The UK media often tell us that when it comes to drinking alcohol, the UK is the bad boy of Europe. In towns up and down the country we see civil unrest, domestic violence, road traffic accidents and crowded A&E departments, all thanks to the demon drink. In France it is more civilised isn’t it? After all, they only drink wine and at that only a couple of glasses with meals.
Well, not quite. The OECD has just published data showing alcohol consumption per capita across Europe in 2013. The UK came out a respectable 18th out of 27. France was 7th. Lithuania is the booziest nation; Italy the least.
What’s more, the research does not include “moonshine” or similar home-made alcohol. Many of the countries that fared well on the OECD’s list, not least in Scandinavia, have a moonshine culture. If that had been taken into account, the UK would have fared even better.
The research also shows that overall, consumption has fallen in the 13 years since the study was last done in 2000. Drill down further and we see that a relatively small proportion of the population – 20% – accounts for the lion’s share of the drinking, varying country-to-country from 50% to a stonking 90% (Hungary). Yeah, in Hungary 90% of alcohol is drunk by just 20% of the population!
Here is the full list.