Gen Z is Considered the Soberest Generation
Alcohol and drug addiction has been decreasing with every passing generation, but Gen Z might take the award for the soberest generation of all
A report from Bensburg reported that Gen Z’s are more than 20% less likely to drink than their millennial counterparts at the same age. On top of that, 64% of these teens and 20-year-olds stated they’d drink even less once they got older. These statistics have led researchers to believe Gen Z might be the soberest generation ever.
During the pandemic, everyone was forced to stay indoors for safety. This caused people to buy fewer drinks and focus on leaving only when necessary and also caused people to pick up new hobbies. Instead of distracting themselves with substances, many people decided to exercise at home, read, or even learn a new skill online. As a result, the data indicates that people have found newer ways to entertain themselves besides hard beer or wine. Hobbies, work, and hanging out with friends have been prioritized over drinking. The study also revealed that Gen Z is more sober-curious than other generations.
Gallup also backed this up with a study that found people ages 35-54 are the most likely generation to drink alcohol (70%), compared to Gen Z (60%) and baby boomers (52%). Furthermore, college-aged Americans who don’t drink alcohol increased from 20% to 28% over the last decade. The survey reported that the only demographic that seems to drink the most is young Europeans up to 39 years old, with these only drinking once a month. In the U.S, the largest group drinks once a week.
Alcohol is traditionally associated with social events and making friends. It’s also a distraction over many of life’s demands, despite its adverse effects on health. Sober-curious cultures welcome individuals who aren’t willing or planning to give up alcohol and encourage a sober lifestyle. These people simply chose to stop drinking alcohol for personal or well-being reasons.
The sober curious term was coined by Ruby Warrington, author of the 2018 book “Sober Curious: The Blissful Sleep, Greater Focus, Limitless Presence, and Deep Connection Awaiting Us All on the Other Side of Alcohol.”
The pandemic certainly played a part in Gen Z’s sober-focused lifestyle, but that’s not the full extent of it. And, while experts are unsure of all the underlying reasons for a decrease in alcohol consumption, it could also be that the newer generations have a wider array of distractions. Social media could be a contender for the new alcohol, another type of addiction. On top of that, people are less likely to go out than they were in the past, which could translate into less alcohol consumption in public places.
Senior research fellow Amy Pennay at the Centre for Alcohol Policy Research at La Trobe University, Melbourne, stated that the lower levels of alcohol consumption in Gen Z could also come from the awareness of its health risks. There’s even a #SoberTok now.