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Teen Drinking Dropoff Carrying Into Millennial Generation; A 5-Point Dropoff in 5 Years (excerpt)

It’s not only teens who are less likely to drink these days.  Annual surveys from Mediamark Research also show a notable, if not drastic, dropoff in the percentage of young legal-age millennials who say they drink alcohol beverages compared to five years ago.  Just over 61% of all adults said they were drinkers in the fall of 2016, defined as having consumed in the 6 months prior to the survey.  That’s virtually unchanged since 2011 (61.2% in 2016 vs 61.4% in 2011).  It’s also very close to the 64% of adults that Gallup consistently reports who “have occasion to drink.”

But among 21-24 yr-olds, the percentage who drank fell from 68.3% to 63.2% over the same period.  Population growth meant that the industry added about 300,000 new drinkers over this period in this age group.  But if the same percentage had held, there would have been 900,000 more entry-level drinkers. A broader view of millennials, all those born between 1977 and 1994, shows that 65.2% of them were drinkers in 2016, down slightly from 66.5% in 2011.  Again, if the same percentage had held, there would have been 1 mil more millennial drinkers in 2016.  The lack of change in the overall percentage of American adults who drink, and the dropoff among the much-valued millennials, shows yet again that while industry marketing may persuade adults to try different brands and/or beverages, it is not persuading more people to pick up the habit. (excerpt)

Publishing Info

  • Year: 2017
  • Volume: 34
  • Issue #: 4
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