The World Health Organization has released its Global status report on alcohol and health 2014, and as the name suggests, it’s kind of a bummer. Severity of alcohol related diseases aside, however, it does have some interesting insights. The United States didn’t even make the “top ten”, so good for us, I think?
The report measured alcohol consumption in the 194 WHO member states between 2008-2010, and looks at the number of annual alcohol-related deaths worldwide and the socioeconomic factors that contribute to dangerous binge drinking. Europe had the highest consumption of alcohol per person, taking up every “top 10″ spot on WHO’s list. The world’s heaviest drinking nation is Belarus, where citizens consume a whopping 1.7 liters on average per person, followed by the Republic of Moldova at 16.8 liters.
Residents of the UK enjoy 11.6 liters a year, Canadians imbibe 10.2, and citizens of the US of A enjoy, on average, 9.2 liters of pure alcohol annually– a small amount compared to those 10 European nations but still, ow, my liver.
Citizens in the Middle East and North Africa consume an average of just 2.5 liters per person each year, and WHO estimates that more than half the world’s population doesn’t drink alcohol at all. Considering the drinking burden falls on those of us who do imbibe, WHO estimates that the average drinker is consuming 17 liters of alcohol annually.
WHO says these stats indicate a “need for action by countries including: health services to deliver prevention and treatment services, in particular increasing prevention, treatment and care for patients and their families, and supporting initiatives for screening and brief interventions.”
Fun party tip: next time you are interacting socially, bust out some of these statistics. I guarantee you privacy and undisturbed drinking for the rest of the night.