Home to staples like beer, wine and vodka, European countries don’t only produce some of the most popular alcoholic drinks but they also drink them.
According to the 2021 European health report by the World Health Organization (WHO), people across the continent consume more alcohol than in any other part of the world.
Every person aged 15 and over consumes, on average, 9.5 litres of pure alcohol each year, which is the equivalent to around 190 litres of beer, 80 litres of wine or 24 litres of spirits.
While total alcohol consumption per capita decreased by 21 percent between 2000 and 2019 in the WHO European Region, people continue to drink high amounts.
The data shows that nine out of the 10 countries that drink the most in the world are located in the European Union (EU).
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In 2019, 8.4 percent of the EU adult population consumed alcohol every day, 28.8 percent drank weekly, and 22.8 percent monthly.
However, 26.2 percent said they never consumed alcoholic drinks or hadn’t consumed any in the last 12 months.
What are the booziest countries in Europe?
The top 10 European countries with the highest alcohol consumption were:
- Czechia (14.3 litres per capita)
- Latvia (13.2 litres per capita)
- Moldova (12.9 litres per capita)
- Germany (12.8 litres per capita)
- Lithuania (12.8 litres per capita)
- Ireland (12.7 litres per capita)
- Spain (12.7 litres per capita)
- Bulgaria (12.5 litres per capita)
- Luxembourg (12.4 litres per capita)
- Romania (12.3 litres per capita).
On the flip side, not a single country within the EU has an annual per capita consumption of fewer than five litres of pure alcohol.
In fact, only the five following countries were below an annual per capita consumption of 10 litres: Italy (8.0), Malta (8.3 litres), Croatia (8.7), Sweden (9.0) and the Netherlands (9.7).
While the data shows large differences of alcohol consumption between European countries, one trend remains prevalent.
Men drink more than women, with 13 percent of men drinking alcohol daily compared to just 4.1 percent of women.
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Furthermore, the data also suggested that as people get older, their daily intake of alcohol also increases.
People aged between 15 and 24 are the smallest group in the daily drinker statistics, representing only 1 percent.
On the other hand, people aged 75 or over are more likely to have a drink every day.
However, the senior group also has the biggest number of people who don’t consume alcohol at all or have not consumed it in the past 12 months.
While the UK is no longer included in the Eurostat data, Drinkaware reports that 57 percent of British men and 47 percent of women consumed alcohol at least weekly in 2020.
The average 52 percent is over 23 percentage points higher than the average share of Europeans who reported drinking once a week in 2019.
The NHS recommends not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol (around six medium glasses of wine, or six pints of four percent beer) per week, spread across three days or more.
“There’s no completely safe level of drinking, but sticking within these guidelines lowers your risk of harming your health,” the health service adds.
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