Alcohol Consumption By Country 2021

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Alcohol is a regulated drug. It is made with grains, vegetables, or fruits put through fermentation, 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 have a more 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 harmless, excessive consumption can lead to several health complications. Alcohol can have adverse 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. Alcoholism, is a chronic disease characterized by excessive drinking and a preoccupation with alcohol.

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, requiring liquor licenses for restaurants and stores, and prohibiting motor vehicles' operation under the influence.

The consumption of alcohol in each country varies greatly and is affected by each country's laws, culture, and other characteristics. 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.

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, raising alcohol prices, and 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, but consumption varies by state. 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.

Here are the 10 countries with the most alcohol consumption:

  1. Tunisia (36.6 liters/year)
  2. Eswatini (34.4 liters/year)
  3. Maldives (33.7 liters/year)
  4. Afghanistan (33.5 liters/year)
  5. Namibia (32.4 liters/year)
  6. South Africa (29.9 liters/year)
  7. Algeria (29.1 liters/year)
  8. Turkey (28.5 liters/year)
  9. Iran (28.4 liters/year)
  10. Lesotho (28.2 liters/year)

Alcohol Consumption By Country 2021

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Alcohol Consumption By Country 2021

* 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
Tunisia36.679.172.20%23.90%3.80%
Eswatini34.474.324.60%16.10%0.00%
Maldives33.772.830.80%37.20%31.90%
Afghanistan33.572.40.00%0.00%0.00%
Namibia32.470.160.20%10.40%13.90%
South Africa29.964.656.00%18.50%17.80%
Algeria29.16357.30%24.40%18.30%
Turkey28.561.757.60%8.60%33.80%
Iran28.461.40.00%0.00%0.00%
Lesotho28.26157.40%3.20%10.50%
Georgia27.960.418.40%43.00%38.50%
Nauru27.35922.00%3.70%74.30%
Zimbabwe27.258.862.80%1.30%12.00%
Libya26.4570.00%0.00%0.00%
Botswana26.256.648.10%23.50%4.40%
Uganda2656.311.00%0.10%3.10%
Pakistan2656.20.00%0.00%0.00%
Laos25.95650.10%0.00%49.80%
Tanzania25.855.712.20%0.40%1.60%
Rwanda25.655.414.80%0.20%2.70%
Nigeria25.5557.90%0.40%0.60%
Lebanon2554.133.90%15.40%49.20%
Jordan24.653.219.90%2.60%75.90%
Morocco24.552.942.90%39.80%17.00%
Kyrgyzstan2451.911.60%2.20%86.20%
Burundi23.751.239.30%0.10%0.10%
Moldova22.849.216.20%56.60%25.20%
Vietnam22.849.391.50%0.80%7.70%
Cameroon22.648.843.50%1.40%0.10%
Comoros22.348.324.60%30.60%44.80%
Burkina Faso22.247.918.00%2.70%5.00%
Bahrain22.147.919.00%6.20%45.20%
Sudan2247.50.00%0.00%0.00%
Mongolia21.947.243.60%1.90%54.50%
Seychelles21.847.268.90%22.40%6.30%
Cambodia21.74788.10%0.60%11.20%
Ivory Coast21.746.921.90%5.00%0.20%
Armenia21.34610.60%7.00%82.30%
Niue2145.556.30%13.10%30.60%
Cook Islands20.845.131.70%16.10%52.20%
United Arab Emirates20.544.210.10%7.70%81.90%
Thailand20.343.928.30%2.70%68.90%
Sao Tome And Principe20.143.519.80%80.20%0.00%
Paraguay20.143.554.20%17.40%27.30%
Russia20.143.539.00%12.80%38.60%
Philippines19.943.127.30%0.40%72.00%
Saint Lucia19.842.835.40%13.20%50.00%
Brazil19.341.761.80%3.40%34.30%
Bulgaria19.241.538.80%17.20%42.90%
Kazakhstan19.241.530.50%6.50%62.90%
Czech Republic19.141.353.30%21.30%25.40%
Barbados1941.137.60%10.50%50.00%
Lithuania18.94143.60%7.30%37.10%
Romania18.840.755.60%28.10%16.40%
Grenada18.740.440.90%7.00%48.30%
Liberia18.740.59.40%1.80%88.20%
Serbia18.539.932.00%42.50%25.40%
Sierra Leone18.339.54.00%1.10%0.00%
Dominica183911.10%0.00%88.90%
Turkmenistan17.838.626.80%35.10%38.00%
Portugal17.838.426.10%61.50%7.70%
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines17.738.236.60%3.60%57.20%
Slovenia17.738.341.40%50.60%8.00%
Zambia17.738.336.40%2.70%0.40%
Myanmar17.638.122.40%9.80%67.70%
Latvia17.237.242.80%11.10%40.00%
Gabon17.237.276.30%9.20%13.40%
Saint Kitts And Nevis17.13747.80%6.50%43.40%
Hungary17.13735.50%32.20%32.30%
Poland17.13756.10%7.80%36.10%
Cape Verde1736.755.00%45.00%0.00%
Fiji16.936.569.80%1.20%28.90%
Germany16.936.552.60%28.40%18.90%
France16.736.118.80%58.80%20.70%
Slovakia16.635.833.70%20.90%41.90%
Guinea Bissau16.535.613.70%31.30%13.70%
Panama16.535.776.90%3.50%19.40%
Haiti16.535.62.30%0.30%97.30%
Belize16.335.169.10%1.90%26.70%
Micronesia16.134.958.10%8.50%32.80%
Guyana16.134.748.40%0.20%50.80%
Ireland1634.647.00%28.00%18.80%
Dominican Republic1634.552.20%4.40%41.90%
South Korea1634.622.20%1.90%7.10%
Estonia15.934.432.70%7.40%50.30%
Nicaragua15.934.539.70%0.80%59.50%
Greece15.934.531.50%45.50%21.80%
Belgium15.934.344.40%38.30%14.20%
Tajikistan15.834.237.90%0.70%60.90%
Samoa15.733.994.10%5.90%0.00%
Uruguay15.73435.20%43.70%21.10%
Cyprus15.633.829.70%28.40%41.90%
United Kingdom15.633.735.00%35.70%22.50%
Equatorial Guinea15.533.583.00%17.00%0.00%
Syria15.533.411.60%1.10%87.20%
Malawi15.533.48.80%0.80%11.30%
Mexico15.333.177.10%2.10%20.40%
Belarus15.232.822.80%2.20%49.00%
Colombia15.232.971.30%1.10%27.20%
Andorra15.132.734.10%42.00%23.90%
Republic Of The Congo15.132.784.40%4.70%10.30%
Croatia1532.444.50%39.00%13.00%
Austria14.932.253.50%31.60%14.90%
Sri Lanka14.932.213.20%0.30%84.90%
Venezuela14.932.169.20%0.30%29.20%
Montenegro14.832.110.80%43.10%44.10%
Finland14.831.948.80%20.60%21.50%
Albania14.631.734.30%26.50%37.60%
Argentina14.631.539.90%40.20%9.60%
Spain14.631.554.20%18.00%27.80%
India14.631.57.50%0.10%92.40%
New Zealand14.330.937.40%33.40%28.90%
Egypt14.33162.00%4.40%33.10%
Antigua And Barbuda14.230.733.00%18.30%45.40%
Trinidad And Tobago14.230.857.90%3.30%37.10%
Switzerland14.230.632.10%48.10%18.50%
Luxembourg14.130.635.40%44.60%20.00%
Gambia14.130.48.50%2.10%0.00%
Kenya14.130.439.80%1.80%21.40%
Japan14.130.418.20%5.50%40.00%
Denmark13.930.137.40%44.70%17.10%
Canada13.829.945.10%25.60%25.60%
Ukraine13.829.942.30%5.40%51.50%
Chile13.729.636.10%33.10%30.80%
United States13.729.647.00%18.10%34.90%
Honduras13.529.146.60%1.20%52.10%
Bosnia And Herzegovina13.42975.80%8.60%12.40%
Australia13.428.939.90%37.50%12.90%
Angola13.42970.30%17.60%11.30%
Cuba13.228.537.30%4.90%57.40%
Costa Rica1328.164.10%7.20%27.90%
China12.927.929.60%3.10%67.20%
Iceland12.827.656.50%27.90%15.50%
Malta12.827.836.40%29.90%28.70%
El Salvador12.827.647.80%1.30%50.70%
Uzbekistan12.827.734.40%8.60%56.90%
Ethiopia12.627.354.60%0.30%8.30%
Sweden12.527.136.40%47.80%14.10%
Iraq12.426.771.00%2.40%25.70%
Suriname12.126.244.90%3.50%48.80%
Tuvalu1225.90.60%84.70%14.10%
Togo122637.00%16.00%18.20%
Netherlands122647.80%35.80%16.40%
Italy1225.925.40%64.80%9.80%
Jamaica11.925.836.30%4.80%54.20%
Peru11.825.660.10%8.10%31.80%
Benin11.625.163.70%9.60%13.10%
Mauritius11.52553.90%15.40%30.80%
Mozambique11.424.678.70%8.30%12.40%
Tonga10.723.160.70%11.50%27.90%
Bolivia10.522.672.80%4.30%21.30%
Solomon Islands10.422.693.30%2.90%3.30%
Ghana10.222.128.30%6.60%8.00%
Bahamas10.121.939.20%16.60%41.20%
North Korea9.620.72.70%0.00%97.30%
Timor Leste9.520.567.60%32.40%0.00%
Ecuador9.520.679.90%1.50%17.80%
Norway9.420.443.90%36.70%16.70%
Yemen9.420.389.50%0.00%10.50%
Madagascar9.22053.80%8.20%38.00%
Oman9.119.739.80%2.80%57.00%
Guatemala919.456.10%2.10%41.70%
Central African Republic8.81925.90%0.70%0.00%
Papua New Guinea8.618.595.20%2.70%2.10%
Vanuatu7.415.938.50%25.40%36.10%
Nepal7.416.131.00%49.00%20.00%
Dr Congo7.115.338.90%0.60%0.70%
Israel715.154.40%4.70%39.50%
Chad6.914.970.20%1.00%5.30%
Eritrea6.313.562.10%0.10%0.20%
Guinea5.812.591.10%8.90%0.00%
Mali5.712.415.80%1.20%0.00%
Qatar4.49.425.90%10.20%63.40%
Mauritania3.88.10.00%0.00%0.00%
Saudi Arabia3.88.10.00%0.00%0.00%
Kiribati3.77.9100.00%0.00%0.00%
Azerbaijan3.78.161.50%36.90%0.00%
Senegal3.57.656.40%34.10%8.50%
Indonesia3.47.418.50%76.40%4.60%
Malaysia3.16.760.70%21.00%17.40%
Singapore2.96.370.00%14.60%13.40%
Djibouti2.75.827.50%16.70%55.00%
Niger2.55.445.00%13.70%41.40%
Bhutan1.94.246.20%4.20%49.60%
Somalia1.53.30.00%0.00%0.00%
Brunei1.32.8100.00%0.00%0.00%
Kuwait12.10.00%0.00%0.00%
Bangladesh0.92.10.00%0.00%0.00%

Alcohol Consumption By Country 2021