These two graphs tell contrasting stories about the drinking habits of young and old people in New Zealand. The top graph shows the proportion of different age groups in the whole population who drank alcohol each day. Less than 5% of those under the age of 45 drank every day. After that age the proportion who took a daily tipple increased, so that more than 18% of men aged 55 or over were daily drinkers. The bottom graph records those from the whole population who consumed a large amount of alcohol at least once a week (defined as six standard drinks for men or four for women). The pattern is strikingly different. Young people, especially 18- to 24-year-olds, were quite likely to binge-drink weekly – almost a third of men of that age did so. However, among those aged over 44, the likelihood of binge drinking was markedly reduced. On both criteria men were heavier drinkers than women, although the difference was much less for those aged 34 to 54.
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