England drinks alcohol more often than anywhere else in Britain

Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 2:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 3:43 pm

More adults regularly drink alcohol in England than anywhere else in Great Britain, according to a new self-reported study.

Overall, 57.8 per cent of respondents based in England said they had consumed alcohol during the previous week. Scotland came in second with 53.5 per cent, followed by Wales at 50 per cent.

The South West is home to England's most frequent drinkers

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Within England, the South West of the country had the highest proportion of regular drinkers, with a total of 61.4 per cent acknowledging that they had consumed alcohol the week prior to being surveyed. The South East was close behind, with 61.1 per cent.

Yorkshire and The Humber had a similarly high number of drinkers (60.7 per cent).

The South West of England is home to the most frequent drinkers, according to recent data (Photo: Shutterstock)

Further north, the percentages in the North East and North West were slightly lower (54.6 and 56.1 per cent respectively), while the East Midlands was home to more drinkers than the West (57.5 per cent compared to 55 per cent).

The East of England fell at the lower end of the scale, with 56.7 per cent of respondents there admitting to consuming alcohol the week before the survey. And in London, 55.3 per cent of people drank alcohol - a relatively low proportion in England, but still higher than Scotland or Wales.

Yorkshire is home to England's worst binge drinkers

Interestingly, despite the high number of regular drinkers in England, survey respondents in Scotland and Wales were more prone to binge drinking. Only 26.2 per cent of people drank more than six to eight on their heaviest drinking day in England, compared to 37.3 per cent in Scotland and 30.4 per cent in Wales.

Proportion (%) of drinkers who exceeded 6/8 units on their heaviest drinking day, areas of Great Britain, 2017 (Image: ONS)

Residents in Yorkshire and The Humber were most prone to binge drinking, with 19.1 per cent of drinkers reporting excessive consumption. The North West was not far behind at 18.7 per cent.

The South East was home to the smallest proportion of binge drinkers, with a proportion of just 11.4 per cent exceeding the recommended amount of alcohol.

More than 10 million people in Great Britain are teetotal

Around 7,100 people in Great Britain over the age of 16 were asked about their drinking habits in 2017 for this new report, released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The study was self-reported, meaning that participants provided information about their alcohol consumption with no formal checks in place.

The survey findings state that 57 per cent of respondents drank alcohol in 2017, equating to 29.2 million people. On the opposite end of the scale, 20.4 per cent of those who took part (10.4 million people) did not drink alcohol at all.

Scots are more likely to binge than their British counterparts according to the ONS (Photo: Shutterstock)

The latest government guidelines recommend that individuals should not regularly consumer more than 14 units of alcohol per week, and that these units should be spread over three or more days.

Young people drink less while high earners drink more

Young people aged between 16 and 24 are less likely to drink than any other age group, although their consumption on their heaviest drinking day tends to be higher than that of other ages.

High earners and those working in managerial and professional occupations proved most likely to say they had consumed alcohol in the past week.

Men drink more than women

When looking at the data with regard to gender, 61.9 per cent of men and 52.4 per cent of women drank alcohol in the week prior to interview, suggesting that men drink more than women.

However, as the information is self-reported, it is possible that female respondents did not feel comfortable disclosing their true drinking habits due to social pressure.

Main image: Shutterstock