Who Drinks the Most? Alcohol Consumption by Country

Which of the world’s countries drink the most and which drink the least? This year’s annual World Health Statistics report from the World Health Organization (WHO) has the answers.

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While the variability in alcohol consumption by country around the world is rather high, the new data does reveal some strong regional trends.

The large swath of the globe stretching east from North Africa through the Middle East and on to Southeast Asia shows the lowest alcohol consumption, with most of South America making up the next highest level, and Europe at the top. Sub-Saharan Africa remains a mixed bag.

As for the United States, it sits above most of South America but below Europe, whose alcohol consumption easily outpaces the rest of the world’s.

In fact, the top seven countries with the highest alcohol consumption are all clustered together in Eastern Europe, topped by the small Republic of Moldova.

Situated between Romania and Ukraine, this former Soviet republic consumes just about twice as much alcohol as the U.S. (per capita) and nearly three times as much as the worldwide average (6.3 liters of pure alcohol per person over the age of 15 over the course of one year).

On the other hand, most countries in North Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia show alcohol consumption that is less than five percent of the worldwide average. The lowest of the low is Libya, whose alcohol consumption, when expressed to one decimal place, is actually 0.0 liters per person. [via]