United Kingdom millennials are drinking less alcohol, study finds

Hands holding glasses with beer on a table at pub in London. A group of friends is enjoying beer time in the city close up on the glasses

Hands holding glasses with beer on a table at pub in London. A group of friends is enjoying beer time in the city close up on the glasses

Information is collected through an interview and, if the participants agree, a visit from a specially trained nurse.

Nearly 10,000 young people were questioned in a survey which confirmed that those aged 16-24 were the most sober in recent history, consuming considerably less than their parents.

They analysed the proportion of non-drinkers among social demographic and health sub-groups, along with alcohol units consumed by those that did drink and the levels of binge drinking.

The study found that teetotallers among the 16 to 24 year olds has risen from 18 percent in 2005 to 29 percent in 2015 and abstinence from alcohol is gradually becoming "mainstream".

Binge drinking is also in decline among young adults, down from 27% to 18% across the decade to 2015, and "may be becoming less normalised", said the report, which found rates of harmful drinking declined from 43% to 28%.

Meanwhile, the proportion of "lifetime abstainers" rose from 9% to 17%.

A large proportion of young people in England are shunning alcohol completely, a study has suggested.

Dr 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".

Young people tend to take more risks and live less healthily than older generations, but the team's results seem to hint at a cultural shift.

"The increase in young people who choose not to drink alcohol suggests that this behavior maybe becoming more acceptable, whereas risky behaviors such as binge drinking may be becoming less normalized", added Ng Fat, a renowned academic expert on trends in alcohol consumption among young people.

But increases in non-drinking were not found among ethnic minorities, those with poor mental health and smokers.