Alcohol consumption in BC remains high

a graph of alcohol consumption in bc and canada.

Latest analyses of liquor sales data provided by the BC Liquor Distribution Authority to CISUR show that the substantial increases over the previous three years have been sustained.

We estimate that the average British Columbian aged 15 years or over consumed 9.44 L of pure alcohol in the financial year 2017/2018, up from 9.43 L the previous year. This is equivalent to 554 regular 341mL bottles of 5% strength beer or 105 regular 750mL bottles of 12% strength table wine or 34 regular 750mL bottles of spirits per person per year. 

"Since the end of the financial crisis eight years ago, alcohol consumption in BC increased 10% while it has actually decreased overall in Canada as a whole," says CISUR director Tim Stockwell.

Our BC AOD Monitoring Project is able to provide more accurate data than Statistics Canada for a number of reasons:

  • U-Brew and U-Vin sales are included in the per capita consumption estimates
  • More accurate estimates of the ethanol strength of typical alcoholic beverages is used
  • More up-to-date population estimates from BC Statistics are used

For the 2017 calendar year, the highest alcohol consumption in BC is in the Interior, North and on Vancouver Island Health Authorities with the lowest levels in the Fraser and Vancouver Health authorities. Consumption in the Interior (13.17L) is almost double that in Fraser (6.89L). You can explore the latest consumption data using our interactive trend analyzer tool.

 A study is underway at CISUR to estimate the impacts on preventable injury, illness and death of this increase in alcohol consumption.