For some, alcohol connotates prohibition and problems while for others it is only a means of pleasure. The well known fact is that excessive consumption alcohol may cause massive problems, especially when started at early ages. Individuals who begin consuming alcoholic beverages at or before the age of 14 are more like to be alcohol-dependent in the later years of ther lives . This is because alcohol, when consumed before adulthood, affects the neural system. To put it simply, early consumption of alcoholic beverages alters the neurodevelopmental processes, thus making the individual more prone to addiction .
So, how is the world doing with drinking? What’s the situtation in major countries like the US, UK or China? World Health Organization searched for the answer between 2005-2011 , and although the research, which covers 188 countries, is quite in-depth, the methodology of the part you’ll see in this list is as follows:
The total amount of alcohol consumed in each country is calculated and then, in order to find out the amount of alcohol consumed per capita, the total amount is divided into the population of the country.
To me personally, the most striking result is that all of the top-10 countries are in Europe. Let’s have a look at the list…
- Dubrovnik, Croatia
Croatia claims the 10th place with 15,11 liters of alcohol per capita, wine being the most commonly consumed alcoholic beverage.
- Minsk, Belarus
In Belarus, which has an “interesting” government, the people are quite pretentious when it comes to alcohol consumption. In the country, where the average alcohol consumption per year is 15,13 liters per person, spirits are the most popular drinks.
- Bled, Slovenia
Slonvenia, which has a history of Yugoslavia like Croatia, every individual consumes 15,19 liters of alcohol every year. Like their neighbors, wine is the most popular drink in the country.
- Transilvania, Romanya
Famous for its Palinka (a type of spirit), Romania is the 7th in the world when it comes to drinking. Romanians, who consume 15,30 liters of alcohol per year, have spirits as their favourite.
Living a peaceful life between France and Spain, Andorra is the 6th country where people drink the most (15,48 lt/year). Situated between two “wine countries”, wine is their most popular drink naturally.
The small country of Estonia is really not that small when it comes to drinking. In the country where every person drinks 15,57 liters of alcohol per year, spirits are especially popular.
- Shallow’s Nest, Ukraine
In Ukraine, the yearly average alcohol consumption per person is 15,60 liters, which puts the country in the 4th place in the list. It is also not so difficult to guess that spirits are the most famous drinks in the country.
- Fisherman’s Bastion, Budapest, Hungary
The silent grandchildren of the Huns, the Hungarians are the 3rd in the world when it comes to consuming alcoholic beverages (16,27 lt), wine being their favorite.
2. Czech Republic
- Prague, Czech Republic
The Czechs, who drink 16,45 liters of alcohol per person, outrank the peoples of 186 countries and become 2nd in the list. Their famous beer is not only marketed, but is also the most popular drink in the country.
- Orhei, Moldova
Having two autonomous regions within itself (Gagauzia – Turkish speaking part and Transnistria – more like a de facto country), Moldova leads the world in alcohol consumption with 18,22 liters per person annually. Although the popularity of the types of drinks is more or less the same, wine is in the first place with a difference of only 0,10 liter.
Cool… And what about other countries?
According to the WHO report of 188 countries, USA is the 57th (9,44 lt), UK is the 17th (13,37 lt) and Canada is the 48th (9,77 lt). Russia, on the other hand, is the 16th country to drink the largest amount of alcohol with 13,50 liters per person.
The countries at the end of this list are Yemen (0.02 lt), Afghanistan (0.02 lt) and Pakistan (0.06 lt).
1. Grant, B.D., and Dawson, D.A. (1998). Age at onset of alcohol use and its association with DSM–IV alcohol abuse and dependence: Results from the National Longitudinal Alcohol Epidemiologic Survey. Journal of Substance Abuse, 9:103–110, 1998. PMID: 9494942
2. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) (2000). Alcohol involvement over the life course. In: Tenth Special Report to the U.S. Congress on Alcohol and Health: Highlights from Current Research. Bethesda, MD: Dept. of Health and Human Services, NIAAA. pp. 28–53. Available online at: http:// www.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/10report/intro.pdf.
3. World Health Organization (2011). Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health. Available online at: http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/msbgsruprofiles.pdf