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Among drinkers aged 16 to 24 years, 37.3% reported binge drinking on their heaviest drinking day in 2016 compared with just 10.3% of drinkers aged above the age of 65 years.
Finding generally higher levels of binge drinking among those aged 16 to 24 years could be due to the data capturing those who tend to drink a lot on a Friday or Saturday night and then not much else during the rest of the week.
The difference in percentage of those who drank in the previous week could be due to the characteristics of those in each income group.
For example, women were less likely to drink alcohol in the previous week than men but made up a higher proportion (67.5%) of the drinkers in the lowest income group.
Focusing on those in the population who drank alcohol (around 29 million people), 26.8% of adults (around 7.8 million people) in 2016 “binged” on their heaviest drinking day prior to interview.Since 2005, there has been around a 2 percentage points increase in the number of people stating that they do not drink alcohol at all (that is, teetotallers).In 2016, of all people 20.9% (around 10.6 million people in the population) said that they did not drink alcohol.Across time, there has been a similar reduction in the number of those who drank on 5 days or more in the week prior to interview.In 2016, in Great Britain 9.6% of adults (around 4.9 million people in the population) drank alcohol on 5 or more days.
It is likely that the data reported here underestimate drinking levels to some extent.