back to article No top-ups, please, I'm a millennial: Lightweight yoof shunning booze like never before

New official drinking statistics confirm that millennials are more sober than their lush parents – and drink less than any other age group. The Office of National Statistics reports that teetotalism is rising among all age groups under 44 and declining with the over-65s. Despite the lurid headlines, Britain is in fact drying …

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  1. sandman

    Side-effects

    Ah, the explanation for Britain's falling birth-rate at last!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Side-effects

      That's down to no one knowing what they are anymore.

      1. A K Stiles
        IT Angle

        Re: Side-effects

        Possibly people are realising that kids are expensive (along with almost everything else, including booze) and they actually can't afford to have 3 kids.

        Or maybe falling religious participation and improved healthcare over the last 50 - 100 years means there is no longer the need / encouragement to have many spawn to bolster future member counts?

        Perhaps some complicated combination of multiple causal factors that are difficult to quantify with neat categories?

        IT angle? Well, there's booze involved, so that's good enough!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Side-effects

        "That's down to no one knowing what they are anymore."

        The youngsters now seem to be far more comfortable with the knowledge that who attracts them is a complicated business. Any inhibition is usually for fear that they might spoil a good friendship with a same sex pal whose reaction is not predictable.

        In the 1990s I was surprised by how many apparently straight neighbours' boys broke off long term heterosexual relationships in their twenties - and came out as gay. While they had no problem performing in bed with a woman - their emotional heart was with men. A neighbour who is in his 80s recounts how he always knew he was gay - but had to conform to marriage and children in the 1950s. Now he is happy in a same sex marriage.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Side-effects

          I wasn't knocking it, it was just an observation. There is a lot of confusion for kids these days with all the contradictions and how the media push certain things, I believe it can have the opposite effect and convince people they are the opposite of what they actually are. Be who you want to be has always been my view.

          1. teknopaul Bronze badge

            Re: IT angle?

            Every fucker in the pub has a mobile phone with a hi res. Digital camera

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: IT angle?

              Every fucker in the pub has a mobile phone with a hi res. Digital camera

              This is why I prefer to drink alone at home. That way no social media site will ever contain any photos of me with an inflatable sheep sellotaped to my crotch, a double-D bra tied around my head, a stolen policeman's helmet jammed up my arse and -- most embarrassing of all - a pink hotpants cocktail in my hand.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: IT angle?

                The IT angle is bootnotes.

              2. Fungus Bob Silver badge

                Re: IT angle?

                "photos of me with an inflatable sheep sellotaped to my crotch, a double-D bra tied around my head, a stolen policeman's helmet jammed up my arse and -- most embarrassing of all - a pink hotpants cocktail in my hand"

                Three words - foe toe shop

              3. ShadowDragon8685
                Coat

                Re: IT angle?

                But what about the traffic cone? It's not a good night if you don't get a traffic cone!

                Mine's the disgusting leather bomber with the keys to a ship-to-surface small craft that was withdrawn due to major flight design flaws.

  2. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Pint

    The older you get...

    The more you realise what's really going on and then reach for one of these.

  3. RubberJohnny

    So the moron ritual of people cheering on and praising other people who do idiot things with alcohol is dying out? I hope so.

    And people who vomit, piss themselves, pass out and make a twat of themselves and have to hibernate for 2 days to recover. "yeah it was a great night". Weird UK approach to alcohol which I hope is also heading for the bin.

    1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

      There's nothing wrong with being a fool when you're young - you're growing up.

      If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

        Or a Tory MP?

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          re: If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

          Or any brand of politician.

          As some parts of the country are going to the polls tomorrow, I won't say which party this little tale applies to.

          I have a postal vote. Here it is a two donkey race, Tory vs Lab. I voted and duly sent it off.

          Last friday, one of the two candidates came knocking at my door. He was told that I'd already voted and he thanked me for voting (most don't) and duly noted it on his list of electors. Yet one of his 'friends' came calling on Sunday right in the middle of the Countryfile weather forecast. He was told politely that I'd already told the candidate that I'd voted. Then last night, repeat. Same party, different worker.

          On the plus side, they do seem to be trying to get their man/woman/other elected but the local organisation seems brain dead when it comes to communicating with each other.

          PPE grads take note. You have an effing brain so use it.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: re: If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

            Campaigns often have more door-knockers than clerical people keeping up with entering the data and producing new knock-up lists with those already voted taken off. Even with newfangled cloud apps you still get people more confident with a clipboard, and you'll often find it takes a couple of streets before you get a signal to send the updates to Cloud Central, and some systems don't give door-knockers the permissions to update the database themselves and the data goes into a virtual pile for the data manager to approve.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: re: If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

            "the local organisation seems brain dead when it comes to communicating with each other"

            If asked they'd probably blame data protection.

          3. Mr Youmustbe Fuckingjoking

            Re: re: If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

            > PPE grads take note.

            PPE grads take note: everyone else knows what your plan is so keep quiet about your PPE degree if you want to get on in the normal world.

          4. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

            "My friends, we will not go again or ape an ancient rage,

            Or stretch the folly of our youth to be the shame of age,"

            I contend that there is literally no better document describing the British relationship with alcohol than GK Chesterton's marvelous "The Rolling English Road"

            Kudos if you can recite it from memory it after 8 pints. Extra fun if people shout out the place names and bonus points for amusing new suggestions.

      2. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Driiink!!!

        If you're still doing it when you're 40, you're probably a barrister.

        Now, there's got to be a very amusing and potentially libelous story you are just dying to tell, but can't afford to, behind that comment.

    2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      If you don't do that in your early 20's, you'll spend the rest of your life doing it on and off at weddings and the like.

      I did my internship in drinking at an appropriate age. Now if I get to around 20 pints I know it's time to call it a night.

      1. quartzie

        oooof.

        I don't consider 4 pints anywhere near "binge drinking", but 20 pints is more than enough for an extended weekend drinking party for me.

        Am I getting old at not-quite-40?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        " Now if I get to around 20 pints I know it's time to call it a night."

        If I get to 20 pints, I know it's time I need a stomach pump.

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Rugby is the answer there. I don't know if it's the repeated knocks to the head or what, but it does give you quite the tolerance for alcohol.

          I should have taken up football instead, nights out would have been cheaper.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            but it does give you quite the tolerance for alcohol

            I've never played rugby (at school I was most emphatically not a rugby type - being tall and skinny, with glasses) - basketball was more my thing. For one thing, it was indoors. Secondly, physical contact is frowned upon..

            Didn't stop me having a large tolerance for alcohol[1] though. I put that down to genetics since by Dad also did - and so does my nephew.

            [1] Of certain kinds. Red wine I can drink bottles of with little apparent effect. Ditto cider. Beer makes me throw up.. Spirits - I can drink vast quantities of rum but vodka affects me very quickly.

        2. Rich 11 Silver badge

          If I get to 20 pints, I know it's time I need a cash transplant.

    3. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      So the moron ritual of people cheering on and praising other people who do idiot things with alcohol is dying out? I hope so.

      I agree , I hope so too , and I drink a lot . I dont make a twat of myself though. It can only be a good thing.

      Although hopefully its not a symptom of mass apathy , the killing of the human spirit , people turning into facebook/whatsapp zombies . You know - like at the end of the movie "Serenity" (2005)

      Although I believe it true that the young 'uns are drinking less, I've lost all faith in a survey that has reached this conclusion:

      Choice tipples with today's yoof include the "Pink hotpants cocktail", which consists of "Pimento ginger beer, sparkling water, grapefruit syrup and juice, sprig of mint."

      What does that say about the cross section surveyed?

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Happy

        Dependence on alcohol is a terrible thing. I'm not dependent on it - I can make a twat of myself while sober.

      2. Horridbloke

        @What does that say about the cross section surveyed?

        Back in my day it was groups of 18-year-old lads self-consciously pretending they liked bitter because "cider's a boy's drink innit and I'm grown up now grrrrrr". A true grown up doesn't care what anyone else thinks.

      3. jake Silver badge

        "So the moron ritual of people cheering on and praising other people who do idiot things with alcohol is dying out? I hope so."

        College kids will be college kids ... Part of the learning process.

        I've been making alcohol commercially for quite awhile, beer for 20 years, wine for about 10, and with any luck we'll start selling small-batch calvados/applejack in a couple years. Over all that time, I've noticed that the more booze I make, the less time I have to drink any of it ... and the same holds true for most of my friends in the industry. As a result, I have come up with an observation:

        Neophytes spend lots of money outside the house to get bombed.

        Amateurs spend much less money bringing alcohol home to get bombed.

        Experts make their own alcohol and drink at home on the cheap.

        Professionals make alcohol for use by neophytes and amateurs.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reason people aren't drinking is because of successive governments moves to abolish the pub through price rises etc... The pub was a place for social gathering away from the prying eyes of government and a great place to discuss ideologies and the failings of said government. Also add to this the paedophile hysteria created by the press so kids don't play out anymore and you move to a society whose main contact with others is the workplace, schools or social media which can be monitored. Question is, do I need a tin foil hat for coming to this conclusion?

    1. cantbebothered

      I'm not sure that the paedophilia scare has much bearing on drinking...

      But I would add spiralling rental and housing costs mean millenials have less disposable cash than previous generations, further tightening the squeeze on pubs. Combined with home owners looking to make sure those house prices and rents keep rising by trying to remove anything remotely noisy, like live music, clubs etc.

      It's not something anyone in the UK wants to address, house prices are a growing problem that's going to bite it in the arse while everyone looks for something else to blame

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Where I am there's been a big move away from pubs and back to the beer houses we had in the 19th century - think "licensed non-food cafe" - just a shop without all the expensive accutrements of the huge building, exempli gratia.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "[...] and back to the beer houses we had in the 19th century"

          A tiny fashion shop in our ancient high street displays a picture of its prior life as such a pub. Basically it was the house's tiny front room with benches against the walls - no tables. It was a relatively common business occupation for widows.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              For the housing - i am not sure why, if the majority of people cannot afford to buy, why is it that the house prices are so high?

              There is a lot more demand for housing than there is supply, and that drives prices up.

              Look at a population graph of the UK for the past 30 years and spot the problem.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Then where is the demand coming from if so many people are getting priced OUT of the market (demand implies people can afford to buy)?

                1. LucreLout Silver badge

                  Then where is the demand coming from if so many people are getting priced OUT of the market (demand implies people can afford to buy)?

                  Being priced out of Chealsea does not mean you are priced out of the market. As demostrated repeatedly, even the minimum waged can afford to buy a home..... they just can't afford to buy the home of their dreams at first time of asking.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    I pretty little chart:

                    https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/5568/housing/uk-house-price-affordability/

                    1. LucreLout Silver badge

                      I pretty little chart:

                      https://www.economicshelp.org/blog/5568/housing/uk-house-price-affordability/

                      A pretty little chart that ignores societal changes over 40 years, such as women moving into the workforce, and mock-shock-horror obtaining educational qualifications and careers rather than just doing low level shop work.

                      Mortgage payments as a percentage of income looks unchanged over the period of your graph and is lower than when I left school.

                      Affordability is basically unchanged over the data series in the graph provided.

                      There's something for everyone in the data in the link provided, but none of that alters the fact that literally anyone in the UK can afford a home of their own - they only have to prioritise the deposit for a year or two, even if they earn minimum wage and refuse to work a single hour of overtime to help themselves.

                      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                        As a northerner I can attest that the pretty little chart is bullshit - the blue line anyway. Its saying houses are as affordable now as 1990.

                2. rmason Silver badge

                  @Charles 9

                  Demand implies someone wants somewhere to live, not they they can afford to purchases the property.

                  So what has happened? They rent, they rent off the one or two generations who can afford to buy up the housing.

                  The people priced out of the market still live somewhere, they are just lining someone's pocket rather than paying off a mortgage.

                  1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                    "Demand implies someone wants somewhere to live, not they they can afford to purchases the property."

                    No, Q (Demand) requires the buyer be able to purchase the property, meaning he/she can afford it. Otherwise, he/she is by definition NOT in the market to buy at that price and is therefore NOT part of the demand (he/she is off the curve). Can't pay, can't play, that simple. Renting simply means they're playing a different game, taking them out of the buyer's game.

                    Let me put it another way. Why are prices going up unless people are willing to buy the houses AT those prices? If it's not the hoi polloi, WHO is buying up the houses at the increased prices that the sellers are able to command?

                    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

                      If it's not the hoi polloi, WHO is buying up the houses at the increased prices that the sellers are able to command?

                      Could the answer be anything to do with the proliferation of buy-to-let landlords, privatised housing associations and/or foreign millionaires investing their wealth in a burgeoning property market?

                      Just a guess.

                      1. LucreLout Silver badge

                        Could the answer be anything to do with the proliferation of buy-to-let landlords, privatised housing associations and/or foreign millionaires investing their wealth in a burgeoning property market?

                        It almost certainly is SOMETHING to do with it, just maybe not quite as you imagine.

                        BTL makes up 5 million of over 26 million properties. Its not nothing, but its not driving the market in the way many people assume it is - its just too small a group.

                        https://homelet.co.uk/letting-agents/news/article/how-many-landlords-and-tenants-are-there-in-the-uk

                        Foreign ownership makes up only about 100k properties, which is frankly a rounding error.

                        https://www.step.org/news/nearly-100000-properties-england-and-wales-owned-foreign-entities

                        Socialised property (housing associations etc) makes up another 5 million out of over 26 million.

                        https://www.theguardian.com/housing-network/2015/nov/18/who-lives-41-million-social-housing-homes-england-wales

                        So the entities you describe collectively make up less than half of the market. They ARE responsible for some of the current price level, but probably less so than the advent of women joining the workforce in huge numbers and the ballooning population caused by longevity increases, immigration, and birth rate. That, and the increasing trend to live alone.

                        1. This post has been deleted by its author

                          1. Anonymous Coward
                            Anonymous Coward

                            " I will assume that the new landlords are not purchasing other landlords properties (they are not selling)."

                            Our street of 25 modern mixed flats, maisonettes and terraced houses within easy rail commuting range of London - was all owner occupied when new in the 1970s. There are now at least 14 of the properties that are rentals - distributed between a few mostly professional landlords. Most of them are multiple occupancy.

                            Even some of the very large office block to "luxury" apartment conversions nearby are also rental only.

                    2. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      "WHO is buying up the houses at the increased prices that the sellers are able to command?"

                      A local BTL landlord owns at least two "multiple occupancy" houses in our small modern street and is reputed to have about 20 elsewhere. Recently two properties in the street came on the market on the same day at about £260K each. The next day that landlord had bought them both for cash.

                      When he bought a 3 bedroomed maisonette a neighbour counted ten new beds being delivered there in one day.

                      My presumption is that anyone who can fund the best part of half a million in cash like that must be fronting a consortium of people with money to invest in the expectation of good returns on rentals.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Err, house prices are high because it is government (and BoE) policy to keep them high - hence the billions spent on QE and Funding for Lending (i.e. cheap loans to banks so they can lend to small businesses - except they don't, they use it for mortgage loans instead).

                        House prices are largely determined by the availability of the means to pay for them, so while interest rates rates are kept artificially low house prices will remain high. This boosts the GDP figures the government uses to tell us how well they are doing, since the inflation figures are carefully calculated to exclude housing costs (even HCPI/CPIH, which uses "imputed rents" [i.e. made up numbers] instead of actual costs) so the "real" GDP remains high.

                        The nett effect of QE around the world has been to transfer wealth to the asset-holding, i.e. primarily the already wealthy. This is a one-way process which wont be reversed any time soon and, in theory, could within a generation create the modern equivalent of a feudal society.

                  2. cantbebothered

                    There's also the factor that as housing is seen as investment, they can be bought as just that, and left empty, which happens in the high end markets, having a effect top down. If you're rich, you can buy bigger house than you need, just to get a bigger return, further decreasing room.

                    And to those that say, oh, anyone ca can still afford a house, that wasn't my point, people can still have housing, they just have less money left over to spend on other things than that of previous generations. Proving with numbers that buying a house is theoretically possible doesn't really address the point.

                    Nor does the patronising implication that they aren't buying because it's not their perfect house

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