In 2019, nearly 80 percent of adults reported they had consumed at least one drink in the past twelve months. Eleven percent of adults indicated they had not consumed alcohol over the past twelve months but had done so in the past. Nine percent said they had never consumed alcohol. As of 2015, the Health Council of the Netherlands recommends an alcohol consumption level of zero or no more than 1 alcoholic drink per day. 41 percent of the population aged 18 and over comply with this alcohol guideline. Among men this is 30 percent, against 53 percent of women.
|Alcoholconsumptie||Total (% of persons aged 18 and over)||Men (% of persons aged 18 and over)||Women (% of persons aged 18 and over)|
|Occasional drink in the past 12 months||79.1||84.8||73.6|
|No alcohol in the past 12 months,|
used to drink
|Never consumed alcohol||9.5||6.4||12.5|
Elderly more likely to comply
Of people aged 75 and over, the share who complied with the guideline by consuming zero or up to 1 alcoholic drink per day stood at 66 percent. Guideline compliance among 18 and 19-year-olds stood at 30 percent.
The share of people with zero to minimal alcohol consumption is higher in the low-income group than in the high-income group (54 versus 30 percent), also when variations in age and health are taken into account.
|Complying with alcohol guideline (% of persons aged 18 and over)|
|Equivalised disposable income|
|1st quintile group (low income)||54.0|
|2nd quintile group||49.2|
|3rd quintile group||43.7|
|4th quintile group||36.6|
|5th quintile group (high income)||30.3|
|18 or 19||29.7|
|20 to 29||28.6|
|30 to 39||40.8|
|40 to 49||41.2|
|50 to 54||40.0|
|55 to 64||39.0|
|65 to 74||47.1|
|75 and over||65.9|
More smokers among those who do not comply
Among people who do not comply with the alcohol guideline, the share of smokers is higher than among those who do comply: 26 against 16 percent. The percentage share of daily smokers is also divergent between the two groups: 18 versus 13 percent.
Drug use among people with zero to minimal alcohol consumption in the past 12 months stood at 4 percent; 3 percent said they had used cannabis. Among the group consuming more than 1 drink per day, these shares were 13 and 10 percent respectively. The differences remain visible when taking into account age and sex differences.
|Not complying with alcohol guideline (% of persons aged 18 and over)||Complying with alcohol guideline (% of persons aged 18 and over)|
|Used drugs in past 12 months||13.2||3.8|
|Used cannabis in the past 12 months||10.0||3.2|
|Drugs (not cannabis) in the past 12 months||7.1||1.2|
More and more people comply with the alcohol guideline
The share of adults who comply with the alcohol guideline has increased relative to 2014 (before this guideline was established) and 2015 (when the guideline was introduced). In 2014, over 37 percent of the adult population drank zero or only up to 1 alcoholic beverage per day, against over 41 percent in 2019. The share who comply with the guideline has hardly changed relative to 2018.
|Jaar||Complying with alcohol guideline (% of persons aged 18 and over)|