Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Drinking habits

The Economist had an interesting Daily Chart yesterday on global alcohol consumption.  Not sure if it was coincidental to Valentines Day or not.

A map of world alcohol consumption
THE world drank the equivalent of 6.1 litres of pure alcohol per person in 2005, according to a report from the World Health Organisation published on February 11th. The biggest boozers are mostly found in Europe and in the former Soviet states. Moldovans are the most bibulous, getting through 18.2 litres each, nearly 2 litres more than the Czechs in second place. Over 10 litres of a Moldovan's annual intake is reckoned to be 'unrecorded' home-brewed liquor, making it particularly harmful to health. Such moonshine accounts for almost 30% of the world's drinking. The WHO estimates that alcohol results in 2.5m deaths a year, more than AIDS or tuberculosis. In Russia and its former satellite states one in five male deaths is caused by drink.

Annual consumption of pure alcohol, litres per person
 However the ever abused Russian drinkers are fighting back.  Tanya found a survey article on a Ukrainian website with some interesting numbers about frequency of drinking in, of all places, Great Britain.

84% of British consume alcohol, compared to a world average of 71%
41% of Brits regularly consume alcohol compared to 27% of the Aussies
33% of British boys aged 13 to 15 have been drunk at least twice and apparently more than 33% of girls though the number was not given.

The survey on European attitudes on alcohol was done by TNS Opinion in early 2010 but I was unable to download the report from EC Public Health http://ec.europa.eu/health/index_en.htm


  1. I notice that they don't even drink in Greenland. Wow.

  2. I guess they need a little antifreeze in that part of the world.

  3. That is the Russian excuse - we drink to keep warm.

    Actually alcohol lowers body temperature. It is a vasodilator, allowing more blood to flow to the skin surface where it loses heat rapidly. One more reason drunks freeze to death.


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