FEWER YOUNG PEOPLE DRINK ALCOHOL
In the most recent survey of school students, 43 per cent of girls and 30 per cent of boys in the ninth grade said that they had drunk alcohol in the past year, which means that drinking at high school has fallen to historically low levels. The trend towards reduced drinking amongst ninth graders has levelled off in recent years, but we are now seeing a decline in the figures for last year.
67 per cent of upper secondary school students say that they drink alcohol, corresponding to a very small decline since the previous survey in 2019. It is also apparent that more girls (71 per cent) than boys (64 per cent) drink alcohol. Viewed from a longer-term perspective, a lot has changed when it comes to upper secondary school students’ alcohol habits, too: in 2004, almost 90 per cent of students in the 2nd year of upper secondary school said that they drank alcohol.
The decline in drinking by teenagers is by no means unique to Sweden, the same trend is seen in several European and English-speaking countries.
67% of upper secondary school students say that they drink alcohol.
What effect did the pandemic have?
It’s difficult to know what effect the Covid-19 pandemic had on alcohol consumption and experiences of other drugs in these age groups. But it’s worth bearing in mind that the surveys presented here were conducted in the spring of 2021, when the pandemic had been ongoing for just over 1 year.
FEWER ARE GETTING DRUNK BEFORE THE AGE OF 14
The percentage of ninth graders who got drunk before the age of 14 has fallen from about 20 per cent in 2000 to just over 5 per cent in the latest survey.
THE ROLE OF PARENTS IS IMPORTANT
The fact that the trends are moving in the right direction doesn’t mean that alcohol is no longer a problem amongst young people.
If the positive trend towards reduced drinking amongst young people is to last, efforts by society and engaged parents are vital. Remember that your role as a parent is very important.