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Europeans spend more on alcohol than education

The European Union has found that households spent 1.6% of their total consumption expenditure on alcohol in 2016 – higher than their spend on education.

Households in EU member states spent more on alcohol in 2016 than they did on education

The new figures come from Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office, and show that the amount households spend on alcohol is roughly the same as their spending on medical products and is above spending on education.

Throughout the union, a total of €130 billion (US$153bn) was spent on alcoholic drinks in 2016, which equates to more than €250 (US$294) per person in the EU.

Across countries where data on alcohol spending was available, Eurostat found that states in the Baltic region had the highest spend on alcohol per household.

Eurostat found that households in Estonia spent 5.6% of their income on alcohol while Latvia and Lithuania spent 4.8% and 4.2% respectively, making these three countries the top spenders on alcohol.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, households in Spain spent just 0.8% of their total consumption expenditure on alcohol, while Greece and Italy both spent 0.9%.

These figures only cover spending on alcohol in shops, and do not include money spent in bars and restaurants – where households in Spain spend the most, with 14.8% of their total consumption expenditure going to bars and restaurants.

Eurostat’s figures cover spending from 2005 until 2016 and over this period, Cyprus and the Czech Republic saw the greatest increase in spending on alcohol, rising 0.4 percentage points, from 1.6% to 2% and 3.2% to 3.6% respectively.

In contrast, spending fell significantly in Lithuania, from 5.2% to 4.2%. Bulgaria, Latvia and Finland all fell 0.5 percentage points.

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