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Apparent Consumption of Alcohol in Australia

DASA: Apparent Consumption of Alcohol

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has just released their Apparent Consumption of Alcohol in Australia report. Full report here.

Apparent consumption of alcohol refers to the total amount of alcohol that is made available to people living in Australia in any given financial year. It is termed “apparent consumption” because it is assumed that all of the alcohol made available in any given financial year is consumed. It does not quantify actual drinking habits.

The latest report updates the data for the 2019-2020 fiscal year and reveals the following:

  • In 2019–2020, about 209 million litres of pure alcohol were made available in Australia. This represents a slight (a 0.7%) decrease from the previous year.

  • The most common types of alcohol consumed in Australia:

- Wine (42%)

- Beer (35%)

- Spirits (21%)

- Cider (2%)

  • Looking at a per capita basis, apparent consumption of alcohol in Australia remains stable at just over 10 litres per capita. (Note per capita measurement is based on people aged 15 years and over).

  • During the mid-1970s alcohol consumption in Australia was at its highest, at around 13 litres per capita. We have been consuming less alcohol since then.

  • Apparent consumption of beer continues its steady decline. From a peak in 1974/75 (at 9.22 litres per capita), beer consumption in Australia has been steadily declining. It now sits at 3.49 litres per capita.

  • Conversely, our apparent consumption of wine has increased steadily over the years. The most recent data shows Australians consuming more wine than beer, at 4.19 litres per capita.

  • Our consumption of spirits is also on an upward trend, although at 2.13 litres per capita, it remains well below both wine and beer.

  • Cider consumption sits well below the other categories at 0.25 litres per capita. Consumption has been stable over the last few years.

What this most recent report shows is that alcohol remains a significant part our Australian way of life. As such, it is also very likely to be a part of our working life. And that is a problem because alcohol - in any shape or form - poses a significant risk to workplace safety and worker wellbeing.

DASA has been assisting workplaces in the management of alcohol and other drugs for over 15 years. If your organisation recognises the importance of proactive alcohol and drug management, get in touch with us today on 1300 230 231 or email


DASA (Drug and Alcohol Solutions Australia) is proud to be leading the way in workplace drug and alcohol testing services throughout Australia. Whether your need is for workplace drug and workplace alcohol testing, advice on drug and alcohol policy or ideas on how to communicate your workplace expectations, policies and procedures to your staff, DASA can help. We have the experience, technical expertise and people to lead you to the right solution.



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