Current data show a sharp decline in youth drinking across all age groups over the last 15 years. Young people are now less likely to drink and, if they do drink, they start doing so later, drink less often and consume smaller amounts.
This report, published by SARG team members John Holmes and Melissa Oldham, is part of a new project funded by the Wellcome Trust to examine and explain the decline in youth drinking.
It analysed data from the 1988-2016 Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use amongst Young People in England surveys and the 2001-2016 Health Surveys for England. Both are nationally-representative surveys of young people in England and cover respondents aged between eight and 24.
The report shows that in 2002, 61 per cent of 11-15 year-olds had previously consumed a full alcoholic drink but this dropped to 44 per cent by 2016. For 8-12 year-olds, this fell from 25 per cent to just four percent.