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Top 15 Countries with Highest Alcohol Consumption Per Capita in 2024

Countries with Highest Alcohol Consumption

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Are you a connoisseur of spirits, or perhaps just a curious traveler seeking to experience the world through a glass? Well, brace yourself for an emotional journey as we delve into the countries with highest alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption varies worldwide, with some countries indulging in it as a part of their national identity, while in others, it poses a threat to public health.

According to Our World in Data, the global average alcohol consumption in 2018 was 6.18 liters per person (age 15+), which equates to 53 bottles of wine per person annually. Among the top 15 nations with the highest alcohol consumption, Burkina Faso and Portugal rank 15th and 14th, respectively, with 12.09 and 12.03 liters of pure alcohol consumed per person. 

Countries in the top 5 include Seychelles, Uganda, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, and Latvia, with per capita consumption ranging from 123.19 to 20.50 liters. Furthermore, the alcoholic beverages industry is a significant contributor to the worldwide economy, with a value of $1.4 trillion in 2021 and expected to reach $2.8 trillion by 2028. It is crucial to be aware of these figures and the potential health and social consequences of alcohol consumption.

Countries with the Highest Alcohol Consumption

The table shows the countries with the highest alcohol consumption in liters of pure alcohol per capita.

Rank Country Both Sexes (L/year)  Male (L/year) Female (L/year)
01 Seychelles 20.50 19.21 5.83
02 Uganda 15.09 20.61 4.94
03 Czechia 14.26 20.54 6.9
04 Lithuania 13.22 20.6 6.3
05 Latvia 13.19 21.61 6.31
06 Germany 12.91 19.71 6.15
07 Moldova 12.85 20.61 5.89
08 Ireland 12.75 19.38 6.34
09 Spain 12.67 19.94 5.76
10 Bulgaria 12.46 19.86 5.59
11 Luxembourg 12.45 18.74 6.08
12 Romania 12.34 19.5 5.68
13 France 12.33 19.21 5.83
14 Portugal 12.09 19.51 5.59
15 Burkina Faso 12.03 18.5 3.85

Top 15 Countries with Highest Alcohol Consumption

alcohol consumption

Europe, in particular, has some of the highest alcohol consumption rates per capita. Topping the list is the Seychelles, where beer is truly a national treasure, with an annual consumption of 20.50 liters per person. Following closely, we have countries like Latvia, Lithuania, and Ireland, where beer, vodka, whiskey, and unique local spirits are enjoyed.

1. Seychelles

  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 20.50 L

Seychelles, known for its beaches, coral reefs, and wide range of wildlife, also has a frighteningly high number of people who drink alcohol. As of 2018, everyone in Seychelles drinks 20.50 liters of alcohol, which puts the country high on the list of those that drink the most alcohol.

In Seychelles, the number of early deaths caused by drinking has gone up from 41.79 per 100,000 people in 1990 to 49.79 per 100,000 people in 2019. SeyBrew Beer, French Wine, Buka, and Palm Wine are some of the best-known alcoholic drinks in Seychelles.

Read More: Mango Producing Countries in the World

2. Uganda

  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 15.09 L

Uganda is known for its green, lush scenery, friendly people, and various animals. Even though the legal limit for drunk driving in Uganda, at 0.08% BAC, is higher than in Europe, the country has seen fewer deaths on the roads due to drunk driving than in European countries. In 2017, 0.8% of road deaths in Uganda were caused by drunk drivers.

But because Uganda’s health care system isn’t perfect, the number of people who die too young because they drink too much alcohol is still very high at 95.63 per 100,000 people in 2019. This is lower than the number of people who died too young because they drank too much in 1990, which was 123.24 per 100,000 people. Uganda is one of the countries that drink the most booze. Each person there drinks 15.09 liters of pure alcohol per year.

3. Czechia

  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 14.26 L

Czechia, also called The Czech Republic, is a landlocked country in Central Europe known for its castles, old town streets, glassmaking, and puppetry. Czech people are some of the most heavy drinkers, and their country is high on the list of countries that drink the most.

In 2018, each person in Czechia was said to drink 14.26 liters of alcohol. But the number of early deaths in the country caused by drinking alcohol went down from 57.39 per 100,000 people in 1990 to 36.90 per 100,000 people in 2019, and the number of road deaths caused by drunk driving in the Czech Republic was 9.5% in 2017, which is less than in other European countries where drinking is every day.

4. Lithuania

  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 13.22 L

Lithuania is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. It has a long past with alcohol that goes back to the country’s pagan roots. Lithuanians have always been big drinkers, which is still the case today. There is a lot of alcohol in Lithuania, which is very cheap. Beer and vodka are two of the most popular drinking drinks in Lithuania. 

Most of the time, Lithuanians drink booze at social events like parties or get-togethers. People often think of drinking as a way to unwind and have fun. In Lithuania, people often drink too much, and problems with alcohol, like alcoholism, are a significant problem. From 42.10 per 100,000 people in 1990 to 56.95 per 100,000 in 2019, the number of Lithuanians who die too young because they drink too much has increased.

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5. Latvia

black balsam
A glass and traditional ceramic bottle of Melnais Balzams Black Balsam, the national drink of Latvia

 

  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 13.19 L

Latvia, a small Baltic country in Northern Europe, is one of the top countries with the highest alcohol consumption rates. Known for its rich culture, scenic landscapes, and historic architecture, it is also a place where alcohol plays a significant role in its traditions and social life. According to Our World in Data, Latvians consume an average of 13.19 liters of pure alcohol per person annually, nearly twice the global average of 6.18 liters.

Despite the high alcohol consumption rates, the Latvian government has taken steps to reduce alcohol-related harm, with various policies and campaigns promoting responsible drinking. The country’s preferred alcoholic beverages include beer, vodka, and a traditional herbal bitter called Black Balsam. The beverage has been produced since the 18th century and is considered a symbol of Latvian culture. While Latvia is known for its love for alcohol, it is essential to note that the country is also committed to addressing the health impacts associated with alcohol abuse.

6. Germany

  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 12.91 L

Germany is well-known for its strong drinking culture, ranking 6th in the countries with the highest alcohol consumption per capita. On average, a German adult consumes 12.91 liters of pure alcohol annually, making the country a top contender in Europe. One of the most famous events showcasing Germany’s love for alcohol is Oktoberfest, an annual beer festival in Munich that inspired many similar celebrations worldwide. 

Beer is not the only popular alcoholic beverage in Germany, as the consumption of sparkling wine is also significant, both domestically produced and imported. Interestingly, Germany’s alcohol laws are comparatively lenient, with the drinking age set at 16 years old. Despite the high consumption, the country maintains a stable economy and a high standard of living, proving that responsible alcohol consumption and awareness campaigns can go a long way in ensuring better health and safety. 

7. Moldova

  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 12.85 L

Moldova, a small Eastern European country, holds the top position regarding alcohol consumption per capita. Moldovans consume an average of 12.85 liters of pure alcohol per person annually, most of which is attributed to wine. The country’s rich wine culture, dating back thousands of years, significantly shapes its alcohol consumption patterns. Notably, the alcohol laws of the nation do not impose strict restrictions, allowing for a higher consumption rate.

Besides wine, Moldovans also enjoy beer and spirits, though at a lower rate. The cold climate is another factor contributing to the increased alcohol consumption, as people seek warmth and comfort in alcoholic beverages. While Moldovan alcohol consumption rates are relatively high, one must not disregard the potential health and social consequences associated with excessive drinking. Consequently, it remains essential for the country to address alcohol-related issues and promote responsible drinking behaviors.

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8. Ireland

stouts
Pint of beamish stout settling in The Long Hall Victorian pub one of the oldest pubs in Dublin
  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 12.75 L

Ireland, a small yet culturally rich country in the North Atlantic, is known for its beautiful landscapes, friendly locals, and deep-seated love for alcohol. Ireland ranks eighth on the list of countries with the highest alcohol consumption, with an average of 12.75 liters of pure alcohol consumed per person annually. While this may seem like a staggering amount, it is essential to note that alcohol consumption is an integral part of the Irish culture, often bringing people together in celebration and camaraderie.

Famous for its wide variety of alcoholic beverages, Ireland is perhaps best known for its smooth and velvety stouts, like the iconic Guinness. The country also has a thriving whiskey industry, with numerous distilleries producing top-quality spirits enjoyed worldwide. While it’s important to remember the risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption, it is fascinating to observe how deeply ingrained the love for alcohol is in the Irish culture, blending seamlessly with the social fabric and becoming a cornerstone of the nation’s identity.

9. Spain

  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 12.67 L

Spain is known for its vibrant culture, flavorful cuisine, and passionate people, but it also holds a spot in the list of countries with the highest alcohol consumption. At an average of 12.67 liters of pure alcohol per person, Spain ranks 9th globally for alcohol consumption. The Mediterranean climate and a laid-back lifestyle contribute to this higher-than-average consumption. Spaniards are fond of social gatherings accompanied by drinks such as Sangria, Estrella, and the famous Rioja wine.

Spanish drinking culture often revolves around small gatherings at local bars or enjoying a drink with family or friends during meals. This regular, casual drinking could significantly influence Spain’s overall alcohol consumption rate. Although Spain is known to enjoy its alcoholic beverages, it’s essential to remember the importance of responsible drinking and prioritizing one’s health when indulging in local libations.

10. Bulgaria

  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 12.65 L

Bulgaria ranks tenth in the list of countries with the highest alcohol consumption, with an average of 12.65 liters of pure alcohol consumed per person per year. Although Bulgarian drinks such as mastika and rakia might not be as internationally recognized, there is a considerable domestic demand for these spirits. Mastika, a liquor closely resembling ouzo, and rakia, a fruit brandy, is widely produced and consumed across Bulgaria. 

The country’s affinity for alcohol can be attributed to its rich culture and traditions, which include social drinking as part of celebrations and gatherings. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge the health risks associated with excessive alcohol consumption and promote responsible drinking habits. Despite Bulgaria’s position in the top 10, European countries continue to dominate the list of the highest alcohol-consuming countries, with 12 of the top 15 in Europe.

To Know More: Most Expensive Countries to Live in

11. Luxembourg

  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 12.45 L

Luxembourg is a country in Western Europe that is only on land. Belgium is to the west and north, and Germany and France are to the east and south. Luxembourg is one of the top countries that drink the most alcohol, and each person there drinks 12.45 liters of alcohol per year. Luxembourgers drink many different kinds of boozy drinks. 

Beer is the most famous alcoholic drink; many brands exist inside and outside the country. Wine, spirits, and liqueurs are also popular drinking drinks. Since the Middle Ages, Luxembourg has had a long beer-making history. There are a lot of small, independent breweries in the country. They make a wide range of beer types.

12. Romania

tuica
Romanian plum brandy is known as tuica or tzuica
  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 12.33 L

Romania is a beautiful Eastern European country known for its rich history and stunning landscapes. But another lesser-known fact is that Romanians are among the countries with the highest alcohol consumption. According to the World Health Organization, Romania ranks 9th in the world per capita alcohol consumption, with 12.34 liters consumed per person per year.

The traditional Romanian drink is “țuică,” a robust and transparent spirit made from fermented plums. While alcohol consumption is a part of their culture, it’s essential to be aware of the consequences this might have on public health. It’s necessary, then, for government and health organizations to create efforts to educate people on the potential dangers tied to excessive alcohol consumption. Enjoying a drink or two can be fun and part of the country’s traditions, but being conscious of the risks is also essential.

13. France

  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 12.33 L

For a good reason, French wine is one of the most popular types of wine in the world. It comes from France. The country has been growing grapes for a long time, and the temperature is perfect for many different kinds of grapes. France is known for making complicated and elegant wines, and there is something for every taste. 

French wine is sure to please, from Burgundy’s crisp whites to Bordeaux’s rich reds. Champagne, Bordeaux, and Burgundy are three of the most well-known wines from France. France is one of the countries in Europe where people drink the most booze. In 2018, everyone in the country drank an average of 12.33 liters of alcohol.

You can Read: Fastest Developing Countries in 2024

14. Portugal

  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 12.09 L

As a travel enthusiast, I have always been intrigued by the drinking habits of various countries, and it’s interesting to note that Portugal ranks relatively high in terms of alcohol consumption. It is one of the top European countries regarding per capita alcohol consumption. On average, the people of Portugal consume about 12.09 liters of pure alcohol per person per year, placing them among the top 15 countries with the highest consumption. 

The Portuguese are known for their love for wine, with the world-renowned Port wine significantly contributing to their drinking culture. Overall, their alcohol consumption habits reflect the deep-rooted traditions and leisurely lifestyle that make Portugal a fascinating country to visit.

15. Burkina Faso

  • Liters of Pure Alcohol Per Person: 12.03 L

Burkina Faso is a country in West Africa that can’t be reached by sea. It shares borders with Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the south, and Ghana to the west. Ouagadougou is the name of Burkina Faso’s largest city. The country is known for farming, digging for gold, and making clothes.

Burkina Faso has one of the highest rates of alcohol use in the world, even though more than half of the country’s people are Muslim and Islam doesn’t allow drinking. In 2018, each person in the country drank 12.03 liters of alcohol.

Top 10 Countries with the Lowest Alcohol Consumption

  1. Somalia, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia (5-way tie) – 0.00
  2. Afghanistan – 0.013
  3. Libya – 0.027
  4. Yemen – 0.034
  5. Egypt – 0.14
  6. Syrian Arab Republic – 0.19
  7. Bhutan – 0.21
  8. Indonesia – 0.22
  9. Pakistan – 0.31
  10. Djibouti – 0.36

The predominant religions in the Middle East tend to view alcohol consumption in a negative light, evident in the region’s significantly low consumption levels.

Know More: Top Richest Country in the World in 2024

Final Words

Alcohol consumption varies significantly across different countries and cultures. It’s essential to be aware of the potential health risks associated with excessive alcohol intake, as it has been identified as a leading risk factor for global disease burden and causes substantial health loss.

Studies have shown that countries with the highest consumption rates account for a significant percentage of alcohol-related deaths and disabilities. Efforts to lower overall population-level consumption might be crucial in mitigating the negative consequences of alcohol use. So, as we enjoy our favorite beverages worldwide, remember to imbibe responsibly and consider the potential impacts on our health and well-being. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let’s check out some of the commonly asked questions on alcohol consumption.

Do Men or Women Drink More?

On average, males drink at least three times as much alcohol as women do in most countries. For example, the average for all of Czechia is 14.6 liters, but the average for women is 6.9 liters, and the average for men is 22.0 liters. Both of these are world highs. In some places, there is even more of a difference. In Turkmenistan, for example, men drink more than five times as much alcohol as women (1.03 liters/year vs. 5.26 liters/year).

Which countries have the highest per capita alcohol consumption?

The countries with the highest per capita consumption of alcohol are primarily located in Eastern Europe, including Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Moldova, and Ukraine. Andorra, a small country between France and Spain, is the only top-consuming nation outside Eastern Europe.

What contributes to high alcohol consumption in these countries?

Historical and societal factors play a significant role in the high rates of alcohol consumption in these countries. Additionally, residents may lack the necessary information to make informed health decisions, and there may be limited public health awareness efforts regarding the effects of alcohol consumption.

What are the effects of alcohol use disorders?

Alcohol use disorders include conditions such as alcoholism and health-damaging use of alcohol. These disorders can lead to physical problems like liver cirrhosis and mental illnesses like depression. They also contribute to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, unintentional injuries, and various types of cancer.

Are women more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol?

Yes, women tend to be more vulnerable to the physical and social effects of alcohol use. Alcohol consumption among women has been steadily increasing, raising significant health concerns, especially concerning pregnancy and fetal alcohol syndrome.


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