Have a sip?

As I was talking about different ways of getting a hangover, I decided to have a look at the real consumption of alcohol in some European countries. Here are the results.

Alcohol consumption per capita
Units: Liters of pure alcohol per adult (15 years and older)

Country ISO 1963 1973 1983 1993 2003
Czech Rep CZE 7.7 11.2 12.6 12.6 13.0
Europe   10.4 12.2 11.3 10.1 10.0
Finland FIN 3.1 7.4 7.9 8.4 9.3
France FRA 24.3 21.4 17.8 14.3 11.4
Germany DEU 11.1 14.1 13.2 13.5 12.0
Hungary HUN 8.6 11.9 14.6 13.1 13.6
Ireland IRL 6.3 10.6 8.8 11.4 13.7
Italy ITA 16.8 18.4 14.5 10.3 8.0
Netherlands NLD 4.8 10.3 11.2 9.7 9.7
Spain ESP 14.4 17.2 16.9 12.0 11.7
Sweden SWE 5.3 7.2 6.4 6.5 6.0
United Kingdom GBR 5.9 7.6 8.6 9.2 11.8

Source: Global Alcohol Database, World Health Organization (WHO).
Rationale for the statistics

Interesting results, that is, no way of getting a particular trend, each country seems to behave differently.

  • Contries below the European average (year 2003):
    Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden
  • Contries below the European average (year 1963):
    Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, UK
  • Contries above the European average (year 2003):
    France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Spain, UK
  • Contries above the European average (year 1963):
    France, Germany, Italy, Spain
  • The strongest drinkers in 2003 were the Irish (13.7), while in 1963 the French really beat everybody (24.3).
  • The weakest one in 2003 were the Swedes (6.0), while in 1963 the Finnish had almost nothing to drink (3.1).

More resources:

3 thoughts on “Have a sip?

  1. Janne

    Does this take into account the grey importing? Swedes are notorious for hauling drink from Denmark because booze is so expensive in Sweden. Same thing in Finland with Estonia and Russia.

  2. Raffa Post author

    No, it doesn’t. However, I doubt that alcohol importing has a big influence on the statistics. Especially nowadays when prices are getting closer due to EU regulation on importing. Of course 40 years ago the situation might have been quite different, but nowadays in Finland, for example, you can get a bottle of vodka for 7 euro. I wouldn’t call it expensive. Of course you can go to Russia and get it for one euro, but I don’t think that many people plan to get to S.Petersburg to have a cheap-booze refuel. Or maybe they do? 🙂

  3. Janne

    I think the effect is more exaggerated in southern Sweden these days because of Systembolaget’s exceedingly, ahem, dehortative pricing policy. I saw some figures last year and while I wouldn’t bet my life on them, I’d say the percentage of grey importing was in the double digits.

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