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Europe’s alcohol consumption revealed in new report

European alcohol consumption has declined in recent years, despite several countries drinking more, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to Euronews, the new WHO report revealed alcohol consumption across the EU between 2010 and 2020 and noted that alcohol consumption in Europe declined by 0.5 litres, even though increases were also recorded in some countries.

The data outlined how overall alcohol consumption per person aged 15 years and over has dropped by 2.9 litres in the last four decades, falling from 12.7 litres in 1980 to 9.8 litres in 2020, equal to a 23% decrease.

In fact, a significant decrease was seen between 1980 (12.7 litres) and 2000 (10.5 litres) but, according to the findings, this slowed in the following two decades.

Alcohol consumption in Europe, which covers 53 countries including Russia and surrounding countries, fell from 12 litres in 2000 to 9.5 litres in 2020, corresponding to 2.5 litres decrease (21%).

Despite this drop, the WHO has pointed out that Europe still has the highest level of alcohol consumption per person in the world.

The research showed that in 2020, annual alcohol consumption varied from 1.2 litres in Turkey to 12.1 litres in Latvia among 36 European countries including the EU, the UK, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and EU candidate countries.

Additionally, Germany had the highest amount of alcohol consumption (10.6 litres), followed by France (10.4 litres), Spain (7.8 litres) and Italy (7.7 litres). Despite no longer being in the EU, the UK’s alcohol consumption stood at 9.7 litres.

According to the data, between 2010 and 2020, alcohol consumption fell in 25 countries but increased in 11 countries. Ireland and Lithuania recorded the highest decline in alcohol consumption in this period. It dropped by 2.1 litres in both countries, closely followed by Spain and Greece (both 2 litres).

Similarly following this trend, European reports detailing the WHO data showed that the Netherlands, France, Cyprus and Finland also recorded above 1.5 litres declines. The amount of decrease was also between one litre and 1.5 litres in Serbia, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Switzerland and Germany.

According to the WHO, the highest increase was seen in Latvia where alcohol consumption rose by 2.3 litres and noted the highest rise in percentage change at 23.5%.

Other countries that showed substantial increases included Bulgaria (1.4 litres), Malta (1.1 litres), Romania and Poland (both 1 litres). The rise was above 0.5 litres in Norway, Italy and Iceland.

Greece displayed the highest decrease by 24.1%, followed by the Netherlands (20.9%), Spain (20.4%) and Turkey (20%). The decline rate was also over 15% in Ireland, Serbia, Lithuania, Finland, France and Cyprus.

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