In 2020/21, around 4 in every 5 New Zealand adults (78.5%) drank alcohol in the past year. This equates to 3,248,000 adults aged 15 years or over.
More males (81.8%) reported drinking in the past year than females (75.2%). Click here to see the full results from the large New Zealand Health Survey.
Comparison between subgroups (adjusted by age/sex /ethnic group)
The 2020/21 New Zealand Health Survey found that:
- Men were 9% more likely to drink than women
- Pacific people (total) were 21% less likely to drink than non-Pacific people, and
- Pacific women were 31% less likely to be past-year drinkers than non-Pacific women
- Asian people (total) were significantly 36% less likely to drink than non-Asian people (total)
- Asian men were 26% less likely to be past-year drinkers than non-Asian men
- and Asian females were 47% less likely to be past-year drinkers than non-Asian women,
- Men/women living in the most deprived neighbourhoods were 15% less likely to drink in the past-year than men/women living in the least deprived neighbourhoods
Changes in past-year drinking over time
Past-year drinking in the total New Zealand adult population significantly decreased between 2006/07 and 2011/12 (79.4%), stabilised until 2017/18 (78.9%), and then significantly increased between 2017/18 and 2018/19 (80.6%).
In 2020/21, the overall prevalence of past-year drinking (78.5%) was significantly lower than in 2019/20 (81.6%) and had returned to around the level of past-year drinking in 2011/12. As this is a single, one-off reduction, we will need to wait to see future surveys to determine any real trend.
Compared to the previous year (2019/20), significant reductions were found among the following groups:
• The total population (from 81.6% in 2019/20 to 78.5% in 2020/21)
• Total population of men (from 84.7% to 81.8%) and total population of women (from 78.5% to 75.2%)
• Persons aged 25-34 years (from 84.0% to 79.2%)
• Persons aged 35-44 years (from 84.6% to 80.7%)
• Persons aged 45-54 years (from 86.1% to 81.8% )
• Persons aged 65-74 years (from 78.1% to 73.4% )
• Total Asian population (from 65.5% to 56.3%) and Asian women (from 55.1% to 44.6%)
• Total non-disabled population (from 82.4% to 79.5%) and non-disabled men (from 85.5% to 82.5%)
As these are single, one-off reductions, we will need to wait to see future surveys to determine any real trend.
No significant reductions were found among Māori, Pacific persons (although some significant differences (increases) in past-year drinking were found in comparisons with other years) and Europeans/Others.
|DATASET: NZ HEALTH SURVEY 2020/21||GRAPHS: PAST-YEAR DRINKING SUBSET|