Close Menu

Which European country drinks the most alcohol?

Europeans are drinking almost double the global average of alcohol per capita every year, according to new data.

Alcohol consumption across Europe is 43% higher than the global average

The Abbeycare Foundation, which operates private drug addiction treatment clinics across the UK, analysed World Health Organisation (WHO) data from across Europe to determine which countries have the highest levels of alcohol consumption.

The foundation found that the average consumption of beer, wine and spirits per capita in Europe is 11.85 litres per year. This is 43% higher than the global average for alcohol consumption, which sits at 6.18 litres per person each year.

Furthermore, the foundation gathered data regarding issues related to alcohol consumption among Europeans.

The metrics used to determine which countries are suffering the most with alcohol consumption were: litres consumed per capita (people aged 15 and over); percentage of deaths in which alcohol was a factor, and deaths due to alcohol use disorders; percentage of alcohol use disorders within a population; percentage of heavy episodic drinking over the past month; and road traffic deaths due to alcohol.

The research found that Russia has the highest prevalence of alcohol-related issues, with the second-highest percentage of heavy episodic drinking over a month (60%).

Lithuania has the highest percentage of heavy episodic drinking over a month at 62%.

Alcohol contributes to 21% of deaths in Russia, and 14% of deaths were due to direct use disorders, while 22% of road traffic deaths were found to involve alcohol.

Latvia, which has the third-highest prevalence of alcohol-related issues in Europe, has one of the highest levels of alcohol consumption in the continent, with the average person consuming 13 litres per year.

However it is the Netherlands, with an average of 14.9 litres of alcohol consumed per year, that takes the top spot, followed by Czech Republic (14.26 litres) and Serbia (14.09 litres).

The country that consumes the lowest amount of alcohol is Turkey, with the average person aged 15 or over drinking only 1.77 litres per year.

North Macedonia has the second-lowest alcohol consumption, with 6.43 litres.

Ireland takes the fifth spot on the list of prevalence of alcohol-related issues among Europeans, with 3% of the population suffering with alcohol use disorders.

In addition, 38% of road traffic deaths were found to involve alcohol.

Moldovans consume an average of 12.85 litres of alcohol per capita, and 26% of all deaths in the country have some links to alcohol consumption.

The UK has the 10th-highest prevalence of alcohol-related issues, with 40% of the population found to drink heavily and episodically over the course of a month, and an average consumption of 11.45 litres of alcohol per year. Much like other countries, this correlates to the 36% of road traffic deaths that involve alcohol. There is also a high prevalence of alcohol use disorders with 3.42% of the population suffering.

A spokesperson from commented: “Alcohol abuse in Europe is a complex problem deeply rooted in the social and cultural fabric of the continent, and addressing it requires a multifaceted approach that takes into account both individual behaviours and broader societal factors.

“Drinking can be fun and alcohol can be consumed safely in moderation, however, the figures paint a much darker picture of premature death, mental and physical health issues and prolonged addiction or binge drinking. Alcoholism and surrounding issues can sometimes creep in due to outside factors such as stress, depression and social groups.”

Last month we looked at which US states consume the most alcohol.

A recent survey revealed that the majority of Canadians plan to ignore the government’s update to alcohol consumption guidelines.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No