Alcohol Consumption By Country 2020

Alcohol is a regulated drug. It is made with grains, vegetables, or fruits that are put through fermentation, a process where yeast or bacteria reacts with the sugars in the food resulting in ethanol and carbon dioxide. Beer and wine are fermented alcohols. Spirits go through an additional distillation process that removes some of the water, leaving a higher alcohol concentration and more flavor.

Alcohol is classified as a depressant as it slows down motor functions, reaction times, and speech. Alcohol consumed in low amounts, such as a glass of beer or wine, is often used to “loosen up” and will have more of a stimulant effect. When consumed in larger amounts, the depressant effects will begin to set in.

In the United States, a “drink” has 0.6 ounces of pure alcohol. A “drink” is considered to be:

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 8 ounces of malt liquor
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof (40% alcohol content) distilled spirits or liquor

Excessive drinking includes heavy drinking and binge drinking. Heavy drinking is defined as eight or more drinks per week for women and 15 or more drinks per week for men. Binge drinking is, during a single occasion, four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men.

While having an occasional drink is considered to be harmless, excessive consumption can lead to several health complications. Alcohol can have negative effects on the heart, including high blood pressure, stroke, arrhythmias, and cardiomyopathy. The liver can experience steatosis (fatty liver), alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Additionally, alcohol consumption is linked to head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer.

Alcohol is regulated by laws such as minimum drinking ages (most commonly 18 or 21, but varies by country), restricting open carry outside of establishments, required liquor licenses for restaurants and stores, and prohibiting the operation of motor vehicles under the influence.

The consumption of alcohol in each country varies greatly and is affected by the laws, culture, and other characteristics of each country. Alcohol.org found each country’s beer, wine, and spirits consumption per capita and converted the numbers to the pure alcohol consumption of each of these drinks. For example, one handle of vodka (1.75 liters) is about 300 milliliters of pure alcohol. The ten countries with the highest consumption of alcohol (in liters of pure alcohol per capita) are:

  1. Belarus (14.4 liters)
  2. Lithuania (12.9 liters)
  3. Grenada (11.9 liters)
  4. Czech Republic (11.8 liters)
  5. France (11.8 liters)
  6. Russia (11.5 liters)
  7. Ireland (11.4 liters)
  8. Luxembourg (11.4 liters)
  9. Slovakia (11.4 liters)
  10. Germany (11.3 liters)

Belarus consumes the most alcohol in the world of 14.4 liters per person per year. This is about 48 handles of vodka per person per year. Although the Ministry of Health of Belarus denied these figures, the government implemented regulations to restrict the productions, selling, and advertisement of alcohol. These include increasing the punishment for drunk driving and increasing alcohol prices and soon raising the minimum legal drinking age to 21. A majority of the top ten countries are located in Europe.

The United States has an annual consumption per person of 8.7 liters of pure alcohol. This is above the worldwide average of 8.3 but puts the United States at the 25th spot. The minimum drinking age in the United States is 21 and is strictly enforced.

* Data is pure alcohol consumption among persons (age 15+, drinkers only). Data is from 2016.
Country Liters of Pure Alcohol per Year Average Daily Intake in Grams of Pure Alcohol % Beer % Wine % Spirits Population 2019
Bangladesh0.92.10.00%0.00%0.00%163,046,161
Kuwait12.10.00%0.00%0.00%4,207,083
Brunei1.32.8100.00%0.00%0.00%433,285
Somalia1.53.30.00%0.00%0.00%15,442,905
Bhutan1.94.246.20%4.20%49.60%763,092
Niger2.55.445.00%13.70%41.40%23,310,715
Djibouti2.75.827.50%16.70%55.00%973,560
Singapore2.96.370.00%14.60%13.40%5,804,337
Malaysia3.16.760.70%21.00%17.40%31,949,777
Indonesia3.47.418.50%76.40%4.60%270,625,568
Senegal3.57.656.40%34.10%8.50%16,296,364
Kiribati3.77.9100.00%0.00%0.00%117,606
Azerbaijan3.78.161.50%36.90%0.00%10,047,718
Mauritania3.88.10.00%0.00%0.00%4,525,696
Saudi Arabia3.88.10.00%0.00%0.00%34,268,528
Qatar4.49.425.90%10.20%63.40%2,832,067
Mali5.712.415.80%1.20%0.00%19,658,031
Guinea5.812.591.10%8.90%0.00%12,771,246
Eritrea6.313.562.10%0.10%0.20%3,497,117
Chad6.914.970.20%1.00%5.30%15,946,876
Israel715.154.40%4.70%39.50%8,519,377
Dr Congo7.115.338.90%0.60%0.70%86,790,567
Nepal7.416.131.00%49.00%20.00%28,608,710
Vanuatu7.415.938.50%25.40%36.10%299,882
Papua New Guinea8.618.595.20%2.70%2.10%8,776,109
Central African Republic8.81925.90%0.70%0.00%4,745,185
Guatemala919.456.10%2.10%41.70%17,581,472
Oman9.119.739.80%2.80%57.00%4,974,986
Madagascar9.22053.80%8.20%38.00%26,969,307
Norway9.420.443.90%36.70%16.70%5,378,857
Yemen9.420.389.50%0.00%10.50%29,161,922
Ecuador9.520.679.90%1.50%17.80%17,373,662
North Korea9.620.72.70%0.00%97.30%25,666,161
Bahamas10.121.939.20%16.60%41.20%389,482
Ghana10.222.128.30%6.60%8.00%30,417,856
Solomon Islands10.422.693.30%2.90%3.30%669,823
Bolivia10.522.672.80%4.30%21.30%11,513,100
Tonga10.723.160.70%11.50%27.90%104,494
Mozambique11.424.678.70%8.30%12.40%30,366,036
Mauritius11.52553.90%15.40%30.80%1,269,668
Benin11.625.163.70%9.60%13.10%11,801,151
Peru11.825.660.10%8.10%31.80%32,510,453
Jamaica11.925.836.30%4.80%54.20%2,948,279
Italy1225.925.40%64.80%9.80%60,550,075
Netherlands122647.80%35.80%16.40%17,097,130
Togo122637.00%16.00%18.20%8,082,366
Tuvalu1225.90.60%84.70%14.10%11,646
Suriname12.126.244.90%3.50%48.80%581,372
Iraq12.426.771.00%2.40%25.70%39,309,783
Sweden12.527.136.40%47.80%14.10%10,036,379
Ethiopia12.627.354.60%0.30%8.30%112,078,730
El Salvador12.827.647.80%1.30%50.70%6,453,553
Iceland12.827.656.50%27.90%15.50%339,031
Malta12.827.836.40%29.90%28.70%440,372
Uzbekistan12.827.734.40%8.60%56.90%32,981,716
China12.927.929.60%3.10%67.20%1,433,783,686
Costa Rica1328.164.10%7.20%27.90%5,047,561
Cuba13.228.537.30%4.90%57.40%11,333,483
Angola13.42970.30%17.60%11.30%31,825,295
Australia13.428.939.90%37.50%12.90%25,203,198
Bosnia And Herzegovina13.42975.80%8.60%12.40%3,301,000
Honduras13.529.146.60%1.20%52.10%9,746,117
Chile13.729.636.10%33.10%30.80%18,952,038
United States13.729.647.00%18.10%34.90%329,064,917
Canada13.829.945.10%25.60%25.60%37,411,047
Ukraine13.829.942.30%5.40%51.50%43,993,638
Denmark13.930.137.40%44.70%17.10%5,771,876
Gambia14.130.48.50%2.10%0.00%2,347,706
Japan14.130.418.20%5.50%40.00%126,860,301
Kenya14.130.439.80%1.80%21.40%52,573,973
Luxembourg14.130.635.40%44.60%20.00%615,729
Antigua And Barbuda14.230.733.00%18.30%45.40%97,118
Switzerland14.230.632.10%48.10%18.50%8,591,365
Trinidad And Tobago14.230.857.90%3.30%37.10%1,394,973
New Zealand14.330.937.40%33.40%28.90%4,783,063
Egypt14.33162.00%4.40%33.10%100,388,073
Argentina14.631.539.90%40.20%9.60%44,780,677
India14.631.57.50%0.10%92.40%1,366,417,754
Spain14.631.554.20%18.00%27.80%46,736,776
Albania14.631.734.30%26.50%37.60%2,880,917
Finland14.831.948.80%20.60%21.50%5,532,156
Montenegro14.832.110.80%43.10%44.10%627,987
Sri Lanka14.932.213.20%0.30%84.90%21,323,733
Austria14.932.253.50%31.60%14.90%8,955,102
Venezuela14.932.169.20%0.30%29.20%28,515,829
Croatia1532.444.50%39.00%13.00%4,130,304
Republic Of The Congo15.132.784.40%4.70%10.30%5,380,508
Andorra15.132.734.10%42.00%23.90%77,142
Belarus15.232.822.80%2.20%49.00%9,452,411
Colombia15.232.971.30%1.10%27.20%50,339,443
Mexico15.333.177.10%2.10%20.40%127,575,529
Equatorial Guinea15.533.583.00%17.00%0.00%1,355,986
Malawi15.533.48.80%0.80%11.30%18,628,747
Cyprus15.633.829.70%28.40%41.90%1,198,575
United Kingdom15.633.735.00%35.70%22.50%67,530,172
Uruguay15.73435.20%43.70%21.10%3,461,734
Samoa15.733.994.10%5.90%0.00%197,097
Tajikistan15.834.237.90%0.70%60.90%9,321,018
Estonia15.934.432.70%7.40%50.30%1,325,648
Greece15.934.531.50%45.50%21.80%10,473,455
Nicaragua15.934.539.70%0.80%59.50%6,545,502
Belgium15.934.344.40%38.30%14.20%11,539,328
Dominican Republic1634.552.20%4.40%41.90%10,738,958
Ireland1634.647.00%28.00%18.80%4,882,495
South Korea1634.622.20%1.90%7.10%51,225,308
Guyana16.134.748.40%0.20%50.80%782,766
Micronesia16.134.958.10%8.50%32.80%113,815
Belize16.335.169.10%1.90%26.70%390,353
Haiti16.535.62.30%0.30%97.30%11,263,077
Panama16.535.776.90%3.50%19.40%4,246,439
Guinea Bissau16.535.613.70%31.30%13.70%1,920,922
Slovakia16.635.833.70%20.90%41.90%5,457,013
France16.736.118.80%58.80%20.70%65,129,728
Fiji16.936.569.80%1.20%28.90%889,953
Germany16.936.552.60%28.40%18.90%83,517,045
Hungary17.13735.50%32.20%32.30%9,684,679
Poland17.13756.10%7.80%36.10%37,887,768
Saint Kitts And Nevis17.13747.80%6.50%43.40%52,823
Gabon17.237.276.30%9.20%13.40%2,172,579
Latvia17.237.242.80%11.10%40.00%1,906,743
Myanmar17.638.122.40%9.80%67.70%54,045,420
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines17.738.236.60%3.60%57.20%110,589
Slovenia17.738.341.40%50.60%8.00%2,078,654
Zambia17.738.336.40%2.70%0.40%17,861,030
Portugal17.838.426.10%61.50%7.70%10,226,187
Turkmenistan17.838.626.80%35.10%38.00%5,942,089
Dominica183911.10%0.00%88.90%71,808
Sierra Leone18.339.54.00%1.10%0.00%7,813,215
Serbia18.539.932.00%42.50%25.40%8,772,235
Grenada18.740.440.90%7.00%48.30%112,003
Liberia18.740.59.40%1.80%88.20%4,937,374
Romania18.840.755.60%28.10%16.40%19,364,557
Lithuania18.94143.60%7.30%37.10%2,759,627
Barbados1941.137.60%10.50%50.00%287,025
Czech Republic19.141.353.30%21.30%25.40%10,689,209
Bulgaria19.241.538.80%17.20%42.90%7,000,119
Kazakhstan19.241.530.50%6.50%62.90%18,551,427
Brazil19.341.761.80%3.40%34.30%211,049,527
Saint Lucia19.842.835.40%13.20%50.00%182,790
Philippines19.943.127.30%0.40%72.00%108,116,615
Paraguay20.143.554.20%17.40%27.30%7,044,636
Russia20.143.539.00%12.80%38.60%145,872,256
Sao Tome And Principe20.143.519.80%80.20%0.00%215,056
Thailand20.343.928.30%2.70%68.90%69,625,582
United Arab Emirates20.544.210.10%7.70%81.90%9,770,529
Cook Islands20.845.131.70%16.10%52.20%17,548
Niue2145.556.30%13.10%30.60%1,615
Armenia21.34610.60%7.00%82.30%2,957,731
Cambodia21.74788.10%0.60%11.20%16,486,542
Ivory Coast21.746.921.90%5.00%0.20%25,716,544
Seychelles21.847.268.90%22.40%6.30%97,739
Mongolia21.947.243.60%1.90%54.50%3,225,167
Sudan2247.50.00%0.00%0.00%42,813,238
Bahrain22.147.919.00%6.20%45.20%1,641,172
Burkina Faso22.247.918.00%2.70%5.00%20,321,378
Comoros22.348.324.60%30.60%44.80%850,886
Cameroon22.648.843.50%1.40%0.10%25,876,380
Moldova22.849.216.20%56.60%25.20%4,043,263
Vietnam22.849.391.50%0.80%7.70%96,462,106
Burundi23.751.239.30%0.10%0.10%11,530,580
Kyrgyzstan2451.911.60%2.20%86.20%6,415,850
Morocco24.552.942.90%39.80%17.00%36,471,769
Jordan24.653.219.90%2.60%75.90%10,101,694
Lebanon2554.133.90%15.40%49.20%6,855,713
Nigeria25.5557.90%0.40%0.60%200,963,599
Rwanda25.655.414.80%0.20%2.70%12,626,950
Tanzania25.855.712.20%0.40%1.60%58,005,463
Laos25.95650.10%0.00%49.80%7,169,455
Pakistan2656.20.00%0.00%0.00%216,565,318
Uganda2656.311.00%0.10%3.10%44,269,594
Botswana26.256.648.10%23.50%4.40%2,303,697
Libya26.4570.00%0.00%0.00%6,777,452
Zimbabwe27.258.862.80%1.30%12.00%14,645,468
Nauru27.35922.00%3.70%74.30%10,756
Georgia27.960.418.40%43.00%38.50%3,996,765
Lesotho28.26157.40%3.20%10.50%2,125,268
Iran28.461.40.00%0.00%0.00%82,913,906
Turkey28.561.757.60%8.60%33.80%83,429,615
Algeria29.16357.30%24.40%18.30%43,053,054
South Africa29.964.656.00%18.50%17.80%58,558,270
Namibia32.470.160.20%10.40%13.90%2,494,530
Afghanistan33.572.40.00%0.00%0.00%38,041,754
Maldives33.772.830.80%37.20%31.90%530,953
Tunisia36.679.172.20%23.90%3.80%11,694,719