Alcohol consumption in India: trends across states, age groups

Alcohol consumption among both men and women is higher in rural India than in urban India, the National Family Health Survey-5 (NFHS-5), 2019-21 has found. Overall, 1% of women aged 15 and over drink alcohol, compared to 19% of men in the same age group. This breaks up into 1.6% (rural) and 0.6% (urban) among women, and 19.9% ​​and 16.5% respectively among men.

Source: NFHS-5

Of all states, Arunachal Pradesh has the highest proportion of both men (53%) and women (24%) who drink alcohol. Among women, Arunachal Pradesh was followed by Sikkim (16%); among men, it is followed by Telangana (43%). Besides Arunachal and Telangana, alcohol consumption among men is higher (40% and above) in the upper Brahmaputra region of Assam, districts in Jharkhand and Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, and the Chhota Nagpur region of Jharkhand and Odisha.

Source: NFHS-5

The level of alcohol consumption among men is 30-40% in parts of Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura, and a few districts of Odisha. It is below 30% in the remaining parts of India, and the lowest in Lakshadweep (0.4%).

Alcohol consumption is more common among those from the Scheduled Tribes than from any other caste / Tribe groups; this is true of both women (6% consumption among STs) and men (33%). Among religious groups, the proportion of men who drink alcohol is higher among those belonging to “other Religions” (47%) than among those belonging to the Hindu (20%), Muslim (5%), Christian (28%), Sikh (23.5%), Buddhist / Neo-Buddhist (24.5%) and Jain (5.9%) Religions.

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