For information on the prevalence of hazardous drinking, click the button HAZARDOUS DRINKING
Comparison between subgroup (adjusted by age/sex/ethnic group):
- Males were 2.1 times more likely to drink hazardously than females
- Māori males were 1.4 times more likely to drink hazardously than non-Māori males
- Māori females were 2.1 times more likely to drink hazardously than non-Māori females
- New Zealanders living in the most deprived neighbourhoods were 1.2 times more likely to drink hazardously than those in the least deprived
- Asian males were 73% less likely and Asian females were 87% less likely than non-Asian males and females to drink hazardously
Trends over time
As noted, changes in the NZ Health Survey only permit comparisons in hazardous drinking between the following surveys:
Overall changes in hazardous drinking
From 2006/07 to 2011/12, the proportion of adults classified as hazardous drinkers significantly decreased from 18.0% to 14.9%. Large reductions were noted in adolescents and young adults. By 2015/16, most of the positive reductions made between 2006/07 and 2011/12 had been lost (except among young people). Rather, many groups had a higher prevalence of hazardous drinking in 2015/16 than in 2006/07 (i.e. Māori women, European/other, middle-aged and older-aged adults).
Since 2015/16, the overall prevalence of hazardous drinking has stabilised in the overall population - from 20.8% in 2015/16 to 20% in 2018/19. During this period, no significant changes in hazardous drinking have occurred in any group characterised by age, sex, or ethnicity.
Women are becoming a higher proportion of hazardous drinkers
The proportion of all hazardous drinkers that are women increased from 28.5% in 2011/12 to 31.6% in 2015/16.
Significantly more Māori women are drinking hazardously in 2015/16 (29.4%) than in 2006/07 (24.2%). From 2015/16 and onwards, there have been no significant changes in hazardous drinking in Māori women in the past four years of comparable surveys (i.e. 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2018/19).
Trends over time by age-groups
By age, 15-34 years
From 2006/07 to 2011/12, large reductions in hazardous drinking were noted in adolescents (15-17 year olds) and young adults (18-24 year olds). Both groups maintained their lower levels of hazardous drinking, and by 2015/16 the prevalence of hazardous drinking was significantly lower when compared to 2006/07. However, the prevalence remained unacceptably high. Click this button for more information on TRENDS IN ADOLESCENT DRINKING.
35 years and over
Older groups moved in a different direction. Following declines in hazardous drinking between 2006/07 and 2011/12, the prevalence of hazardous drinking increased from 2011/12 to 2015/16. These increases were substantial among the age-group of 45-54 years, 55-64 years and 65-74 years.
Therefore, all of the positive reductions in drinking that had been achieved between 2006/07 and 2011/12 were lost by 2015/16. Of particular concern, the level of increase was so great that some age groups (35-44yrs, 45-54yrs, 65-74yrs) had significantly higher levels of hazardous drinking in 2015/2016 than in 2006/07.
Click this button for more information on DRINKING TRENDS IN OLDER ADULTS
Trends in hazardous drinking have stabilised in the past four years of comparable surveys (i.e. 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2018/19).
Trends over time by ethnic groups and neighbourhood deprivation
Persistent inequities remain for Māori and deprived population. From 2006/07 to 2011/12, the proportion of hazardous drinkers decreased in most of the ethnic groups. By 2015/16, the positive reductions made between 2006/07 and 2011/12 had been lost. Hazardous drinking among Māori women significantly increased in 2015/16 when compared to 2006/07.
The ratio of inequity in hazardous drinking is the highest for Māori women and for women living in neighbourhoods with high deprivation (in comparison to the relevant reference group).