Advocacy

 

Basic Statistics on Older Adults and Drinking


What Percentage of Older Adults Consume Alcohol?

Below are the most recent Canadian figures available. They are derived from the 2004 Canadian Addictions Survey. This is a national survey of alcohol and drug use of 13,909 Canadians.

 

Type of drinker by demographic characteristics, Canada, aged 15+, Canadian Addiction Survey. 2004

 

2004

Lifetime abstainers

2004

Former drinkers

2004

Past-year drinkers

 

 

1998-9

Past-year drinkers

Canada

7.2

13.5

79.3

 

 

 

 

45-54

2,706

 

5.3

14.0

80.8

 

 

55-64

1,853

 

5.3

18.1

76.7

 

74.0

65-74

1,179

 

8.4

21.6

70.0

 

 

 

67.0

 

 

75+

(719)

17.0

18.6

64.4

 

51.1

 

65+     67.8    

 

 

According to 1998-9 national figures provided by Statistics Canada, 74% of people aged 55-64 consumed alcohol, either occasionally or regularly (80% for men, and 69% for women).  Among people aged 65-74, this percentage of occasional and regular drinkers dipped to 67%, with more men than women drinkers (72% and 62% respectively).

Among people aged 75 and over, about one half (51%) were occasional or regular drinkers in 1998-9, again with a greater percentage of male drinkers than female drinkers (61%, compared to 45%).

 


 

How Often do Most Older Drinkers Consume Alcohol?

 

A much larger percentage of older adults drink four or more times a week than do younger adult age groups.

                                                                                                                                                                            

 Drinking frequency over the past year among past-year drinkers in Canada, 2004. 

By demographic characteristics, aged 15+,  (selected age groups), Canadian Addiction Survey.

 Age Group

(with sample size)

Once a month

Less than

1-3 times a month

1-3 times

a week

4+ times

 a week

 

20-24

 

14.6

 

40.7

 

41.3

 

3.4

 

45-54

 

23.4

26.7

37.3

12.7

55-64

 

 22.0

28.4

35.2

14.4

65-74

 

25.8

27.5

26.2

20.6

75+

 

27.9

24.2

23.7

24.2

 

 

Source: Canadian Addiction Survey, Detailed Report, March 2005.

www.ccsa.ca/NR/rdonlyres/6806130B-C314-4C96-95CC-075D14CD83DE/0/ccsa0040282005.pdf

 

 

 

2004 figures on Safe Drinking

 

 

Safe Drinking?

 

According to 1998-9 national figures provided by Statistics Canada, 30 to 31% of people aged 45-64 who drank reported having 7 or more drinks, on average in a week. Also 11-12 % of them  were consuming 14 or more drinks in a week.  Interestingly, this percentage creeps up among people aged 65-74, where 36% have 7 or more drinks a week, and 12% of drinkers in this age group are consuming 14 drinks or more in a week.

 

Among drinkers aged 75 and over, 32% consume 7 or more drinks a week, and 8% are consuming, on average 14 or more drinks.

 

The overall statistics donít paint the whole picture. There are significant differences between older men and older women. For example, 37% of men drinkers aged 55-64 consumed 7 or more drinks a week, as did 44% of the men aged 65-74, and 27% of the men drinkers aged 75 or over.

 

Doing a presentation ? Need current figures on the number of seniors in Canada or in your province? Click here.

 


 

References

Statistics Canada. www.statcan.ca

Canadian Addiction Survey, Detailed Report, March 2005.

www.ccsa.ca/NR/rdonlyres/6806130B-C314-4C96-95CC-075D14CD83DE/0/ccsa0040282005.pdf

 

 


 

Page last updated: July 4, 2006

 

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