Past Underage Drinking Statistics
Underage Drinking Statistics from 2011 and Earlier
At Edgar Snyder & Associates, we've seen firsthand the devastation caused by underage drinking. Statistics don't come close to telling the stories of people who have lost loved ones due to underage drinking, but they are a starting point in understanding how serious the problem is.
2011 Underage Drinking Statistics (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- About 70% of high school students reported having at least one drink during their lives.
- About 9.7 million 12 to 20 year olds (25.1% of the age group), reported drinking alcohol during the past 30 days.
- About 6.1 million (15.8%) were binge drinkers (having 5+ drinks on same occasion).
- About 1.7 million (4.4%) were heavy drinkers (having 5+ drinks on the same occasion on 5+ days in a month).
- Most (82.9%) of the 4.7 million people who began drinking during the last year were younger than 21. About 61.2% were younger than 18.
- Almost 1/5 of high school students reported riding in a car driven by someone who had been drinking.
- About 8.2% of high school students reported driving after drinking alcohol one or more times.
- 13.6% of 12th graders reported drinking and driving.
- 9.1% of 11th graders reported drinking and driving.
- 5.6% of 10th graders reported drinking and driving.
- 4.7% of 9th graders reported drinking and driving.
- More males (9.5%) reported drinking and driving than females (6.7%).
- 57% of underage drinkers reported drinking in someone else's home.
- 28.2% of underage drinkers reported drinking in their own home.
- About 5.1% of high school students had at least one alcoholic beverage on school property during the past 30 days.
- Among underage drinkers, 40.0% usually obtained alcohol by someone giving it to them. Of those:
- 38.2% received it from an unrelated person over the age of 21.
- 21.4% received it from parents, guardians, or other family members.
- Males have higher underage drinking rates than females:
- Current drinkers: 25.6% of males, 24.6% of females
- Binge drinkers: 17.5% of males, 14% of females
- Heavy drinkers: 5.6% of males, 3.2% of females
2010 Underage Drinking Statistics (Youth Risk Behavior Survey)
- About 10 million people ages 12 to 20 reported drinking alcohol in the last month.
- About 6.5 million were binge drinkers (having 5+ drinks on same occasion).
- About 2 million were heavy drinkers (having 5+ drinks on the same occasion on 5+ days in a month).
- The rate of alcohol use among 12 to 20 year olds went from 28.8% in 2002 to 26.3% in 2010.
- 3.1% of 12 and 13 year olds reported using alcohol.
- 12.4% of 14 and 15 year olds reported using alcohol.
- 24.6% of 16 or 17 year olds reported using alcohol.
- 48.9% of 18 to 20 year olds reported using alcohol.
- Overall, the binge drinking rate among underage drinkers dropped from 19.3% to 17%.
- Underage binge drinking rates were:
- 1% among 12 and 13 year olds
- 6.7% among 14 and 15 year olds
- 15.3% among 16 and 17 year olds
- 33.3% among 18 to 20 year olds
- 13.7% of males ages 12-17 reported being current drinkers.
- 13.5% of females ages 12-17 reported being current drinkers.
- 55.3% of underage drinkers drank alcohol in someone else's home and 29.9% drank at their own home.
- 81.6% of drinkers ages 12-20 reported being with two or more other people the last time they drank. 5.2% were alone.
- Among underage drinkers who did not purchase their own alcohol:
- 38.9% got it from an unrelated person over the age of 21.
- Parents, guardians, or other family members provided it 21.6% of the time.
- Other underage people provided it 16.6% of the time.
- 6% took it from their home.
- 3.8% took it from someone else's home.
2009 Underage Drinking Statistics (Youth Risk Behavior Survey)
Among high school students, during the past 30 days:
- 42% drank some amount of alcohol.
- 24% binge drank.
- 10% drove after drinking alcohol.
- 28% rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol.
- Rates of underage binge drinking were higher in the Northeast and Midwest than in the South or West.
- Rates of underage drinking and binge drinking were slightly higher at the opposite ends of the economic spectrum.
- Among younger teens, slightly more girls reported drinking than boys did. In the mid-teen years, boys and girls reported drinking at about the same rate. Among those 18- to 20-years-old, boys drank at a higher rate than girls.
- For those over the age of 12, males were almost twice as likely as females todrink and drive.
- Forty percent of teens said they obtained alcohol from an adult for free in the past month.
- One in four teens said they received alcohol from an unrelated adult. One in 16 obtained it from a parent or guardian while one in 12 got it from another adult family member.
- About 4% of surveyed teens said they got alcohol from their own home.
- An estimated two-thirds of alcohol sellers don't ask for identification, therefore potentially selling to minors.
Underage Drinking and Driving Statistics
- About 5,000 people under the age of 21 die each year as a result of underage drinking, 1,900 of those deaths are from auto accidents.
- About one in three high school students has been a passenger in a car driven by someone who had consumed alcohol.
- Alcohol is involved in 31% of teenage car accident fatalities.
- There is a much better chance that an individual will drink and drive if they had their first drink prior to age 19.
- The average blood-alcohol level of intoxicated underage car accident victims was 0.40 percent, five times the legal limit for driving.
- Compared to every other age group, young people age 15-20 years old are more often involved in alcohol-related car accidents. Age 21 is the peak for fatal crashes.
Underage Drinking in College
- Freshmen college students are at the greatest risk for dying from binge drinking and alcohol poisoning.
- Almost half of all the alcohol consumed by students attending four-year colleges is consumed by underage students.
- 83 underage college students died from alcohol poisoning from 1999 to 2005.
More Underage Drinking Statistics:
- In 2008, young people between 18 and 20 enrolled full time in college were more likely to drink alcohol in general, binge drink, and heavily drink than those not enrolled full time.
- In 2007, 27.9% of people between 12 and 20 years of age reported underage drinking within the past month.
- Seventy-two percent of high school seniors reported having consumed alcohol as of 2007.
- In 2007, about 7.8% of 16 or 17 year olds and 18.3% of 18- to 20-year-olds admitted to driving drunk within the last year.
- Ninety-two point two percent of 12th graders, 82.6% of 10th graders, and 62% of 8th graders reported that it's "very easy" or "fairly easy" to get alcohol in 2007.
- In 2007, for those underage drinkers who did not purchase their own alcohol the last time they drank, an unrelated person over age 21 bought it for them 37.2% of the time. Nineteen percent of the time, parents, guardians, or other family members provided it.
- In 2006, more than half of those between 12 and 20 years of age had consumed alcohol in their lifetime and about a quarter had within the past month.
- For drivers 15-20 years old involved in car accident in 2006, 25% had a BAC of .08 or higher.
- About 43% of high school students surveyed had consumed alcohol in the past 30 days.
- 2,035 young people 15-20 years old were killed in alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents in 2005; this accounts for 33% of all car accidents for that age group.
- In 2005, underage drinkers was involved in 1,789 fatal car crashes.
- During prom, graduation, and homecoming weekends, 47% of fatal car crashes of 15- to 20-year-olds involved alcohol in 2004.
"Survey: Underage drinkers get alcohol free from adults." CNN.com. June 26, 2008.
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
MADD Statistics. www.madd.org/statistics
Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Prevention of Underage Drinking. https://www.stopalcoholabuse.gov/statistics.aspx