Wideangle: Which countries drink the most alcohol?


In the country, commonly regarded as one of Europe’s most drinkers, the charity Alcohol Change UK created the Dry January concept in 2013. There are signs their efforts are paying off, according to his new 2020 figures from the Economic Cooperation Organization. According to the OECD and Development (OECD), the Briton now drinks an average of 9.7 liters of pure alcohol per adult per year, making him 0.1 liter less than the EU average. This equates to about 9 pints of low strength beer or 6 tablespoons of wine per week. UK alcohol consumption fell by 4% over the decade to 2020.


The original Dry January was staged in wartime Finland, and in 1942 the government launched the “Cold January” campaign as part of the war effort against the Soviet Union. However, it failed to attract attention among the Finns and was not shown in 1943. But fast forward to 2020, and the country ranks last in her OECD report, finding that adults in Finland drink just over eight liters of alcohol per year.


Drinking is an important part of Germany’s national culture, with six million people attending the pre-pandemic Oktoberfest each year. The OECD reports that Germans drink 10.6 liters of pure alcohol per adult per year. The coronavirus lockdown didn’t help. By the end of March 2020, wine sales were up 34% month-over-month and spirits sales were up 31% month-over-month.


Wine is ingrained in French culture and accounts for 58% of the alcohol consumed in France. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2019 it had the highest alcohol consumption rate in Europe after Estonia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic. But an initiative by the National Cancer Institute (INCa) asking people to limit their intake to two cups a day (which 24% of adults previously regularly exceeded) seems to have had an impact. Between 2010 and 2020, the OECD confirmed that total alcohol consumption had fallen by 18% in the decade to 2020, and the average French adult now consumes 10.4% alcohol per year, just above the continental average. I’m drinking a liter of alcohol.


Together with Bulgaria, Malta saw a 13% increase in alcohol consumption between 2010 and 2020. This is his second largest increase in Europe. This, despite the 2018 crackdown, has reduced drunk driving limits for motorcyclists and new drivers by 75%, and for other drivers by nearly 50%, among other measures. . But critics say the new law has not been effectively implemented, and with Malta’s legal drinking age remaining at 17, the OECD expects one-fifth of people over the age of 15 to drink alcohol in 2021. It’s no surprise that I found myself binge drinking once a month.


The country with the highest alcohol consumption rate in Europe is Latvia, with 12.1 liters per adult, 3.3 liters above the European average. Between 2010 and 2020, Europe’s newly crowned drinking capital also showed the largest increase in drinking levels at 19%. , and more than two-thirds of drinkers aged 15 to 19 engage in binge drinking. The state’s approach to alcohol taxes is often criticized. The Latvian government is concerned that alcohol taxes are hindering cross-border trade. For example, in 2019 neighboring Estonia cut her alcohol tax by 25%. In response, Latvia decided to cut a previously planned tax increase from 39% to 5% in order to remain competitive.


Drinking alcohol is forbidden in Islamic culture. However, Turkey is an anomaly in the Islamic world, where locals can consume and enjoy alcoholic beverages despite restrictions on their sale. You can’t buy alcohol in shops or markets, but you can buy it 24 hours a day in restaurants, bars and hotels. Last January, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan introduced new tax increases, further hitting Turkey’s drinking culture and nightlife, with alcohol rising 30% higher than he had overnight. Turkey also has strict laws on drunk driving. The legal limit for driving is 0.05% blood alcohol when driving alone. If there are passengers, the system must be completely free of alcohol. All this results in the country’s alcohol consumption being the lowest in Europe, at just 1 liter per adult.

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