The Sober Myth: Are Young Adults Really a Generation of Non-Drinkers?
This report compares the drinking habits of young adults, aged 18 to 24, with the rest of the population to discover whether young adults really are a generation of non-drinkers.
In recent years, there have been numerous reports about young adults, aged 18 to 24, being a generation of non-drinkers.1,2,3 However, the increase in non-drinking among this age group does not necessarily reveal the full story.
This report uses data from a series of Drinkaware Monitors from 2017 to 2023 to explore the drinking behaviours of young adults to determine whether they really are a generation of non-drinkers.
What did we find?
- Young adults are more likely to be non-drinkers (21% vs 13%) compared to the rest of the population.
- Young adult drinkers are also more likely to binge drink (74% vs 63%) and drink at high risk or possible dependent levels (11% vs 6%) compared to drinkers aged 25 and over.
- Young adult drinkers are most likely to drink on an evening or night out with friends (84%) but least likely to drink at home alone (43%).
- One in five young adults drink for reasons associated with coping most of the time or always (19%).
- Young adult drinkers are more likely to screen positive for anxiety or depression compared to drinkers aged 25 and over (43% vs 26%).
For more information, you can download the full report below.