Underage drinking falls to lowest levels on record

23 July, 2015

Underage drinking levels are at their lowest level since records began in 1988, according to Government statistics published today.

The Health and Social Care Information Centre surveys schoolchildren every year and has reported a continuing decline in underage drinking.

This year it surveyed 6,173 pupils aged 11-15 from 210 schools across the UK and found that the number of youngsters that had consumed alcohol had fallen to 38%.

It is the lowest figure on record and a drop from 62% in 1988, when the government first began recording this data.

It also revealed that the number of 11 to 15-year-olds that had drunk in the last week fell to 8%, a vast drop since its 1996 peak of 25%, while the number of pupils that said they drink every week had fallen to a record low of 4%.

The The Wine and Spirit Trade Association said it was “welcome and reassuring news”.

Chief executive Miles Beale said: “The investment by the drinks industry in initiatives like Challenge 25 and Community Alcohol Partnerships has helped to contribute to this trend and has helped to change the British culture around the acceptability of underage drinking.

“However, we must not – and will not – be complacent. While this is welcome progress, there is more to do. Our industry is committed to continued investment in measures that will maintain this trend in the future.”

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