[summary] Smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England (2016) | NHS Digital

  • 44% of 11-15 year old pupils had ever drunk alcohol, which is not comparable with earlier surveys*
  • Whether a pupil had drunk alcohol was related to their age, increasing from 15% of 11 year olds to 73% of 15 year olds.
  • 51% of white pupils and 45% of Mixed ethnicity pupils had ever had an alcoholic drink, compared to 28% of black pupils, and only 13% of Asian pupils
  • 10% had drunk alcohol in the last week
  • Pupils who drank alcohol in the last week consumed an average (mean) of 9.6 units that week
  • The proportion increased with age, from 1% of 11 year olds to 24% of 15 year olds.
  • A large majority of young people (77%) considered their parents to be a source of helpful information about drinking alcohol.
  • Teachers were the most commonly identified helpful source of information outside of the family setting (by 64% of pupils).
  • TV was the most popular source of helpful information about drinking (59%), with the internet also being a popular choice (58%).

*This is because the question was changed to, “Have you ever had an alcoholic drink–a whole drink, not just a sip?” having previously been about whether they had consumed a “proper drink”, a term which caused confusion.