More than a quarter of young people in Britain are non-drinkers as “teetotalism” is becoming more mainstream, according to research released on Wednesday.
The study by University College London found that in 2015, 29% of 16 to 24-year olds don't drink, up from 18% in 2005, as more and more young people chose to be lifetime abstainers, with 17% opting to never drink a drop in 2015 compared to just 9% ten years earlier.
Almost half of the study's 10,000 participants had admitted to drinking more than th recommended safe limits in 2005 but just 28% said the same a decade later.
Linda Ng Fat, lead author of the study, said: “Increases in non-drinking among young people were found across a broad range of groups, including those living in northern or southern regions of England, among the white population, those in full-time education, in employment and across all social classes and healthier groups.”
Separate research last year found that only one in ten millennials thought of getting drunk as “cool” with intoxication more likely to be seen as “embarrassing” or “pathetic” as four in ten of respondents had a negative perception of drunkenness.
The attitude of this younger generation of adults is troubling news for alcoholic beverage companies
Matt Reid, market analyst at Berenberg who has overseen alcohol demographic research in the US, said: “Generation Z appears to be more aware of the health and social consequences that alcohol drinking may have and expects to consume alcohol less frequently than previous generations when they are older, as well as consuming quantitatively less on the occasions that they drink.”
Reid added that shifting attitudes and preferences were also evident, with consumption of spirits growing as consumers across most demographics grow less fond of beer.
Older generations continue to be fond of a tipple however, with statistics showing a 20% increase in the number of over 65s drinking more than the recommended limit of 14 units per week in the last decade.