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UK alcohol consumption drops 18% in 10 years

Alcohol consumption in the UK has declined by 18% compared to 10 years ago, hitting a 23-year low overall, new figures reveal.

Alcohol consumption declines in UK
Alcohol consumption has hit a 23-year low in the UK, the BBPA has revealed

The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has released data showing that alcohol consumption in the country dropped to 7.7 litres per person in 2013, down 2.1% compared to the previous year.

In total, Britons drank seven billion fewer units of alcohol in 2013 compared to 2004, an 18% decline, while this is also the seventh year in the past nine that there has been a fall in consumption.

Consumtion steadily increased from 1980 to 2004, from 7.4 litres per person to 9.5 litres per person, but figures show a trend of decline from this year onwards.

“We have now experienced a decade of falling alcohol consumption,” said Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive.

“While total consumption per head is not synonymous with alcohol-related harm, these are interesting figures, as the percentage of those drinking at harmful levels has also been falling, as have the number of under-18s drinking.”

Simmonds added that the alcohol and pub industries will continue to work to tackle alcohol misuse, but recognised “several encouraging trends” and “accurate and up-to-date figures” which are “important for the debate around alcohol”.

The BBPA compiles new alcohol consumption data every year based on HMRC alcohol tax returns.

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