Statistics from the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research based at the University of Victoria (UVic) show that residents of Vancouver Island are starting to drink more, after a dip about a decade ago, and will do so in the future.
According to the institute, per-capita alcohol consumption on Vancouver Island was 11.59 litres — up from 10.49 litres in 2011. Starting in 2002, alcohol consumption on Vancouver Island rose steadily from 9.87 litres to 11.07 litres in 2008, the start of the Great Recession.
Alcohol consumption then hit a lull that hit bottom in 2011 and lasted until 2014, when consumption hit 11.07 litres — the same level as in 2008. It has been rising steadily since, and an extrapolation of the available data predicts that residents on Vancouver Island will drink in excess of 12 litres in 2020.
Compared to the province, residents of Vancouver Island drink notably more than British Columbians elsewhere. In 2011, when alcohol consumption on Vancouver Island bottomed out at 10.49 litres, the provincial per capita rate was well below 9 litres.
The statistics organized by health regions show that residents of Interior Health drank the most per capita in 2017 with 13.17 litres, followed by Vancouver Island, Northern (11.11), Vancouver Coastal (8.85) and Fraser (6.89).
Looking at more regional figures, Greater Victoria consumption rates hover in the provincial middle with 11.06 litres in 2017. Residents in Howe Sound consumed the most in 2017 with 26.95 litres, while Nisga’a residents consumed zero.