Australians appear to be drinking less alcohol now than at any time in the past 50 years, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The ABS found there there were 9.7 litres of pure alcohol available for consumption for every Australian aged 15 years and over in 2013-14 - the equivalent of 2.1 standard drinks per person per day.
ABS spokeswoman Louise Gates said this was the lowest level of alcohol consumption since the early 1960s.
The estimates of "apparent consumption" are based on information related to supply, such as excise data on alcohol produced for domestic consumption, and data on imports.
The figures assume all alcohol available for consumption in a particular year has been consumed in that year, and do not account for duty-free alcohol imported by individual overseas travellers, nor for alcohol stored or cellared, used in food preparation or discarded as waste.
Ms Gates said patterns of alcohol consumption had changed significantly over the past half century.
She said that 50 years ago, beer accounted for three quarters of all alcohol consumed, but now makes up 41 per cent.
"Wine's share has increased over the same period from 12 per cent to 38 per cent."
The nation drinks more white than red - 270 million litres of white wine in 2013-14 compared with 190 million litres of red.
Full strength beer remains the most popular type of beer, accounting for around three quarters of all beer drunk in 2013-14.
Ms Gates said over the past decade mid-strength beer had grown at the expense of light beer. Mid-strength makes up 19 per cent of beer consumed, while low strength beer accounts for 5 per cent.
Over the last 50 years, spirits including pre-mixed drinks grew as a share of alcohol consumption from 13 per cent in 1963-64 to 19 per cent in 2013-14.
Cider is a small but growing proportion of all alcohol consumed, at 2 per cent in 2013-14.
Health experts welcomed the reduction in consumption, but said this did not equal a reduction in alcohol-related harm.
Nadine Ezard, the clinical director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at St Vincent's Hospital Sydney said there was evidence to suggest that alcohol-related harm is on the increase, and alcohol was second only to tobacco as the leading preventable cause of death and hospitalisation.
"430 Australians are hospitalised due to alcohol every day. It causes the death of 5500 Australians each year. One in five Australians still consume alcohol at levels that put them at risk of lifetime harm," Dr Ezard said.
"It's time for Australia to have a serious national conversation about alcohol and how we can better manage its negative impact."