Nightclubs have fallen victim to a new generation of young people who would rather stay at home listening to Spotify or playing video games than down drinks on the dancefloor.
The decline of nightclubs has been marked by the Office for National Statistics, which has dropped admission charges from the basket of common goods and services used to calculate inflation.
Hundreds of clubs have closed while you no longer have to pay to get in to many of those that are still open, the Office for National Statistics said. The number has declined in the past decade to 1,733 from more than 3,144 in 2005.
The demise of clubbing is the result not just of the smoking ban and the imposition of student loans, which leaves young people with less money for going out, but is also done to relaxed licensing laws that allow pubs and bars to sell alcohol into the early hours.
There has also been a fundamental shift in the way Millennials — those who were born in the 1980s and 1990s and who have grown up with the internet — choose to spend their entertainment budget.
Social media sites and Spotify, a free music streaming service (or, if you are over 50, a free online jukebox) means that music is far more accessible today than it was a generation ago.
Socialising with friends often takes place over Snapchat and other social media sites. If the younger generation want to meet someone face-to-face, they can go on to the dating site Tinder and find one.
Photo opportunities, required by Millennials to continually update their social media “stories”, are limited in a pitch black night club. Far better to go to a cool pop-up café for a selfie.
CD Roms and rewritable DVDs have also both been removed from the ONS inflation basket, reflecting the change in the computer market away from physical media and towards downloadable files.
The ONS inflation basket contains about 700 goods and services that the public most often uses or consumes. It adds or drops about a dozen or so each year to make the inflation rate as relevant and accurate as possible.
Additions this year include coffee pods, the capsules for new coffee machine that closely replicate a proper espresso, and cream liqueurs such as Baileys, which are undergoing something of a nostalgia-driven revival.
Lemons have been added, a reflection of the popularity of home cooking, along with large chocolate bars, now just as popular as the small ones. Nail polish is also now in, along with women’s leggings.
Dropped along with nightclubs are sliced turkey, organic carrots and gloss paint. The gourmet pub revolution is marked by the exclusion of hot and cold pub snacks, which have been made virtually extinct by gastro meals.
Overall, drinking is declining among younger people. The proportion of teetotallers has grown steadily over the past decade with more than a quarter of 16- to 24-year- olds now classifying themselves as teetotal. That compares with fewer than one in five in 2005. Binge drinking has also fallen. A third of young people got drunk regularly a decade ago compared with only one in six today. To cash in on the trend alcohol-free bars are opening.
A generation ago almost half of young people were regular smokers; in 1974 40 per cent smoked; now it’s 20 per cent. Smoking is still a tempting act of rebellion and seen as cool to some degree, but youngsters also like looking good and being fit and healthy. These days they all know the health risks of smoking. Their role models — from Zoella, the fashion vlogger, to David Beckham — don’t smoke. It is increasingly seen as a habit for losers.
About 16 per cent of teenagers have taken drugs, with about two per cent using them frequently, according to the Health & Social Care Information Centre. Cannabis is the most popular drug, used by 8.2 per cent, while 0.9 per cent have tried cocaine and ecstasy. In 2001, however, 29 per cent of youngsters took drugs: 13.4 per cent had smoked cannabis and 2.8 per cent had tried cocaine or ecstasy.
More youngsters live at home these days — a total of 3.3 million 20-to 34-year-olds live with their parents, up 25 per cent since 1996. They also appear to like being in the house. Teenagers spend about six and a half hours a day in front of a screen on games, social media or watching video clips, according to Childwise, a market research company, compared with about three hours in 1995, when TV was the only screen around. With the family home the most reliable source of wi-fi, it becomes hard to leave.