Facts & Figures

Facts and figures – overview

In the table below are many reports full of facts and figures about alcohol and young people, but we have selected a few scary and encouraging facts about drinking amongst 11 – 15 year olds and young adults as an overview.

Scary stats

  • 35% of all Accident & Emergency (A&E) attendance and ambulance costs may be alcohol related in England (9).
  • 489 people died from alcohol poisoning in the UK in 2013-14 (1).
  • Males accounted for approximately two-thirds of the total number of alcohol-related deaths in 2014 in the UK.
  • There were 5,687 deaths (19.4 per 100,000 population) in males and 3,010 (9.6 per 100,000) in females. There were fewest alcohol-related deaths among people aged under 35. Rates in 2013 for those aged 15 – 34 were 2.1 per 100,000 for males and 1.1 per 100,000 for females (1).
  • In 2014, 240 people were killed in drink drive accidents, accounting for 13.5% of all road deaths in Great Britain (2).
  • Over a quarter of pedestrians killed in road accidents had been drinking..
  • For 16 – 24-year olds, 21% of deaths in males and 9% of deaths in females have been attributed to alcohol consumption (8).
  • 53% of all victims of violence said their attacker was affected by alcohol at the time. It is estimated that there were 704,000 violent alcohol related incidents in 2013/14 (3).
  • Alcohol misuse is a factor in 30% of suicides each year.
  • Hospital admissions for young people under 18 in the 3 year period 2011/12-2013/14 were 13,725. There were more admissions for girls than boys (4).
  • There were 333,000 estimated admissions where an alcohol-related disease, injury or condition was the primary diagnosis or there was an alcohol-related external cause. in England in 2014/15 (7).
  • 4% of 16 – 24 year-old men drink more than 50 units a week and 4% of women aged 16 – 24 drink more than 35 units a week putting themselves at risk of alcohol dependency, mental and behavioural problems and long term health risks such as liver disease. 5% of men and 3% of women are estimated to be higher risk drinkers in England (adults aged 16 – 74) (5).
  • .

Encouraging stats

  • In England, only 4% of 11 – 15 year-olds drink at least weekly (down from 20% in 2003) – i.e. 96% don’t (<1% of 11 year-olds drink rising to 13% of 15 year-olds). (6)
  • 62% of 11 – 15 year-olds have never drunk alcohol (up from 40% in 2000). The proportion of pupils who have had an alcoholic drink increases from 8% of 11 year-olds to 69% of 15 year-olds. (6)
  • The proportion of pupils who think it is ok for someone of their age to drink alcohol has fallen in recent years. In 2013, 24% of pupils thought that it was ok for someone of their age to drink once a week, compared to 46% in 2003. (6)
  •  Among 16 – 24 year-olds, 28% of men and 16% of women reported drinking more than twice the guidelines in 2013. That means an overwhelming majority of young adults (72% of men and 84% of women) go out to enjoy themselves and socialise, not to get drunk. (5)
  • In 2014, men drank, on average, 16.8 units of alcohol a week; women drank 8.8 units a week. The government low risk drinking guideline is a maximum of  14  units for both women and for men. (5)

Statistics are drawn from:

1. Alcohol-related deaths in the United Kingdom, registered 2014 (Office of National Statistics)
2. Estimates for reported road traffic accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: 2013 (Department for Transport)
3. Crime Statistics, Focus on Violent Crime and Sexual Offences, 2013/14, published 2015.
4.  Local Alcohol Profiles for England (LAPE)
5. HSCIC Health Survey for England, 2014, published 2015
6. HSCIC Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England 2014 report, published 2015.
7. Statistics on Alcohol, England, 2016
8. John Moores University. Updating England-Specific Alcohol-Attributable Fractions report, 2013.
9. Nuffield Trust: Alcohol-specific activity in hospitals in England, 2015.