Alcohol Consumption By Country 2019

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