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The World's Booziest Continent

People in Europe down double the global alcohol average, according to the World Health Organization.


Nearly 12% of European deaths in 2004 were
alcohol-related. Photo via

By Valerie Tejeda


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It's not just the currency that's in trouble; Europeans are dubbed the “world's heaviest drinkers” by the World Health Organization and the European Commission. People living in Europe consume almost double the world drinking average, downing the equivalent of 12.5 liters of pure alcohol a year, according to a new report. Central-eastern and eastern Europe are considered to be the heaviest drinkers, consuming 14.5 liters per adult per year. Central-western and Western Europe follow close behind with 12.4 liters, then Southern Europe with 11.2 liters and the Nordic countries with 10.4 liters. But the data specifically for binge drinking ranked Nordic countries the highest in that respect. The report also found that within the European Union—a confederation of 27 countries—alcohol accounted for almost 12% of all deaths in 2004 among people aged 15-64. That's equivalent to one in 13 deaths in women and one in seven deaths in men. "The alcohol-related burden on health in Europe is avoidable," says Zsuzsanna Jakab, the WHO's regional director for Europe. “Alcohol consumption has clear, recognized health consequences for drinkers, those around them and society."

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