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Where The World’s Drinkers Are

Via Business Insider comes this chart showing per capita consumption of alcohol around the world:

world alcohol map

 

The fact that Russia and much of Eastern Europe are at the top of the list isn’t too surprising, of course, although it is odd to see Finland and Portugal there. What’s perhaps most interesting is that the United States ranks behind Canada, Australia, and most of Europe.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mikey says:

    I’m not at all surprised the U. S. ranks behind most of Europe. They drink all the time over there.

    Plus we Americans are still suffering under the remaining legacies of our Puritan heritage and Prohibition.

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  2. al-Ameda says:

    Finland is no surprise at all – long winters, excessive drinking and alcoholism.
    Portugal? Hmmmm.

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  3. Ron Beasley says:

    @Mikey: I remember when I lived in Munich, Germany and even though lived there for 4 years I could never get used to people having beer instead of OJ with breakfast. And yes, the morning coffee break was actually a beer break.

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  4. Scott says:

    So, the correlation is what? Modern, economically advanced countries drink the most. Backwards nations drink less. Conclusion: Heavy drinking contributes to economic well being.

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  5. Mikey says:

    @Ron Beasley: Germans have beer like Americans have soda pop.

    Which doesn’t surprise me, given the awesomeness of German beer. Still, it took a while to get used to having a beer at lunch during the workday.

    When I lived over there, some German friends invited me out to watch a Fussball (soccer) game one Sunday morning. It included Weisswurst and Weizenbier. At 10:00 AM on a Sunday. It was fun!

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  6. Andre Kenji says:

    Catholic Latin America does not drink more than Americans.

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  7. I notice the chart is labelled in liters. Perhaps the US’s low rating is due to a preference for hard spirits that would reduce the volume vs. countries that prefer beer or wine?

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  8. CSK says:

    If you ever lived in Scotland, this would be no surprise at all to you. A Scottish acquaintance once informed me that “you Americans drink for pleasure; we Scots drink to get drunk.” He said this with some pride. For the first–and still only–time in my life, I saw large numbers of people actually lying in the gutter after the pubs closed.

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  9. Dave D says:

    @CSK: We also rank behind the ROK. When I was in Seoul it was nothing to see men in business suits passed out in the crosswalks some mornings. It is just so very strange, because the cops here would arrest you for that.

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  10. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The fact that Russia and much of Eastern Europe are at the top of the list isn’t too surprising, of course, although it is odd to see Finland and Portugal there.

    Finland isn’t. Finland is in the same range as the UK, German, France, Spain, Australia, and Canada.

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  11. PJ says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I notice the chart is labelled in liters. Perhaps the US’s low rating is due to a preference for hard spirits that would reduce the volume vs. countries that prefer beer or wine?

    It’s liters of pure alcohol.

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  12. Ron Beasley says:

    @Mikey: Weisswurst and Weizenbier, the meal of the Gods! It’s almost impossible to find Weisswurst here in the States because it’s made from veal but many of the craft breweries around here make a good Weizebbier.

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  13. michael reynolds says:

    I suspect the data is b.s. Japan drinks less than we do? Hah.

    I’d like to see a chart showing body size by country. It’s not liters per person, it’s liters per pound of human flesh that matters. Small people get drunk on less. It takes four drinks consumed pretty quickly to get me to a .08. But when I give my 14 year-old daughter four shots of whiskey she’s way too hammered to drive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. Matt Bernius says:

    @MR:

    But when I give my 14 year-old daughter four shots of whiskey she’s way too hammered to drive.

    Are you speaking from personal experience?

    #CoolestDadEvah!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. Mikey says:

    @Ron Beasley: There’s a German butcher in Baltimore who produces some pretty decent Weisswurst (and many other German sausages). My wife (German born and raised) and I get their stuff all the time. They ship anywhere in the lower 48.

    http://www.binkertsmeat.com/

    I’ve no affiliation with them at all–I just like spreading the word about good food.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  16. Pinky says:

    That’s a map of Muslim population by percentage, at least partly. Either they drink a lot less, or they admit to drinking a lot less. I gave a quick look over the WHO report and couldn’t tell how much of the information was from governments, surveys, or data from alcohol producers. My hunch is that the map should probably be a lot darker in the middle.

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  17. michael reynolds says:

    @Matt Bernius:

    Like I would give my booze to a teenager? Hah. You know what good Scotch costs?

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  18. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds:

    You know what good Scotch costs?

    I don’t even want to hear it from you. You can get Lagavulin 16 at frickin’ Costco for half what it costs me in the Virginia state-run liquor store.

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  19. michael reynolds says:

    @Mikey:
    California, baby. The cheap booze totally balances off the 13% state income tax and the real estate.

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  20. Franklin says:

    @Scott: Your correlation is okay, but I think there’s a limit to that. And Russia proves it.

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  21. Franklin says:

    @PJ:

    It’s liters of pure alcohol.

    Precisely. And even guzzling 20 Bud Lights watching NASCAR doesn’t add up to much actual alcohol. Piss, yes. Alcohol, no.

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  22. Mikey says:

    @michael reynolds: Still unfair. You already have the weather to balance those things out.

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