Part Six: Alcohol consumption

Milan DinicResearch Manager
April 20, 2022, 9:22 AM GMT+0

Eight in ten Britons aged 18 and above (82%) say they drink alcohol.

The study finds that 6% of British adults above have an alcoholic drink every day, while another 4% drink five or six days a week. One in seven (14%) drink on three or four days out of the week, 23% drink alcohol on one or two days, while one in three (33%) say they have alcohol less often (but do still drink).

The gender breakdown shows that 8% of British men have an alcoholic drink every day, while this applies to 5% of women.

Overall, one in five (18%) people in the UK don’t drink alcohol, including 15% of men and 21% of women. This gender divide is particularly pronounced among men and women over 40.

Among British alcohol consumers, a third (36%) drink wine most often, three in ten (29%) drink beer, a fifth (20%) have spirits and 9% prefer cider, the YouGov Food Study finds.

Women are more likely than men to prefer wine (48% vs 24%) and spirits (25% vs 15%), while for men the drink of choice is beer (47% vs 11% of women).

The age breakdown of the results shows that among 18-24-year-olds spirits are the most popular type of drink (28%), while among 25-39-year-olds it’s beer (34%). Wine is the favourite drink for both those in their 40s and 50s (37%) and those who are aged 60 and older (48%).

Around one in five Britons who drink alcohol (17%) say they are now drinking more alcohol than before the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020, while three in ten (29%) say they’re drinking less. Half (51%) say their alcohol consumption habits are the same now as before the pandemic began in the UK.

The study also looked at whether Britons who drink alcohol would have an alcoholic drink if they were meeting with someone socially at a pub or restaurant in the evening.

Among alcohol drinkers, over four in ten (44%) say they would order an alcoholic drink regardless of whether the person they’re with does the same. While this applies to half of men who drink (53%), only a third (36%) of women who drink say the same (going down to 24% among 18-24-year-old women).

Three in ten British drinkers (31%) would have alcohol only if the other person does. This is more the case among women (36% overall, including 43% of women under 40) than men (25%).

Results show that 16% of alcohol-drinking Britons would not have an alcoholic drink if they were meeting someone socially at all. This applies to 13% of men and 20% of women.

See full results here

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