National Drug Strategy
National Drug Strategy

Australian secondary school students' use of tobacco, alcohol, and over-the-counter and illicit substances in 2011

4.2 Type of alcohol consumed

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Current drinkers were asked to indicate what alcoholic drink they usually have. The drink types most commonly consumed by current drinkers are shown in Table 4.3 for males and females in the two age groups 12 to 15 years and 16 to 17 years. Only data from current drinkers who indicated that they consumed one type of drink were included in this analysis (this was 73.9% of all 12- to 17- year-old current drinkers).

Table 4.3: Drink types most commonly consumed by current drinkers^†, Australia, 2011

12 to 15 years

Beverage type
Males
(%)
Females
(%)
Total
(%)
Premixed spirits
32.8
37.7
35.0
Spirits
21.4
32.9
26.5
Beer (ordinary)
23.5
5.5
15.6
Wine
8.6
8.0
8.3
Low alcohol beer
5.4
3.2
4.4
Alcoholic sodas
1.8
2.7
2.2
Champagne or sparkling wine
1.3
4.9
2.9
Liqueurs
1.7
3.3
2.4
Alcoholic cider
1.1
1.0
1.1
Other
2.4
0.9
1.8

16 to 17 years

Beverage type
Males
(%)
Females
(%)
Total
(%)
Premixed spirits
27.1
49.2
37.9
Spirits
25.9
28.4
27.1
Beer (ordinary)
35.1
2.9
19.4
Wine
4.9
7.8
6.4
Low alcohol beer
2.0
0.4
1.2
Alcoholic sodas
0.8
3.4
2.0
Champagne or sparkling wine
0.0
2.6
1.3
Liqueurs
0.6
2.7
1.6
Alcoholic cider
2.9
1.9
2.4
Other
0.7
0.7
0.7

Total

Beverage type
Males
(%)
Females
(%)
Total
(%)
Premixed spirits
29.8
44.4
36.60
Spirits
23.8
30.3
26.8
Beer (ordinary)
29.7
4.0
17.7
Wine
6.6
7.9
7.2
Low alcohol beer
3.6
1.6
2.6
Alcoholic sodas
1.2
3.1
2.1
Champagne or sparkling wine
0.6
3.6
2.0
Liqueurs
1.1
2.9
2.0
Alcoholic cider
2.1
1.5
1.8
Other
1.5
0.8
1.2

^ Current drinkers: students who drank on any of the past seven days.
† Percentages exclude responses from students who gave more than one type of drink.

Across all age groups, 37% of current drinkers indicated they drank premixed spirits and 27% indicated they consumed spirits that were not premixed.

The consumption of premixed spirits was significantly more common among females than males among 16- and 17-year-olds (p<0.01), but this gender difference was not observed in the younger age group.

The consumption of spirits was significantly more common among females thanmales among 12- to 15-year-olds (p<0.01), but not in the older age group.

In both age groups, males were more likely than females to drink beer (p<0.01). Males and females were equally likely to drink wine across both age groups. Less than 12% of all 12- to 17-year-old current drinkers reported to drink the other drink types.

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