Press release №2356
20.08.2021
ALCOHOL AMIDST PANDEMIC

IN BRIEF

  • 38% of Russians do not drink alcohol
  • 39% of Russians consider wine to be harmless to health
  • Most of Russians prefer beer (7% on a weekly basis, 16% once or twice a month).

JULY 12, 2021. Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the findings of a survey devoted to alcohol consumption in Russia.

More than one-third of Russians do not consume alcohol (38%); they are often respondents aged 60 and older (51%). Every fourth respondent drinks alcohol less often than once a month (25%). Fourteen and 18% of Russians drink alcohol once a month or 2-3 times a month (+4 p.p. since 2018). Those who tend to drink once a month are predominantly young Russians aged 18-24. Respondents aged 25-44 are more likely to drink 2-3 times a month. The percentages of Russians who drink every day or several times a week are 1% and 4%.

The alcoholic drink most of Russians consume on a weekly basis or once or twice a month is beer (7% and 16%). Wines and champagne, as well as strong alcohol are consumed less often than once a month (24%; 18%). Alcoholic cocktails are not popular with Russians: 91% of respondents say that they do not drink them.

The share of those who believe that all types of alcohol, in varying degrees, are harmful to health has increased again - from 55% in 2018 to 81% in 2021. Fifteen percent of respondents agree that certain amounts of alcohol can be safe (24 p.p. lower than in 2018).

Respondents consider wine as the “safest” alcoholic drink (39%; -12 p.p. since 2018). This is followed by beer and vodka (14% and 12%, respectively). There has been a decline in the shares of those who consider cognac and homemade wines/liquors least harmful (from 13% in 2018 to 8% in 2021; from 11% in 2018 to 4% in 2021, respectively).

Russian nationwide VCIOM-Sputnik survey was conducted on June 19 and July 7, 2021. A total of 1,600 of Russians aged 18 and older took part in the survey. Results are based on telephone interviews. Stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of Russian landline and mobile phone numbers was used. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 2.5%. In addition to sampling error, minor changes to the wording of questions and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

The 2009-2011 results are based on household surveys.
Do you drink alcohol? If so, how often? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
2009 2011 2017 2018 2021
Every day -* -* 0 1 1
Several times a week 8 7 5 3 4
2-3 times a month 19 20 16 14 18
About once a month 19 16 12 16 14
Less often than once a month 26 27 26 24 25
I do not use alcohol 26 28 39 40 38
Don’t know 2 2 2 3 0

*In 2009 and 2011 this answer option was not offered.

Do you drink alcohol? If so, how often? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
Total respondents Ages 18-24 25-34 35-44 45-59 60 +
Every day 1 0 1 0 1 1
Several times a week 4 2 5 5 4 2
2-3 times a month 18 9 20 23 18 15
About once a month 14 27 15 13 13 9
Less often than once a month 25 23 24 28 29 21
I do not use alcohol 38 39 35 31 32 51
Don’t know 0 0 0 0 3 1

 

 

I will list different alcoholic drinks. Can you tell me how often you drink them? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
Beer Alcoholic cocktails   Wines, champagne Strong alcohol (vodka, cognac, whisky, rum, absinthe, etc.) Other
Every week 7 1 3 4 1
1-2 times a month 16 3 10 12 1
Less often than once a month 13 5 24 18 2
I do not drink it 63 91 62 66 86
Don’t know 1 0 1 0 10

 

There is a viewpoint that there are certain amounts of alcohol safe to drink, not harmful to health. Do you agree with that, or not? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  2017 2018 2021
Likely to agree 15 39 15
Likely to disagree 80 55 81
Don’t know 5 6 4

 

What are those types of alcohol?  (open-ended question, up to 5 answers; answers of at least 2% of respondents; % of those who agree that there are amounts of alcohol not harmful to health)
  2018 2021
Wine 51 39
Beer 14 14
Vodka 14 12
Alcohol-free  drinks 3 12
Cognac 13 8
Homemade wines, infused liquors 11 4
Samogon (homemade vodka) 8 6
Champagne 4 4
Kvas (fizzy bread drink) 2 4
Whisky 1 3
Liquors 1 3
Grain alcohol 1 2
Any quality alcohol 1 2
Other 3 3
Don’t know 15 14
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