082,00 adults) drank alcohol in the past year.

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

For information on the prevalence of past year drinking, click the button PAST-YEAR DRINKING

Comparison between subgroup (adjusted by age / sex / ethnic group):

  • Men were significantly more likely to drink than women.
  • Māori women were significantly more likely to drink than non-Māori women.
  • Pacific men/women were significantly less likely to drink than non-Pacific men/women.
  • Asian men/women were significantly less likely to drink than non-Asian men/women.
  • Men/women living in the most deprived neighbourhoods were significantly less likely to drink than men/women living in the least deprived neighbourhoods.

Changes in past-year drinking over time

There have been significant declines in past-year drinking, among most demographic (age, sex, ethnicity) groups in New Zealand. These reductions were particularly evident between 2006/07 and 2011/12, and especially among 15-17 year olds (from 74.5% in 2006/07 to 59.6% in 2011/12).

From 2011/12 onwards, this lower prevalence of drinking has been maintained. In 2017/18, the following groups had a significantly lower prevalence of drinking than in 2006/07: New Zealand total population; New Zealand men; New Zealand women; those aged 15-17 years, 18-24 years, 25-34 years, 55-64 years, 75+ years; Māori men; Pacific men; men of European/other ethnicity; women of European/other ethnicity. Compared to the previous survey, a significant reduction in past-year drinking was observed among Pacific men (from 71.3% in 2016/17 to 60.0% in 2017/18).


DRINKING IN NEW ZEALAND