How often do you drink at home? graph of japanese statisticsThe publishing company Sankei Living recently conducted a survey into drinking habits of working women.


During January 2015 701 female members of the City Living email newsletter members completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 5.6% of the sample were in their twenties, 35.9% in their thirties, 45.8% in their forties, and 12.7% in their fifties. 25.1% were employed full-time in positions on a promotion track, 48.8% in ordinary full-time positions, 7.6% contract employees, 9.0% dispatch workers, and 9.6% in part-time or short-term employment. Furthermore, 25.0% lived by themselves, 29.2% were single and living with their parents, 23.1% DINKS, Dual Income No Kids, 16.1% with children, and 6.6% other.

That’s quite a lot of drinking, and more worrying, the number who drink on their own is quite significant. Fortunately, at worst there was just three people having beer for breakfast or a swift one at the office.

For myself, I have drunk exactly one can of beer at home since I moved to Tokyo, and before that I averaged about one or two a year.

Research results

Q1: How often do you drink at home? (Sample size=701)

Almost every day (to SQs) 15.3%
Three or four times a week (to SQs) 11.6%
Once or twice a week (to SQs) 21.4%
Few times a month (to SQs) 11.8%
Almost never 26.2%
Don’t drink alcohol 13.7%

Q1SQ1: Compared to two or three years ago, how has your drinking at home changed? (Sample size=410)

Increased 32.4%
Not changed 56.1%
Decreased 11.5%

Note that the next question has an extra four people in the sample compared to Q1SQ1 – perhaps the previous question eliminated the few who were aged 20 or 21, so they would not have (leagally) drunk two or three years ago.

Q1SQ2: In what situations do you drink at home? (Sample size=414, multiple answer)

With evening meal 80.2%
While relaxing after evening meal 39.1%
While relaxing at home on weekends 25.6%
After bath 23.4%
At home party 18.1%
Soon after returning home 11.1%
With lunch on weekends 9.9%
As a night cap 6.8%
Other 0.7%

I don’t why the next question has lost one person!

Q1SQ3: Why do you drink at home? (Sample size=413, multiple answer)

As a reward for a hard day at the office 47.0%
Like alcoholic beverages 46.2%
To complement the taste of food 38.7%
To cheer myself up 35.1%
To relieve stress 31.0%
Because it’s enjoyable 19.4%
As a habit 15.0%
To relax, calm down 10.4%
Other 2.7%

Q1SQ4: Who do you most often drink with at home? (Sample size=412)

By myself 42.5%
Husband 35.0%
Parents 11.7%
Boyfriend 5.1%
Friends 3.2%
Brothers, sisters 2.2%
Other 0.5%

Q1SQ5: Where do you buy your alcohol for drinking at home? (Sample size=413, multiple answer)

Supermarket 81.8%
Convenience store 30.8%
Discount store 24.0%
Liquor shop 23.0%
Internet shopping 17.2%
Department store 13.1%
Drug store 10.4%
Other 1.9%

Q1SQ6: Where do you buy your alcohol for drinking at home? (Sample size=various, top three answers for each category)

  Normal weekday nights
Night before weekends
Beer 50.6% 55.3% 56.7%
Happoshu beer-like 18.9% 16.7% 14.9%
New genre beer-like 23.3% 18.6% 17.8%
Cocktail, chu-hai (highball), other mixed drink 33.8% 35.0% 34.6%
Fruit wine (plum, etc) 14.6% 17.1% 18.5%
Sake 7.0% 13.3% 13.9%
Wine 40.0% 54.3% 61.3%
Whisky, bourbon 4.8% 7.5% 8.4%
Shochu, awamori, makkori 8.6% 10.6% 10.1%
Other 1.0% 0.5% 1.2%
Don’t drink at that time 12.2% 3.9% 1.9%

Q2: Which of these health-related matters do you actively consider when choosing alcoholic beverages? (Sample size=701, multiple answer)

Low calorie 36.8%
Zero calorie 21.0%
Low sugar 29.0%
Zero sugar 21.4%
Low purine 16.5%
Zero purine 13.8%
Low alcohol 10.1%
Zero alcohol 11.1%
Other 1.4%
Nothing in particular 39.4%

Q3: How often do you drink non-alcohol alcohol-like drinks? (Sample size=701)

Often 8.1%
Sometimes 25.0%
Rarely 28.2%
Never 38.7%

Q4: From where do you get information about alcoholic, non-alcoholic alcohol-like beverages? (Sample size=701, multiple answer)

Television 60.8%
Internet (official brand, maker site) 27.4%
Conversation with colleagues, friends, family 21.7%
Outdoor advertising 14.7%
Public transport advertising 13.1%
Internet (word-of-mouth review site) 13.1%
Conversation with shop staff 12.4%
Magazine (including apps) 12.3%
Free paper (including apps) 11.4%
Newspaper (including apps) 10.8%
Advertising leaflet 10.3%
SNS 5.1%
Radio 2.4%
Other 1.3%
Not aware of getting information from anywhere 19.4%

Q5: Does changes in taxation, etc, have an effect on you when you buy alcoholic beverages? (Sample size=701)

Has effect 30.8%
Has no effect 37.7%
Hardly drink any alcohol 17.8%
Don’t drink any alcohol at all 13.7%

1 Comment

Mike · March 18, 2015 at 13:02

Very interesting! I see in your initial comments that you found it concerning that people would drink at home alone.
I almost always drank at home, quite frequently alone. I did this for a few reasons, primarily my main readon was cost! (I dont drink any more). It was just waaaaaay to expensive to go out drinking at bars or clubs most of the time. For about the cost of one or two drinks/beers I could buy a six pack of beer!

Second reason was convienance. After working a twelve hour shift its way too tiring to go someplace to drink and then travel home afterwards when I could be at home BBQ’ing on the balcony patio, watching TV and drinking beer! ;). …often I would enjoy drinking while chatting online in the evenings/weekend while having a few beers. (Back when BBS systems were the thing and the internet was basically unknown)

Third reason was travel. Especially at night. Last thing you want is getting pulled over by the police when you’ve been drinking!! There were no bars/clubs within walking/bicycle distance (actually no alcohol sales in that town!) and the busses stopped running after a certain hour. Taxi cabs were pretty expensive too for the distance. (Again, cost!;)

Social setting. Unless you went with friends you rarely knew what/who to expect, so you either wound up drinking alone in a crouded room or having to deal with rude people often, hoping nobody started any fights!

Personally I never understood drinking at strip clubs (titty bars;), why get drunk looking at naked girls you know you cant touch?! I was amazed at how much money some guys spent at places like that!! We gad one guy I worked with that was really addicted to going, he would spend hundreds of dollars after payday, drinking and ‘tipping’ the dancers! He could have bought a house with all the money he blew there over the years! Yeesh!!

Fourth reason is safety, you’re in a secure location, nobody is going to bother you, fight with you, attack you in the parking lot/rape you. Not going to get hit by a car, get mugged/robbed. The list goes on!

Usually if my friends and I went ‘out’ drinking we would go to ‘house parties’ instead of clubs/bars.

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