Between 2009 and 2010 the percentage of 11 to 15-year-olds who had tried alcohol fell from 51% to 45%.
WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles said: “The increase in the number of young people who have never drunk alcohol and the fact that those who do drink appear to be drinking less, continues the recent trend of declining underage consumption. It is particularly welcome that young people are themselves becoming less tolerant of drinking amongst their peers.
“It suggests the message about the risks of under-age drinking is getting through, which is why the industry continues to invest millions of pounds in a campaign to change attitudes to alcohol misuse.”
Diageo GB managing director Simon Litherland said: “It is encouraging to see that young people’s drinking continues to fall in line with the adult population over the last eight years.
“We continue to see that parents’ attitudes are crucial in whether young people choose to drink or not and that the attitudes of the young people themselves are becoming less tolerant towards drunkenness. We hope to see this pattern continuing over the next few years.”