10 Biggest Booze-Guzzling Nations
The world’s highest alcohol consumption levels are found in the developed world, including western and Eastern Europe. High-income countries generally have the highest alcohol consumption. Here’s the list of 10 countries that consume the most alcohol.
Citizens of the post-Soviet Republic of Moldova are the biggest guzzlers of alcohol, gulping exactly 18.22 liters per person every year. They drink nearly three times the global average of 6.1 litres per person per year. The country is a major wine producer, with many people drinking cheap homemade wine, vodka and other spirits and the Moldovan intake was made up roughly equally of wine, spirits and beer.
The people from Czech Republic are next with a consumption of 16.45 litres per person every year. Two months back, however, the country enforced a ban on sales of hard liquor, as deaths and injuries from methanol-laced bootleg alcohol rose. Around 20 people died and 36 people were in critical condition since the outbreak. The country consumes more beer (around 8.5L) than any other alcoholic beverage.
Apparently, drinking alcohol is engrained in Hungary's working culture. In eastern Hungary, a rural people often have a shot of “palinka,'' a spirit made of fruits, for breakfast and make a living growing and distilling plums and peaches for the drink. Hungarians consume 16.27 litres per person every year and it is roughly an even mix of beer, wine and spirits.
With the country synonymous with Vodka, it’s no surprise that Russia emerges in the top 5. Russians consume 15.76 litres per person every year. Drinking as a part of Russian culture has deep roots, dating back to at least the tenth century AD and by 1860, vodka, the national drink, was the source of 40 percent of the government's revenue. The country consumes more spirits (around 7L) than wine (0.10L), notably.
Russia’s neighbour to the east, Ukraine rounds off the top 5 with a consumption of 15.60 litres per person per year. Illegal production of alcohol is a cause for worry in the country with 35 percent of the vodka sold in the country being produced illegally. In 2011, 36,680 poisoning cases were registered in Ukraine, of which 5,300 resulted in fatalities. The country consumes spirits (around 5L) more than any other alcoholic beverage.
Estonians are said to be true beer lovers as the country’s alcoholic consumption is 15.57 litres per person per year. The country has seen an increase in spirits (around 9L) consumption than beer (around 5L), recently. However, local producers claim that the most significant problem within alcoholic drinks in Estonia is increasing input prices, which are resulting in declining profits and reducing the number of investment opportunities.
Andorra seems like a drinker’s paradise since the country has no sales tax and alcohol products are probably the cheapest in Europe. The country consumes 15.48 litres of alcohol per person every year and more wine (around 6L) than beer or spirits. The most popular drinks are Orxata, Granizado, Acqua D'Or.
Reportedly, beer in Romania often costs less than the bottled water at restaurants and bars. People consume 15.30 litres of alcohol every year and it is no surprise that beer is consumed the most (around 4L) with spirits catching up (also around 4L). It is also considered okay to have a drink during the work day or for business men and politicians to keep bottles of alcohol in their desks!
The legal drinking age in Slovenia is 18 but it is illegal to sell or offer alcohol of any kind to minors. It is also illegal to sell alcohol in stores from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m., and 10 a.m. in bars and restaurants. The law also prohibits serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated customers as well as less than 1 hour before and during sport events. Slovenians consume 15.19 litres of alcohol every year and more wine (around 5L) and beer (around 4L) than spirits.
Belarus, the last country in the top ten consumes 15.13 litres per person every year and spirits (around 4L) is the most preferred. Like all other alcohol-loving countries, a bottle of vodka costs less than a packet of orange juice, it is reported. However, alcohol abuse is widespread and is a problem to worry about.