A National Health Service survey showed the percentage of 11-15 year olds who had tried alcohol fell from 51 percent in 2009 to 45 percent in 2010, the BBC reported Thursday.
The proportion of those drinking alcohol was down from a peak of 26 percent in 2001 to 13 percent in 2010.
In a shift in attitudes, the percentage of school-age children saying it was "OK" for someone their own age to drink once a week went from 46 percent in 2003 to 32 percent in 2010.
"Our figures point to an increasingly intolerant attitude among young people in today's society when it comes to the use of cigarettes, alcohol and drugs," Tim Straughan, chief executive of the NHS Information Center, said.
"As well as a reduction in the percentage who say they partake in these behaviors," he said, "a shrinking number think that drinking and drunkenness is acceptable among their peers."
The survey included 7,296 pupils in 246 schools throughout England in the autumn term of 2010, the NHS said. No margin of error was reported.