The Czech Republic is the Third Hardest-Drinking Country in the World

The Czech Republic is the Third Hardest-Drinking Country in the World

No surprise: many an alcoholic beverage is consumed in the Czech Republic.

But while the Central European country leads the world in beer consumption – by a wide margin – it typically falls short of other countries, particularly European neighbors to the east, when it comes to overall consumption of alcohol.

According to new data released on Friday by the World Health Organization, however, that might be changing.

The last survey of alcohol consumption reported by WHO was released in 2014, using data collected in 2010. According to that report, the average person in the Czech Republic drank 13.0 liters of pure alcohol per year.

That was enough for the Czech Republic to squeeze into the top 10 among the world’s countries, coming in at #9.

But according to the new 2018 WHO report on world alcohol consumption, the average Czech drank 14.4 liters of pure alcohol per year from 2015-17 – – good enough for third-highest in the world, behind only Moldova (15.2 liters) and Lithuania (15 liters).

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That number includes a 12.9 liters of recorded alcohol consumption (official sales), and 1.5 liters of unrecorded consumption, empirical data that might include things like homemade slivovice.

The average Czech man (aged 15+) drank a whopping 26.9 liters of pure alcohol in 2016, while the average Czech woman recorded a mere 9.3 liters.

61.6% of Czech men reported instances of heavy drinking (60 grams of pure alcohol, roughly 6 small alcoholic drinks, in a single sitting) in 2016, compared to 23.6% of the females population.

Evaluating the past three decades, alcohol consumption is slightly down in the country since reaching a high of 14.8 liters per person in 1992. Beer and spirits consumption have both slightly decreased in the Czech Republic over that time, while consumption of wine is on a clear upswing.

While Belarus topped the 2014 report with 17.6 liters of pure alcohol consumed per person per year, they fell all the way down to #25 according to the new WHO data.

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Europe as a whole has some explaining to do: 23 of the top 25 countries were all European, with only Nigeria and Seychelles reporting the same levels of alcohol consumption.

These are the world’s hardest-drinking countries according to the WHO 2018 report, by liters of pure alcohol drunk per person per year:

1. Moldova – 15.2
2. Lithuania – 15.0
3. Czech Republic – 14.4
4. Seychelles – 13.8
5. Germany – 13.4
6. Nigeria – 13.4
7. Ireland – 13.0
8. Luxembourg – 13.0
9. Latvia – 12.9
10. Bulgaria – 12.7
11. Romania – 12.6
12. France – 12.6
13. Slovenia – 12.6
14. Portugal – 12.3
15. Belgium – 12.1
16. Russia – 11.7
17. Poland – 11.6
18. Austria – 11.6
19. Estonia – 11.6
20. Switzerland – 11.5
21. Slovakia – 11.5
22. Hungary – 11.4
23. United Kingdom – 11.4
24. Andorra – 11.3
25. Belarus – 11.2

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You can read the full 2018 WHO report on alcohol consumption here.

Lucas Němec

Prague-based author with two decades experience living in and writing about the Czech Republic for local and international sites and publications. Nakládaný hermelín enthusiast and frequent Club-Mate drinker.

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