Look, Australians love their alcohol, so much so we’re ranked well within the top 20 drunkest countries in the world. So it’s a bit of a surprise to know that pearl-clutching baby boomers are bigger boozehounds than millennials ever were.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we as a country guzzled down 185.8 million litres between 2016-17 compared to the 188.2 million litres between 2015-16.
In fact, our drinking levels are at their lowest since 1961-62 so not only are you opting for coffee over booze, your nan and pop have definitely necked more six-packs back in the day than you ever have.
Breaking down the stats further, the decrease in alcohol consumption for Australians isn’t because we’re favouring one type of drink over the other either. Beer (which is the leading type of booze), wine, cider, spirits and ready-to-drink pre-mixes have all dropped in popularity compared to previous years.
As for how much millennials are drinking compared to boomers, the average Australian over 15 years old during the 2016-17 period is knocking back “only” 9.4 litres of alcohol a year. In real-world maths, that’s:
- 224 stubbies of beer
- 38 bottles of wine
- 17 bottles of cider
- 4 bottles of spirits, and
- 33 cans of premixed spirits
Take into account the one in five Aussies who don’t drink at all, it’s still a decent amount of grog. However, that’s nothing compared to the 13.1 litres of alcohol Aussies were necking every year back in the peak period of 1974-75.
So in short, not only are millennials not the boozehounds they might think they are but they would get drunk under the table by their boomer counterparts.
That being said, the stats did reveal an interesting shift in alcohol choice. Despite our love of a good beer, these days we’re moving towards wine, which trailed beer as the second most popular bevvy by less than one percent in terms of total alcohol consumed in 2016-17 (39.2% vs 38.3%).
So why are we drinking less these days? Rising grog prices and health reasons are a big part but Michael Thorn, CEO of the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education, says young people are starting to drink later and end up drinking less. Some even end up being abstainers well into their 20s.
At least when someone is being an arsehole to you, you’re more likely to know that it’s their actual personality and not something that comes out when they’re all liquored up.
So to all those boomers telling millennials that they’re being drunk and irresponsible and how much better they were back in the day, they can shove it up their beer glass.