The Bogan Myth: Wealthy Aussies Are More At Risk Of Dangerous Alcohol Consumption

When most people think of extreme binge-drinkers, they tend to imagine blue-collar booze hounds and unemployed teenage hoons. However, new research into Australian drinking habits has found that higher income earners are actually more likely to indulge in risky alcohol consumption.

Drunk socialite picture from Shutterstock

In an attempt to pinpoint the factors that make Australians drink heavily, researchers from the University of New South Wales surveyed 2,977 randomly selected individuals from 20 regional communities in NSW. The survey identified common traits that can lead to risky alcohol consumption at both the individual and community level.

At the community-level, a large number of hotels and clubs combined with a limited police presence was positively associated with risky drinking. Obvious stuff, really.

When it came to individuals, unmarried males with below-average health were more likely to be drinking at potentially harmful levels in the long term. At the short term, income also played a decisive role, although not in the direction many people would assume:

Being younger, unmarried, Australian born and with a larger income (at least $700.00 per week) was associated with drinking at levels for risk of harm in the short term.

The report concludes that interventions and preventative measures need to be tailored at the individual- community-level to effectively target the type of harm:

Rates of risky drinking vary significantly between communities with individual and community factors significantly associated with drinking at levels for risk of harm in the short and long term, and alcohol-related harm.   To be optimally effective, interventions should be tailored to individual communities and target the type of harm (e.g. reducing alcohol availability by limiting the number of pubs, to reduce drinking at levels for harm in the short term). A range of complementary individual-level and community-level strategies should be implemented simultaneously.

In a separate NHMRC study, it was found that around half of surveyed Australians did not know the alcohol guideline threshold for women, while a whopping 79.9 per cent did not know the threshold for men. The survey also found that 21.6 per cent of adults drank in excess of the NHMRC guideline threshold.

Identifying individual- and population-level characteristics that influence rates of risky alcohol consumption in regional communities [ANZJPH]


    The Bogan Myth:Alcohol is only part of this so called myth... You need to have absolutely no dress sense, every second word should be a F*** or C*** and try to fight or root everything that moves... oh and don't forget the ciggies and the tacky home nick-nacks...!

    Last edited 10/02/14 6:27 pm

      You have almost described every hip-hop and r&b artist bar the knick-knacks

        Probably should have added the total lack of self control and hygiene, plus an almost unimaginable lack of the cool factor...! :)

          Still seeing the parallels to hip hop and r&b...

            OK I got it the difference between a hip hop artist and a bogan is the amount of success.

            I can almost understand you not liking Hip Hop, it's something you love or hate and I'm not fond of it either. However it seems to me that a bogan would not be fond of rhythm and blues, and I quite like it, which begs the question...? :)

      ...and tattoos, preferably ones you got on your Bali holiday.

        most likely wearing a bintang singlet

    People with honestly-made money usually have it because they all have smarts, and, consequently, don't swill their grog until they're blind and not many of them smoke. Those who can ill-afford to drink and smoke are more often than not those who do, and to excess.

      Honestly made money? So poor old begon that lays bricks for 40 hours a week isn't making his money honestly? And in my experience some of the more affluent people are the biggest drinkers, they can afford to when they earn more than they know what to do with.

    People who have higher levels of disposable income can afford to spend more on alcohol. Not surprising really. Although that doesn't necessarily mean they're not bogans. A lot of them could be of the cashed up variety.

      Yeah - it's like they haven't heard of this little thing called the mining boom.

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