Dutch people aged 12 years or older – including those who never drink - drink 1 unit of alcohol a day on average. The average among alcohol drinkers is 1.3 units a day. Men drink more - and more often - than women: 86 percent of men drink alcohol, for women this is 74 percent. Men drink 1.6 units a day on average, women less than one unit (0.9).
Young men aged 18-24 years drink most; 94 percent of them drink alcoholic beverages, on average 1.8 units a day. This group also contains the most heavy drinkers; 3 out of 10 of men in this age group drink 6 or more units at least once a week. For women, too, drinking is most popular among 18-24 year-olds.
Four out of ten youngsters aged 12 to 17 years sometimes drink alcohol. The proportion is the same for both boys and girls. Most of them are aged 16 and 17 years: 82 percent of these teenagers drink. Although you have to be 16 to buy alcohol in the Netherlands, 37 percent of 14 and 15 year-olds and 8 percent of 12 and 13 year-olds say they sometimes drink alcohol.
Dutch people aged 12 years or older who drink alcohol, 2009
Marieke Houben – van Herten