North-east has most young binge-drinkers

Young people living near "party cities" in North-east England are more likely to binge drink than those in other areas because of the way youth-oriented bars and clubs are clustered together.

They are also more likely to encounter adults drinking heavily and it is more common to see young adults drinking in parks, streets and open spaces, a report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation concludes.

Young people from the North-east also have fewer hobbies and pastimes outside the home than their counterparts in the South-east. Researchers say this is partly explained by their families being less well-off, but is also due to fewer facilities on offer in the North-east.

The study, which examines how young people's drinking may be influenced by the area they live in, concludes that town planning and local policy have a big impact. Cities such as Newcastle are renowned for their party culture.

Researchers interviewed two groups of young people aged between 15 and 24, from the North-east and the South-east, about their drinking habits. They conclude that drinking is important to young people of all ages as a social activity and they rarely drink alone.