Alcohol consumption in BC decreases, but still above Canadian average

A graph of alcohol consumption estimates in BC

After record highs during the early days of COVID, per capita alcohol consumption in BC has fallen for the second straight year in a row. However, it still remains well above the Canadian average.

CISUR researchers have released their annual update on alcohol consumption in BC. During the 2022/23 fiscal year, British Columbians consumed 526 standard drinks (SDs) per person over the age of 15 per year, including non-drinkers. This is a decrease of 0.34L in age 15+ per capita ethanol consumption, down to 8.97L from 9.31L in 2021/22, and a continuation of a downward trend since 2020/21. Even with the decrease, BC is still above the Canadian average of 475 standard drinks/year.

Some other interesting trends found in this year's update include the return of alcohol consumption at on-premise establishments (bars, restaurants, etc) to near pre-COVID levels, increasing consumption of spirits, which is now almost at par with longtime beverage-type leader beer, and the erosion of alcohol prices over time when adjusted for inflation.

 Read the full update on our alcohol consumption page.