Skip To Content

    7 Charts About British Drinking That You Might Not Expect

    Young people are so distressingly well-behaved these days.

    The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released the latest data on how Britain drinks. A lot of it isn't exactly what you might expect.


    The data is from 2014, and is based on interviews from a sample of 2,000 households across Britain.

    1. For instance, older people are bigger drinkers than young people.

    ONS / BuzzFeed / Via

    People aged 16 to 24 are the least likely to have drunk at all in the last week, and the least likely to have drunk several times in the last week.

    2. Similarly, better-educated people tend to drink more often than the rest of the population.

    ONS / BuzzFeed / Via

    Note: For simplicity, we haven't included the stats for people with ONCs, BTECs, and other non-standard qualifications.

    3. And bosses tend to drink more than the people who work for them.

    ONS / BuzzFeed / Via

    4. In general, people who are better off drink more than poorer people.

    ONS / BuzzFeed / Via

    No doubt that's partly because they can afford to, of course.

    5. Smug marrieds drink more than singletons.

    ONS / BuzzFeed / Via

    Proving that Bridget Jones's Diary is not 100% statistically accurate.

    6. Londoners drink more frequently than Scots.

    ONS / BuzzFeed / Via

    Although it's worth noting that Scots are more likely both to have drunk, and to have drunk a large amount, at least once in the previous week.

    7. And young people are getting more abstemious.

    ONS / BuzzFeed / Via

    In case you think the kids are going to hell in a handcart – they're actually much less likely to drink regularly than their parents were.

    Tom Chivers is a science writer for BuzzFeed and is based in London.

    Contact Tom Chivers at

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here