Trends in alcohol consumption and expenditure: Analysis of household data from nationally representative sample from India

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Research Article

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Asian Journal of Psychiatry


Background: Alcohol consumption in India has been rising at an increasing rate. A better understanding of current trends of consumption and expenditure is necessary for tackling future challenges. Aims: To determine association between household income and amount of alcohol consumed, type of beverage consumed, and expenditure on alcohol in Indian households across different income-groups for rural and urban areas. Method: Secondary analysis of cross-sectional data from the Consumption Expenditure Survey by National Sample Survey Organization for 2011-12 in a nationally representative sample of over 65,000 households. We used estimates of average household Monthly Per Capita Consumer Expenditure (MPCE) including distribution of households and persons over the MPCE range, break-up of average MPCE by commodity group. Results and Conclusion: Households in India, on average, consumed 0.18 L of all alcoholic beverages per month (0.22 L in rural areas; 0.10 L in urban areas). The absolute quantity of alcohol consumed was higher among higher income-groups in both rural and urban areas. Country liquor was used by a majority across India; was used seven times more than toddy and beer, and 3.5 times more than Indian Made Foreign Liquor. Households’ expenditure on alcohol was Rs.16.46 (US$0.26) per month, which was 0.98% of average total household MPCE. Fraction of average total household MPCE on alcohol in rural areas (1.14%) was almost double that of urban areas (0.62%). It increased steadily from lowest (0.5%) to highest (1.7%) income group in rural areas whereas in urban areas, it varied a little (0.5-0.8%) across income groups.

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