More than 2,500 teenagers participated in a survey of their drinking habits, and it appears that the rate of young people choosing to abstain from alcohol has increased from one in three to over half.

The study shows that the decline is consistent across different genders, ages, socio-economic status and ethnic backgrounds.

“Respondents were approximately twice as likely to report abstention from alcohol in 2010 as in 2001 once these factors were controlled for,” said public health academic Michael Livingston, who published the survey.

He added that recreational drug use had also dropped just as fast among the group.

Livingstone put the trend down to awareness and concerns in society about the impact of alcohol abuse, increasing amount of time spent on the internet rather than on social activities, as well as the changing demographics of Australian society, with larger numbers of young people from lighter drinking cultures.

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