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People Everywhere in the World Are Drinking Less…Except Americans

For the first time in 15 years, worldwide alcohol consumption levels have gone down, except in North America

For the first time since 2001, people around the world are drinking less alcohol. The nearly universal trend has one notable exception: North America.

In America, not only is the booze cruise still sailing, but it’s picking up significant speed. In 2015, the U.S. bought 30.6 billion liters of alcohol — up from 29.8 billion liters in 2014, according to statistics released by Euromonitor International. Euromonitor researchers attribute this to the boom of the craft beer movement in recent years.

Ukraine recorded the biggest decline in alcohol consumption, with a 17 percent decrease between 2014 and 2015. Even China, which historically has been the world’s biggest consumer of alcohol, saw a 3.5 percent decrease.

Across the globe, people are drinking less but searching for higher-end, more premium liquor. Whiskey is experiencing the biggest boom in sales; sales of Kentucky bourbon have increased 44 percent in the last few years. Sales of tequila, mezcal, and wine also increased. Contrarily, vodka sales have slipped to 3.2 billion liters in 2015 from about 3.3 billion liters in 2014, although it is still the most consumed spirit in the world.  

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