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From country to country around the world, people’s relationship with alcohol varies greatly. In some places it serves as a point of national identity, and in others it has become detrimental to a country's overall health.
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a comprehensive report on the global status of alcohol, in order to help countries combat the harmful use of alcohol and avoid negative health and social consequences.
Along with data on estimated cost of alcohol abuse, drinking ages and drunk-driving statistics, the report outlines overall alcohol consumption from the 193 WHO Member States. This data is presented by average annual per capita alcohol consumption (in liters of pure alcohol), drawing from both recorded sales figures and estimates of unrecorded usage, as well as further breaking it down by type of alcohol consumed.
As far as alcohol consumption goes, the United States is middle-of-the-pack, consuming only 9.44 liters of alcohol per person, per year, which is approximately half of the most heavily drinking countries. One major trend: males consume more than females. This fact may not surprise most people, but there is only one county where this trend is reversed: Ecuador.
In addition, the single heaviest drinking sub-group is males from Mali that describe themselves as drinkers. These individuals consume a whopping 62.10 liters of alcohol, on average, every year. However, this appears to be a small portion of the country’s population, as Mali's consumption average stands at 1.04 liters per person, per year.
So which countries consume the most alcohol per person?
By Paul Toscano