Indicator Rationale

Long term and excessive use of alcohol can cause extreme harm to the physical and mental health of individuals, families and communities and is strongly associated with liver disease, stroke, numerous types of cancer and depression.  Excessive alcohol abuse can also lead to injury and death through accident, suicide and violence and is often connected to family violence, assault and homicide. These physical and social costs increase the burden of preventable disease on Australia‚Äôs health care system.

In Australia, alcohol can be purchased from licensed retailers and consumed by all people 18 years old and over. Outlets that sell alcohol which can be purchased and taken away to consume elsewhere are known as off-licence retailers while those who sell alcohol which must be consumed on the premises where is was purchased are known as on-licence retailers. It is possible for a retailer to have both an on and off-licence for alcohol sales.

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals


Average number of on-licence alcohol outlets within 400m

Average number of off-licence alcohol outlet within 800m

Average distance to closest on-licence alcohol outlet

Average distance to closest off-licence alcohol outlet


Three datasets were used in the GIS analysis: alcohol, a pedestrian road network and sample points. The location of alcohol retailers was collected for each Australian state and territory from liquor licensing regulatory bodies classified into on and off-licence premises.

Only retailers with a permanent address were included in the final data sets and wholesalers and retailers who served alcohol at temporary events were excluded.

Pedestrian road network distances were calculated from each sample point to the closest venue with an on and off liquor licence.


Badland H, Mavoa S, Livingston M, David S, Giles-Corti B. (2016). Testing spatial measures of alcohol outlet density with self-rated health in the Australian context: Implications for policy and practice. Drug Alcohol Rev. 35(3): 298-306

Foster S, Trapp G, Hooper P, Oddy WH, Wood L, Knuiman M. (2017). Liquor landscapes: Does access to alcohol outlets influence alcohol consumption in young adults? Health Place. 45: 17-23

Livingstone M. (2011). Alcohol outlet density and harm: Comparing the impacts on violence and chronic harms. Drug Alcohol Rev. 30: 515-23

Livingston, M. (2011). A longitudinal analysis of alcohol outlet density and domestic violence. Addiction106(5), 919-925.