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Which countries drink the most alcohol?

According to a review conducted by Ireland’s Health Research Board, Latvia consumes the most alcohol per capita in the world.

The review showed Latvians on average consumed 12.2 litres of alcohol in 2023

The data was compiled from the 38 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Latvia led the list with 12.2 litres of alcohol consumed a year on average per person. Lithuania (12.1 litres), Czech Republic (11.6 litres), Estonia (11.1 litres) and Austria (11.1 litres) then rounded out the top five.

The numbers are based on the most recent available data from each country. In 2021, the average between the 38 countries was 8.6 litres of alcohol consumed per person.

In Ireland the average for 2023 was 9.9 litres, which was a 2.2% decrease from 2022, but still higher than the Department of Health’s aim to reduce per capita alcohol consumption in the country to 9.1 litres.

In the UK, the average was 10 litres per person for 2023, which saw the nation come in at 15th in the rankings, while in the US, people consumed 9.5 litres on average, enough for a spot at 18th. Turkey charted as the lowest drinking nation per capita, with the average person consuming 1.4 litres last year.

In Ireland, the review also revealed that the country ranks third for the highest number of pubs per capita in the world. It is said that three-in-four people in Ireland live within walking distance of a licensed premise that sells alcohol.

Last year, research carried out by The Abbeycare Foundation, which analysed World Health Organisation (WHO) data from across Europe, found that alcohol consumption across Europe is 43% higher than the global average.

A report from the WHO earlier this year, however, revealed that European alcohol consumption has declined in recent years, by 0.5 litres between 2010 and 2020, even with increases recorded in certain countries.

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