The 30 Countries with the Highest Alcohol Consumption in the World

A drink or two of alcohol is considered social drinking. However, too many drinks can be harmful to a person’s health.

A drink of alcohol contains 0.6 oz of pure alcohol, which is equivalent to a can of beer or a glass of wine. Despite the fact that alcohol is often enjoyed on special occasions, it poses one of the greatest health hazards and is a toxic substance that can kill you.

Alcohol causes 3 million deaths annually and is one of the leading causes of liver cirrhosis. Not only does excessive alcohol damage our bodies, but it also affects our social life, impairs our mental health, and leads to non-communicable conditions.

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2018 Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health, the average pure alcohol consumption for each individual (15 years old and above) is about 6.2 liters. In recent years, approximately 57% of the adult population chose to restrain from drinking alcohol.

From the report of WHO, we have gathered the top 30 countries with the highest alcohol consumption.

The Countries with the Highest Alcohol Consumption in the World

NumberCountryAlcohol Consumption
1Estonia 16.9
2Lithuania 15
3Czech Republic14.3
4Seychelles 13.8
5Germany 13.4
6Nigeria 13.4
7Ireland 13
8Moldova 13
9Latvia 12.9
10Bulgaria 12.7
11France 12.6
12Romania 12.6
13Slovenia 12.6
14Portugal 12.3
15Luxembourg 12.3
16Belgium 12.1
17Russia 11.7
18Austria 11.6
19Poland 11.6
20Gabon 11.5
21Slovakia 11.5
22Switzerland 11.5
23Hungary 11.4
24United Kingdom11.4
25Andorra 11.3
26Equatorial Guinea11.3
27Belarus 11.2
28Serbia 11.1
29Cyprus 10.8
30Uruguay 10.8

The list below details the recorded consumption, unrecorded consumption, beer consumption, wine consumption, and spirits consumption per country. The recorded consumption is then compared to the unrecorded consumption.

The recorded consumption refers to the alcohol taxations and sales record of alcohol, while unrecorded consumption is based on unofficial records such as smuggled alcohol, medical purposes, and homemade.

A detailed list of pure alcohol consumption in liters per capita (for those 15 years old and above).

1. Estonia – 16.9

Estonia consumption
  • Recorded consumption: 15.8
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.1
  • Beer consumption: 32.7%
  • Wine consumption: 7.4%
  • Spirits consumption: 50.3%

Located in Eastern Europe, Estonia has a population of 1,220,042, with recorded alcohol consumption of 16.9 for both male and female populations. The rate of heavy episodic drinking is estimated to be 41.8% of the population of 15 years old and above.

In terms of mortality and morbidity rates, 62.5% of females and 50.3 of males have liver cirrhosis attributed to alcohol consumption. Moreover, 5.5% of the population is alcohol dependent.

2. Lithuania – 15

Lithuania
  • Recorded consumption: 15.8
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.2
  • Beer consumption: 43.6%
  • Wine consumption: 7.3%
  • Spirits consumption: 50.3%

With a population of 2,711,566, Lithuania is the second country with the most alcohol consumption in the world. As a result, the death rates per 100,000 are 455 for liver cirrhosis, 126 for alcohol-related road accidents, and 603 for cancer for both male and female populations.

It is estimated that 8.9% of males and 1.6% of females are alcohol dependent. However, about 8.1% of the total population abstain from alcohol consumption.

3. Czech Republic – 14.3

wine
  • Recorded consumption: 12.4
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.4
  • Beer consumption: 53.3%
  • Wine consumption: 21.3%
  • Spirits consumption: 25.4

Located in Central Europe, the Czech Republic has a total alcohol consumption of 14.3 liters of pure alcohol. It is estimated that 61.6% of males and 23.6% of females suffer from binge drinking.

Moreover, alcohol is responsible for liver cirrhosis-related deaths, estimating about 1,432 deaths per 100,000 citizens. It is also one of the major causes of road injuries and deaths, approximately 271 out of 100,000.

4. Seychelles – 13.8

wine and beer
  • Recorded consumption: 12.4
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.4
  • Beer consumption: 68.9%
  • Wine consumption: 22.4%
  • Spirits consumption: 6.3%

Seychelles is a group of islands located off East Africa, with a total population of 98,462. The prevalence of binge drinking among the general population is 41.1% for males and 10.1% for females.

Moreover, alcohol use disorders affect 12.2% of the male population and 2.3% of the female population. In total, it is estimated that 2.5% of the population is alcohol dependent.

5. Germany – 13.4

wine serving
  • Recorded consumption: 11.3
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.4
  • Beer consumption: 52.6%
  • Wine consumption: 28.4%
  • Spirits consumption: 18.9%

Germany is the fifth country with the highest alcohol consumption. It is not surprising to see a high number of alcohol-related deaths per 100,000 of the population, specifically 11,115 deaths by liver disease and 14,596 by cancer.

Additionally, it has caused approximately 1,424 road accidents for both males and females. In terms of abstinence, about 7.9% completely abstain from alcohol consumption and 12.7% are former alcohol users.

6. Nigeria – 13.4

wine toast
  • Recorded consumption: 9.6
  • Unrecorded consumption: 3.8
  • Beer consumption: 7.9%
  • Wine consumption: 0.4%
  • Spirits consumption: 0.6%

Situated in western Africa, Nigeria has a high alcohol consumption rate of 13.4, which comprises 21.9 males and 4.6 females. The majority of binge drinking in the male population is 45.4 and 12 for the female population.

In terms of mortality rates, in every 100,000, 42,120 deaths are caused by liver diseases and 15,365 by road accidents. However, it has a low percentage of alcohol dependence rates, which is only 0.2% for males and 0% for females.

7. Ireland – 13

Ireland spirits
  • Recorded consumption: 11.3
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.4
  • Beer consumption: 47%
  • Wine consumption: 28%
  • Spirits consumption: 18.8%

As a country with a long history of making beer, it should come as no surprise that it has the seventh-highest alcohol consumption rate of 13. Heavy episodic drinking is more common in males than females, with a percentage of 55.7% and 20.2%, respectively.

As a result, alcohol dependence is prevalent in the male population, comprising 5.8% of the total population. Deaths related to alcohol and liver cirrhosis total 239 out of 100,000 residents.

8. Moldova – 13

Moldova Wine spirit
  • Recorded consumption: 11.5
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.4
  • Beer consumption: 35.4%
  • Wine consumption: 44.6%
  • Spirits consumption: 20

The Republic of Moldova is situated in eastern Europe. It has a recorded consumption of 11.5 and unrecorded consumption of 1.4. Lifetime abstainers are more common in the female population, with a percentage of 16.8% abstainers, in comparison to the male population which is only 5.4%.

However, binge drinking is higher in the male population, with a percentage of 44.5%, while 11.7% in the female population. Liver cirrhosis is the top alcohol-related death in the country, which estimates 1,907 related deaths per 100,000.

9. Latvia – 12.9

Latvia
  • Recorded consumption: 11.1
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.9
  • Beer consumption: 42.8%
  • Wine consumption: 11.1
  • Spirits consumption: 40%

Of the total population of 1,862,687 residents in Latvia, 44.3% suffer from heavy episodic drinking, which is about 66.2% males and 26.3% females. In comparison to other countries, alcohol-related road injuries are only 97 for every 100,000 people.

Cancer caused by alcohol remains higher, with about 400 cases for every 100,000 people. Liver disease follows, with 232 cases per 100,000 people.

10. Bulgaria – 12.7

Bulgaria
  • Recorded consumption: 11.4
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.3
  • Beer consumption: 38.8%
  • Wine consumption: 17.2%
  • Spirits consumption: 42.9%

Bulgaria is the 10th country with the highest alcohol consumption. Out of 6,919,180 residents, 33.4% are binge drinkers, which is 16.1% females and 52.1% males. The most consumed alcohol is spirits followed by beer and wine.

Women make up 20.6% and men make up 6.8% of the total population who do not consume alcohol. However, 4.3% of males and 0.4% of females are alcohol dependent.

11. France – 12.6

France
  • Recorded consumption: 11.8
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.5
  • Beer consumption: 18.8%
  • Wine consumption: 58.8%
  • Spirits consumption: 20.7%

​​A country known for its wines; France has the 11th highest alcohol consumption rate in the world. As one can expect, 59% of the total population consumes wine, followed by 20% spirits and 19% beer.

According to data, males drink more than females. The percentage of heavy episodic drinking is 48.7% in males and 15.1% in females.

12. Romania – 12.6

Romania
  • Recorded consumption: 10.4
  • Unrecorded consumption: 2.2
  • Beer consumption: 55.6%
  • Wine consumption: 28.1%
  • Spirits consumption: 16.4

Romania has an average consumption of 12.6 liters of pure alcohol. According to WHO, it has a recorded consumption of 10.4 and unrecorded consumption of 2.2.

Heavy drinking is more common in males, whereas alcohol abstainers are more common in females. Deaths related to alcohol remain high in the country, with 6,366 deaths by liver problems, 802 by road accidents, and 4,676 by cancer.

13. Slovenia – 12.6

Slovenia
  • Recorded consumption: 10.8
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.8
  • Beer consumption: 41.4%
  • Wine consumption: 50.6%
  • Spirits consumption: 8%

Located in the south of Central Europe, Slovenia is among the biggest alcohol consumers in Europe and the world. Of the total population of 2,102,106, 56.3% of males and 19.2% of females are binge drinkers.

Statistics have shown that 10.5% of males and 2% of females abuse alcohol. Moreover, it has been attributed to 391 deaths caused by liver cirrhosis and alcohol.

14. Portugal – 12.3

Portugal
  • Recorded consumption: 10.6
  • Unrecorded consumption: 2.1
  • Beer consumption: 26.1
  • Wine consumption: 61.5
  • Spirits consumption: 7.7

Portugal is famous for port wine, which is why it remains in the top 30 with 12.3 liters of consumed alcohol. Most Portuguese consume wine, about 61% of the population.

Cancer caused by alcohol contributes to the high mortality rate of the country. For every 100,000 people, 2,132 die from alcohol-related cancer.

15. Luxembourg – 12.3

Luxembourg wines
  • Recorded consumption: 10.6
  • Unrecorded consumption: 2.1
  • Beer consumption: 26.1%
  • Wine consumption: 61.5%
  • Spirits consumption: 7.7%

France and Germany are separated by Luxembourg, the 15th country with the highest alcohol consumption with a recorded consumption of 11.5. The majority of the population consumes wine, which is 45% of the population.

Of the 639,589 population, 2.9% are alcohol dependent and 6.6% suffer from alcohol use disorders. For every 100,000, only 53 suffer from liver cirrhosis and 53 from cancer.

16. Belgium – 12.1

Belgium spirits
  • Recorded consumption: 10.4
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1
  • Beer consumption: 44.4%
  • Wine consumption: 38.3%
  • Spirits consumption: 14.2%

Known for its beer and chocolates, 45% of Belgium’s population drinks beer and 38% wine. It has a recorded alcohol consumption of 10.4 and unrecorded consumption of 1.

Males are more prone to heavy drinking, 49.6% of the population, whereas only 15.6% of females are. Some of the health consequences caused by alcohol consumption are 1,064 deaths related to liver diseases and 1,775 deaths related to cancer.

17. Russia – 11.7

Russians
  • Recorded consumption: 8.1
  • Unrecorded consumption: 3.6
  • Beer consumption: 39%
  • Wine consumption: 12.8%
  • Spirits consumption: 38.6%

Russians enjoy beer and spirits equally, about 39% of the total population enjoy either. The population of Russia is 142,320,790, which ranks 9th in the world with the highest population.

For every 100,000 Russians, 22,850 suffer from liver damage and 28,702 from cancer caused by alcohol abuse. Moreover, 16.5% of the male population are alcohol dependent, while females are only 3.3%.

18. Austria – 11.6

Austria
  • Recorded consumption: 11.4
  • Unrecorded consumption: 0.4
  • Beer consumption: 53.5%
  • Wine consumption: 31.6%
  • Spirits consumption: 14.9%

Aside from the Alps, Austria is most famous for some of the best vineyards in the world. Of the total population, 53% consume beer and 32% wine.

Alcohol dependence is more prevalent in the male population, with a percentage of 8.8%. As a result, liver damage, road accidents, and cancer caused by alcohol are more common in the male population.

19. Poland – 11.6

Poland
  • Recorded consumption: 10.4
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.7
  • Beer consumption: 56.1%
  • Wine consumption: 7.8%
  • Spirits consumption: 36.1%

With an alcohol consumption of 11.6 liters, Poland is the 19th country with the most alcohol users. It is estimated that 54.3% of males and 17.5% of females are heavy drinkers.

Furthermore, females are more prone to abstain from alcohol, about 19.9%, while the male population only makes up 6.6% of those abstaining. In terms of mortality rates caused by alcohol abuse, cancer is the number one killer, with 6,258 deaths per 100,000 people.

20. Gabon – 11.5

Gabon
  • Recorded consumption: 9.5
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.9
  • Beer consumption: 76.3%
  • Wine consumption: 9.2%
  • Spirits consumption: 13.4%

Located in Central Africa, Gabon has an alcohol consumption of 11.5 liters per capita. It has a total population of 2,284,912, with 57.3% suffering from heavy episodic drinking.

The death rate in the country averages 5.76 deaths per 1,000 people. Of the total mortality rate, 340 deaths per 100,000 are caused by liver damage and 50 by cancer, both related to alcohol.

21. Slovakia – 11.5

Slovakia
  • Recorded consumption: 10.4
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.6
  • Beer consumption: 33.7%
  • Wine consumption: 20.9%
  • Spirits consumption: 41.9%

Another country from Central Europe, Slovakia has a total population of 5,436,066. It is the 34th country with the highest death rate from alcohol, which is 10.08 deaths per 1,000 people.

Of the total deaths in the country, alcohol-related liver disease and cancer are among the top causes. For every 100,000, 1,118 die from liver disease and 1,1199 from cancer.

22. Switzerland – 11.5

Switzerland
  • Recorded consumption: 9.5
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.2
  • Beer consumption: 32.1%
  • Wine consumption: 48.1%
  • Spirits consumption: 18.5%

The male population in Switzerland is the major contributor to the high alcohol consumption levels, which totals 11.5 liters per capita. It is recorded that 53.4% of males are heavy drinkers, while 18.4% are females.

The female population abstains more compared to men, with a percentage of 11.4% who have never consumed alcohol and 15.5% who used to in the past. Moreover, males are more dependent on alcohol – 7.2% of the male population.

23. Hungary – 11.4

Hungary
  • Recorded consumption: 10.9
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.5
  • Beer consumption: 35.5%
  • Wine consumption: 32.2%
  • Spirits consumption: 32.3%

Hungary shows a close mix of preferences in alcohol, which comprises 32% wine drinkers, 32% spirits drinkers, and 36% beer drinkers. According to WHO’s data, men are more prone to binge drinking, which is 53% of the population.

Moreover, it shows a high percentage of alcohol disorders and dependence in men, which is 36.9% and 16.5%, respectively. The female population demonstrates a much higher abstinence rate compared to other countries, which is 20.7%.

24. United Kingdom – 11.4

United Kingdom
  • Recorded consumption: 9.8
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.1
  • Beer consumption: 35%
  • Wine consumption: 35.7%
  • Spirits consumption: 22.5%

The United Kingdom has a total population of 67.081 million, where 82% are alcohol consumers. Moreover, it is estimated almost 50% of the population consumes alcohol every week.

For every 1,000 Britons, there are 9.41 deaths. Moreover, for every 100,000 Britains, 5,556 die from liver damage attributed to alcohol.

25. Andorra – 11.3

Andorra
  • Recorded consumption: 10.1
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.6
  • Beer consumption: 34.1%
  • Wine consumption: 42%
  • Spirits consumption: 23.9%

Located in southwestern Europe, Andorra is one of the top alcohol consumers in the world, with an average of 11.3 liters per capita. The majority of the population are wine consumers and 34% are beer consumers.

The prevalence of heavy drinking is 46.8% males and 14% females. Moreover, 5.6% of the male population and 1.4% of the female population are alcohol dependent.

26. Equatorial Guinea – 11.3

Equatorial Guinea
  • Recorded consumption: 9.9
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.4
  • Beer consumption: 83%
  • Wine consumption: 17%
  • Spirits consumption: 0%

With a population of 857,008, total alcohol consumption in Equatorial Guinea is also 11.3 liter per capita, the same rate as Andorra. The majority of the population consumes beer, which is 83% of the total population.

Interestingly, the consumption of spirits is 0 and wine is only a minority of 17%. Both male and female populations show a high alcohol consumption rate of 78.6% and 48.8%, respectively.

27. Belarus – 11.2

Belarus
  • Recorded consumption: 9.2
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.5
  • Beer consumption: 22.8%
  • Wine consumption: 2.2%
  • Spirits consumption: 49%

Belarus has a population of 9,441,842, which comprises 40.5% male binger drinkers and 12.2% female binge drinkers. Almost half of the population drinks spirits, and the other half is divided among beer and other alcoholic drinks.

As for alcohol-related deaths, 1,359 are caused by liver disease, 586 by road injuries, and 1,536 by cancer for every 100,000. Moreover, 19.6% of males and 3.8% of females are alcohol dependent.

28. Serbia – 11.1

Serbia
  • Recorded consumption: 9.2
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.8
  • Beer consumption: 32%
  • Wine consumption: 42.5%
  • Spirits consumption: 25.4%

Situated between Macedonia and Hungary, Serbia is the 28th country with the highest alcohol consumption. Forty-three percent of the population drink wine, 32% beer, and 25% spirits.

Binge drinking is more prevalent in the male population, with a percentage of 46.3%, while the female population is only 12.9%. Females are higher in abstaining alcohol, which constitutes 26% lifetime abstainers and 26.9% former drinkers.

29. Cyprus – 10.8

Cyprus
  • Recorded consumption: 9.6
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.8
  • Beer consumption: 29.7%
  • Wine consumption: 28.4%
  • Spirits consumption: 41.9%

An island in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus has a population of 1,281,506, with 42% spirits drinkers, 30% beer drinkers, and 28% wine drinkers. Data shows that for every 100,000 people, 52 suffer from liver damage, 27 from road injuries, and 82 from cancer.

Furthermore, 4.7% of males and 1.4% of females are alcohol dependent. In terms of alcohol episodic drinking, 43.7% of the male population and 11.8% of the female population are heavy drinkers.

30. Uruguay – 10.8

Uruguay
  • Recorded consumption: 9
  • Unrecorded consumption: 1.9
  • Beer consumption: 35.2%
  • Wine consumption: 43.7%
  • Spirits consumption: 21.2%

Last on the list is a country from southern South America, Uruguay. It has an alcohol consumption rate of 10.8 liters per capita.

Heavy episodic drinking is more common in males than females, with a percentage of 37.7%. Moreover, the male population is more prone to alcohol use disorders, 9.6% of the total population.

Countries with the Lowest Alcohol Consumption

1. 0 – Bangladesh, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Somalia

2. 0.1 – Yemen

3. 0.2 – Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia

4. 0.3 – Pakistan, Syria

5. 0.4 – Brunei, Egypt, Iraq, Kiribati

6. 0.5 – Djibouti, Niger, Sudan

7. 0.7 – Jordan, Senegal

8. 0.8 – Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Oman

9. 0.9 – Algeria, Comoros, Malaysia

10. 1 – Iran, Vanuatu

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the causes of alcohol abuse?

There are several reasons why a person ends up dependent on alcohol, which can be categorized as genetic, physical, and environmental. When alcohol addiction is common in the family, more often than not you will become an alcoholic.

In terms of environmental factors, a person who is stressed or abused can turn to alcohol for comfort, which then leads to addiction. Other factors that may contribute to alcohol abuse are low self-esteem, vulnerability, mental illness, peer pressure, and accessibility.

What are the effects of excessive alcohol?

In the long run, alcohol damages the brain as well as weakens the immune system. Moreover, it can cause heart disease, liver disease, and cancer. On top of that, an alcohol addict can pose harm to other people and themselves.

Besides physical damage, it also affects work or school productivity, destroys relationships, causes accidents and injuries, and leads to suicide.

Who drinks more – men or women?

According to data from most countries, it is found that men are likely to drink more than women. They drink thrice the amount as women and often consume eight drinks per session.

Moreover, 7% of the male population are diagnosed with disorder abuse, which is higher than the female population of only 4%.