Variation by age and sex

In 2019–20, there were 30,024 alcohol-related injury hospitalisations, accounting for 5.7% of all injury hospitalisations (AIHW 2022) (Table 1).

Almost 60% of alcohol-related hospitalisations were for males. This is higher than the percentage for all hospitalised injuries cases in 2019–20, where males represented 55% of hospitalisations (Table 1).

Across all age groups the rate of hospitalisations was higher for males than females (Figure 1). Males were 1.5 times as likely as females to be hospitalised for an alcohol-related injury (Table 1; Figure 1).

Table 1: Number and rate of alcohol-related injury hospitalisations, by sex, 2019–20
  Males Females Persons

Number of alcohol-related hospitalisations




Rate for alcohol-related hospitalisations




Number of all injury hospitalisations




Rate for all injury hospitalisations




Note: Rates are crude per 100,000 population.
Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database.

Males aged 45–49 and 20–24 were the five-year age groups with the highest numbers of hospitalisations – just over 1,600 each (Figure 1). For females, the 45–49 age group had the highest number of hospitalisations (almost 1,400).

Among males, those aged 50–54 had the highest rate of alcohol-related injury hospitalisations (204 per 100,000) and among females, those aged 45–49 had the highest rates (163 cases per 100,000 population).

Figure 1: Number and rate of alcohol-related injury hospitalisations, by age group and sex, 2019–20

A bar chart showing that males have higher numbers and rates of alcohol-related injury hospitalisations than females. 

For more detailed data, see Data tables A1–3.


There were 96 hospitalisations for children aged 0–14, with similar numbers of males and females.

For those aged 0–14 years, intentional self-harm (31%, 30 cases) and accidental poisoning (25%, 24 cases) were the most common causes of alcohol-related injury hospitalisations. About half of cases:

  • were due to poisoning or toxic effect (54 cases)
  • involved one or more drug other than alcohol (45 cases)
  • occurred in the home (44 cases).

Data for the 0–14 age group is not presented in all sections of this report due to confidentiality issues associated with publication of low case counts.