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5 Graphs That Show How Britons Are Increasingly Giving Up Booze

Official figures shows the UK is kicking its booze habit. And young people are really staying away from the drink.

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According to a new government statistics released on Friday, Britain is an increasingly sober place.


New analysis by the Office for National Statistics shows how the UK is becoming an increasingly sober country, with young people more likely to stay off drink than every before. Although there may be a variety of cultural and religious reasons for the change, the main trend is clear: drunks are getting rarer.

1. First up, the percentage of Britons who say they're completely teetotal is on the rise. And young people are largely responsible for this change.


According to the ONS, the proportion of completely sober young adults aged 16 to 24 increased by 40% between 2005 and 2013.

Basically, the stereotype of British kids getting steadily pissed on White Lightning in the park is probably out of date. They're now as sober as pensioners.

2. Rates of binge drinking are also plummeting among young people.


The graph shows it's people aged 25-44 who are more likely to get completely pissed on a regular basis. Meanwhile, young people are increasingly teetotal.

Now, binge drinking has a technical definition, which some may disagree with: the government defines it as men who drink more than eight units of alcohol on a night out, or women who drink more than six units. That's about three or four cans of lager for men.

But according to this measure, binge drinking is falling. Either way, Britons are increasingly less likely to be properly drunk on any given night.

3. Meanwhile the number of perma-drunks in British society is also falling. Students just aren't drunk all the time.


This is the percentage of young adults aged 16-24 who drank on five days in the week before their interview with the ONS has been consistently falling. It was 7% in 2005, now it's just 2%.

The age of the undergraduate propping up the bar every night of the week may be over.


5. While Scotland remains the centre of binge drinking!


Congratulations Scotland, over a third of your adult population goes binge drinking every week.

Meanwhile, just a fifth of people in the West Midlands do the same.

Jim Waterson is a politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Jim Waterson at

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