The attitude of Russians towards alcohol has not changed significantly in the last 13 years, according to a survey by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center (WCIOM). While a quarter of Russians do not consume alcohol at all, the remaining three quarters drink ever more often. Alcoholism has increased especially in smaller cities and among young adults.
According to WCIOM’s July 2009 survey, 74% of Russians consume alcohol, compared to 77% in 1996. However, the number of those who drink more than once a week has increased from 5% in 1996 to 8% in 2009. In small cities, frequent drinkers account for 44% of the populace, while as many as 12% of young adults (aged 18-24) say that they drink more than once a week.
WCIOM’s survey shows that 23% of Russians consume alcohol two or three times a month, 18% once a month, and 25% less than once a month. Around a quarter (24%) of Russians say they do not consume alcohol at all. The latter are mostly residents of regional capitals (26%) and middle-sized cities (27%) as well as people aged over 60 years (47%).
There is a clear difference in alcohol consumption between men and women in Russia. While 45% of men drink alcohol more than a few times a month, the corresponding figure for women is 18%. On the other hand, 31% of women say they consume alcohol less than once a month, while the corresponding figure for men is 18%. The number of teetotallers is two times higher among women (31%) than men (16%).
WCIOM carried out the latest survey on the attitudes towards the consumption of alcohol on 18-19 July 2009. The agency questioned 1,600 people in 140 population centres in 42 oblasts throughout Russia.