Australians are drinking less alcohol than at any time in the past 50 years with beer leading the way, according to new data.
The latest Bureau of Statistics figures showed the consumption of the amber liquid per head in Australia was at its lowest in 68 years.
CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian said it was unexplainable, but could be attributed to an increased awareness in lifestyle and diet, greater variety of leisure pursuits and increased wealth and income.
“There is (also) the long-run influence of random breath-testing (and policing),” Mr Sebastian said.
According to the ABS, the amount of beer consumed last year was the lowest since 1945/46, when 3.87 litres was drunk by the average Australian.
Full-strength beer consumption fell from 3.32 litres to 3.28 litres, while low-strength was down from 0.15 litres, to a record low of 0.13 litres.
But the amount of mid-strength beer drunk rose from 0.58 litres to a new high of 0.61 litres.
“Fifty years ago beer made up three quarters of all alcohol consumed, but now makes up under half at 41 per cent,” the ABS’ Louise Gates said.
The data also revealed the fall in beer consumption was part of a wider trend, with total alcohol consumption also down.
It fell for the seventh straight year in 2013/14 to a 50-year low of 9.71 litres per person.
Wine dropped to an eight-year low of 3.64 litres, and spirits hit a 13-year-low of 1.23 litres.
Cider was the only alcoholic beverage to buck the trend, climbing to 0.22 litres per person, from 0.19 litres the previous year.