World's heaviest drinking countries revealed - and the UK doesn't even make the top 10

A report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) looked at levels of alcohol consumption in its 194 member states

People in the UK are among the most prolific drinkers in the world, according to a report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Britons over the age of 15 on average drink 11.6 litres of pure alcohol a year, according to the “Global status report on alcohol and health 2014”.

The report provides country profiles for alcohol consumption in the 194 WHO member states, looking at the resulting impact on public health and policy responses.

And it reveals that the harmful use of alcohol causes 3.3 million deaths a year worldwide.

Europe is the region with the highest consumption of alcohol per person, making up the entire top 10.

Belarus takes the top spot, with people on average drinking 17.5 litres of pure alcohol a year, followed by the Republic of Moldova where the figure is 16.8 litres.

Australia and Canada also have high levels of alcohol consumption, with people on average drinking 12.2 and 10.2 litres a year respectively. 

In the United States the figure is marginally lower at 9.2 litres.

But in northern Africa and the Middle East, the average figure is less than 2.5 litres of alcohol per person, with many countries having figures below one litre. 

The average figure globally is 6.2 litres of pure alcohol per person per year.

But as less than half the world population (38.3 per cent) actually drinks alcohol, this means that those who do drink consume on average 17 litres of pure alcohol annually, the report said.

The WHO warned that alcohol consumption increases the risk of developing more than 200 diseases, including liver cirrhosis and some cancers.

Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO assistant director-general for non-communicable diseases and mental health, said: “More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption.

"The report clearly shows that there is no room for complacency when it comes to reducing the harmful use of alcohol.”

The report also points out that a higher percentage of deaths among men than among women are from alcohol-related causes - 7.6 per cent of men's deaths and four per cent of women's deaths - though there is evidence that women may be more vulnerable to some alcohol-related health conditions compared to men.

Dr Shekhar Saxena, director for mental health and substance abuse at WHO, said: “We found that worldwide about 16 per cent of drinkers engage in heavy episodic drinking - often referred to as 'binge-drinking' - which is the most harmful to health.

"Lower-income groups are more affected by the social and health consequences of alcohol. They often lack quality health care and are less protected by functional family or community networks."

The report also highlights the need for action by countries including national leadership to develop policies to reduce harmful use of alcohol, national awareness-raising activities and 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.

The figures represent the average amount of pure alcohol consumed per capita in each country between 2008 and 2010.

Additional reporting by Press Association

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

    £27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

    Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

    £16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

    £17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'