Story: Alcohol

Consumption of alcohol, 1882–1920 (1st of 2)

This graph charts the consumption of different alcoholic drinks per head of population (including Māori) from 1882 to 1920. Beer was now the most important drink (even taking into account the higher alcoholic content of spirits and wine). There was a steady fall in consumption of all alcohol during the 1880s as the temperance movement had an impact, the economy went into recession and the proportion of male adults in the population fell. However, as the economy recovered in the mid-1890s, the consumption of beer (but not the other drinks) rose slowly, then increased fast in 1919 and 1920 as soldiers returned from the First World War.

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Source: G. T. Bloomfield, New Zealand: a handbook of historical statistics. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1984, p. 120

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Alcohol - Prohibition movement, 1880–1919', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 17 July 2024)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 5 Sep 2013, updated 1 Apr 2016