Beer, wine, liquor, and whiskey all have one thing in common - alcohol content. In some countries, consuming alcohol is illegal. In others, however, it is a widespread practice. Per the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 2.5 million deaths are caused by alcohol every year. That number is equivalent to nearly 4% of global fatalities. This article looks at which countries have the highest alcohol consumption, which is measured by pure alcohol consumed per capita every year.
Countries with the Highest Alcohol Consumption
As of 2014, the global average of alcohol consumption is approximately 6.2 liters per person per year. Each of the top 25 countries for per capita alcohol consumption surpass the global average. The clear majority of these countries are located throughout Europe. In fact, European countries make up the top 10 list of heaviest alcohol consumption in the world.
One of the factors that seems to contribute to a higher than average level of alcohol consumption is a lack of public health campaigns that educate about the negative consequences of drinking alcohol. Other factors include depressed economies, high poverty rates and cultural attitudes.
Belarus has the highest level of alcohol consumption in the world, with an average of 17.5 liters of pure alcohol consumed per capita every year. The men in this country have a larger average, consuming approximately 27.5 liters every year. The most popular type of alcohol in Belarus is spirits, which make up 47% of total alcohol consumption. This is followed by beer (17%) and wine (5%). Nearly 31% of the alcohol consumed here is believed to be a homemade, illegal variety. Alcohol is related to 34.7% of deaths in this country (the highest percentage in the world). Additionally, alcohol is attributed to several crimes and health problems. To reduce levels of alcohol consumption, the government of Belarus has initiated various preventative measures. It plans to increase the drinking age to 21 and has already increased the cost of alcohol as well as the punishment for driving under the influence.
Moldova has the second highest level of alcohol consumption in the world, with an average of 16.8 liters consumed per capita every year. The most popular type of alcohol in this country is spirits (64.5%), followed by beer (30.4%) and wine (5.1%). Moldova has the third highest rate of alcohol related deaths in the world, at 33.1%. One of the biggest contributing factors to such high numbers here is believed to be the 16.6% poverty rate. Alcohol consumption here is predicted to surpass that of Belarus soon.
The third highest level of alcohol consumption in the world can be found in Lithuania, where residents over the age of 15 drink 15.4 liters of alcohol every year. Of the individuals who drink alcohol, 36.7% report binge drinking - the second highest percentage in the world. The most popular type of alcohol here is beer, which makes up 46.5% of all consumption. This is followed by spirits (34.1%), other (11.6%), and wine (7.8%). The government of Lithuania is working toward introducing an increased sales tax on alcohol to prevent and reduce the amount of alcohol consumption and to fight alcoholism in this country.
The list below offers a look at additional countries with high rates of alcohol consumption.
Countries by their Alcohol Consumption
|Rank||Country||Consumption Per Capita in Liters|