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One in four adults in the EU don’t drink, new research finds

As many as 26.2% of EU adults in 2019 had not consumed alcohol in the previous 12 months, according to drinks research by Eurostat.

New drinks research: graphs showing frequency of alcohol consumption in the EU 2019
Credit: Eurostat

The study, which was published earlier this month, found that the largest proportion of non-drinkers were aged 75 or over, with 40.3% of respondents in this age range reporting they had consumed no alcohol over the past year.

Based on data collected in 2019, the drinks research found that daily alcohol consumption increased with age, with the over 75 age range also boasting the largest proportion of daily drinkers, at 16%. In contrast, just 1% of young people aged 15-24 drank on a daily basis.

A large gender gap also emerged in the study. One in five women reported drinking on a weekly basis, compared to more than a third of men, and the percentages of daily drinkers among women and men were 4.1% and 13% respectively.

Among individual countries, Portugal nabbed top spot for the highest daily intake, with a fifth (20.7%) of the population drinking alcohol on a daily basis. Coming in second was neighbouring Spain, with 13%, closely followed by Italy, with 12.1%.

Lithuania and Latvia were seen to have the lowest proportion of daily drinkers, at just 1% of their respective populations. However, Lithuania also saw the highest level of monthly consumption, with almost a third (31.1%) of people drinking on a monthly basis.

New drinks research: Graph showing the prevalence of heavy episodic drinking at least once a month 2019
Credit: Eurostat

Heavy binge drinking was highest in Denmark, Romania and Luxembourg. Almost two in five (38%) Danish residents partook in binge drinking at least once a month, defined as ingesting more than 60g of pure ethanol in one sitting.

A similar study courtesy of 24/7 Wall Street recently ranked alcohol consumption in all 50 US states. Find out which state was the biggest boozer here.

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