Top 10 Vodka Countries in The World

Global vodka consumption has increased significantly in recent years. A recent survey from the web-based research firm Euromonitor identified the nations with the greatest per capita vodka consumption in the world, measured in shots. The research identified the top ten vodka-drinking countries, all of which were former Soviet republics, with Russia topping the list.

According to a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) estimate, people aged 15 and above used 6.2 litres of alcohol per person globally in 2010. In 2012, alcohol was responsible for around 3.3 million deaths. Drinking habits and health concerns were higher in some countries. In 2010, inhabitants in eight countries consumed 13 or more litres per person. The most intensively consuming country’s residents consumed 17.5 litres on average. According to Tom Donaldson, the chairman of the National Organisation on Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS), historical and sociological factors explain why different countries have higher rates of usage.

Vodka Countries
Vodka Countries

“”There are no public health awareness efforts about the effects of alcohol consumption in some of those areas,” Donaldson added. Eight of the top ten consumption countries have no public policy actions to address the consequences of alcohol use on the general public. These residents were also typically among the most likely to have alcohol-related disorders. These include alcoholism and other forms of hazardous alcohol consumption. Such anomalies create physical problems like liver cirrhosis as well as mental problems like sadness. Alcohol is a key contributor to a wide range of severe diseases. Cardiovascular disease and diabetes were responsible for one-third of the world’s 3.3 million alcohol-related deaths. Alcohol is to blame for half of all liver cirrhosis deaths. Similarly, alcohol is responsible for more than one-quarter of all pancreatitis and mouth cancer cases.

According to 24/7 Wall St., based on WHO data, the following are the world’s heaviest drinkers:

Top 10 Vodka Drinking Countries

10. Slovakia

Alcohol consumption per capita: 13.0 litres (tied for 9th highest).
Binge drinking percentage: 26.2% (16th highest).
Alcohol-related mortality rate: 7.7% (14th highest).
At birth, the average life expectancy is 76.1 years.

Alcohol was responsible for around 8% of deaths in Slovakia in 2012, one of the highest percentages among the countries surveyed. In the United States, alcohol was responsible for just 3.2% of fatalities. In general, residents drank heavily. More than 10% of people in the country aged 15 and above have alcohol use disorders, including alcohol addiction. Men had much higher rates, at 19.1%. Residents prefer spirits to other forms of alcohol such as beer or wine, which include distilled beverages such as vodka.

According to the WHO, Slovakia has also had issues with the use of alcohol that is not intended for human use, such as industrial alcohol.

9. Czech Republic

Alcohol consumption per capita: 13.0 litres
Percentage of binge drinking: 36.5% (third highest).
Alcohol-related deaths: 5.8% (the 33rd highest).
At birth, the average life expectancy is 78.1 years.

Only Austria and Lithuania have a greater prevalence of binge drinking than the Czech Republic. Czech men placed top in binge drinking, but Czech women consumed the most alcohol per capita of the countries surveyed. Czechs prefer beer to any other alcoholic beverage, according to WHO figures. The country’s lax alcohol laws may contribute to its high alcohol use. In the Czech Republic, there are no processes in place to monitor the health or social consequences of alcohol consumption, nor does the government regulate the sale of alcohol.

On the Charles Bridge in Prague, a street musician plays wine glasses.

8. Hungary

Alcohol consumption per capita: 13.3 litres
Binge drinking percentage: 25.4% (17th highest).
Alcohol-related deaths: 6.7% (the 22nd highest).
At birth, the average life expectancy is 75.1 years.

Hungarians used 13.3 litres of alcohol per person in 2010, which was less than just seven other nations. With 19.3% of the population misusing alcohol in some way, Hungary has the highest incidence of alcohol use disorders. Alcoholism afflicted 32.2% of Hungarian males and 6.8% of Hungarian women, the highest percentage among the countries analysed. The WHO also points out that the country lacks critical warnings on beverage containers, such as alcohol content labelling.

In Budapest, a guy sleeps in front of a bank.

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7. Andorra

Alcohol consumption per capita: 13.8 litres
Percentage of binge drinking: 4.2% (the 69th lowest).
Alcohol-related deaths: 3.9% (the 77th highest).
At birth, the life expectancy is n/a.

In comparison to many other nations with high levels of alcohol use, Andorra’s economy is rather prosperous. The small principality, nestled in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, has a thriving tourism industry that accounts for the vast bulk of the country’s GDP. Andorra’s illegal alcohol production was less prevalent than in many other heavy drinking countries, accounting for around 1.4 litres of per capita use. This might imply that demand for alcohol is easily met through legal channels.

When only legal purchases were taken into account, Andorra’s population consumed 12.4 litres per capita, outpacing all but two other countries. Wine is preferred by the majority of Andorrans over other alcoholic beverages. Country inhabitants were also far less prone to binge drink – just 4.2% of individuals 15 and older binged in the past 30 days.

6. Ukraine

Alcohol consumption per capita: 13.9 litres
Percentage of binge drinking: 23.2% (the 24th highest).
Alcohol-related deaths: 34.4% (second highest).
At birth, the life expectancy is 70.9 years.

Aside from the current political turmoil, Ukraine has long suffered from the repercussions of excessive alcohol use. Only Ukraine has a higher proportion of alcohol-related death than Belarus. Spirits were the most popular alcoholic drink in the country, accounting for more than half of all alcoholic beverages consumed. Only the Republic of Moldova reported a greater per capita consumption of illegal alcoholic beverages than Ukraine. Binge drinking is also prevalent among both males and females aged 15 and older in the nation.

5. Romania

Alcohol consumption per capita: 14.4 litres
Binge drinking percentage: 7.9% (75th highest).
Alcohol-related deaths: 8.9% (the 11th highest).
At birth, the average life expectancy is 68.7 years.

Drinking rates were notably high among Romanian youth. More than 37% of 15- to 19-year-olds had binge-drunk in the preceding 30 days, which was greater than in all but a few countries. Males were more likely to consume alcohol, as is traditional; more than 55% of Romanian men aged 15 to 19 reported binge drinking in the preceding 30 days, significantly more than in most other countries. Binge drinking may be connected to the county’s alcohol-related fatalities. Alcohol was responsible for almost 9% of all fatalities in 2012, which was higher than in all but a few nations.

4. Russian Federation

Alcohol consumption per capita: 15.1 litres
Binge drinking rate: 19.3% (32nd highest).
Alcohol-related deaths: 30.5% (fifth highest).
At birth, the average life expectancy is 70.5 years.

Russians consumed 15.1 litres of alcohol per capita in 2010, one of the highest rates in the world. Furthermore, annual consumption is expected to stay high in the future, with per capita consumption continuing around 15 litres until 2025. Alcohol abuse has a significant influence on the health of the Russian people, with 18.2% of the population suffering from alcohol use disorders, more than any other country save Hungary. Alcohol was responsible for thirty-five percent of all fatalities in Russia in 2012, one of the world’s worst rates.

According to a recent study published in the respected British medical journal The Lancet, “Russian adults have extraordinarily high rates of premature death” and that high levels of vodka use are associated with a higher risk of death in the country.

Former Soviet veterans raise a glass in celebration of Victory Day in Stavropol on May 9, 2014.

3. Lithuania

Alcohol consumption per capita: 15.4 litres
Percentage of binge drinking: 36.7% (second highest).
Alcohol-related deaths: 30.9% (fourth highest).
At birth, the life expectancy is 73.9 years.

Lithuania was second only to Austria in terms of the percentage of drinkers who binge-drank. In fact, one-quarter of all women in the nation binge drank, more than in any other country. In Lithuania, alcohol was responsible for more than 30% of deaths in 2012, a higher ratio than in all but three of the other countries surveyed. Almost 10% of the country’s population used alcohol, which was among the highest of any country analysed. Despite the fact that Lithuania monitors alcohol use and evaluates its social and health consequences, drinking remains a national problem.

Lithuania’s prime minister said in March that his office is collaborating with the country’s spirits sector to develop a new excise tax on alcohol in order to combat alcoholism and reduce the quantity of alcohol supplied illegally.

2. Republic of Moldova

Alcohol consumption per capita: 16.8 litres
Binge drinking percentage: 32.2% (8th highest)
Alcohol-related deaths: 33.1% (third highest).
At birth, the average life expectancy is 81.4 years.

The Republic of Moldova’s economy is relatively undeveloped, with GDP per capita of $3,562 in 2013. A slowing economy and high poverty rates — 16.6% in 2012, the highest in Europe — may make it more difficult for citizens to obtain alcohol legally. Moldova was one of the few countries where illicit alcohol use outperformed government-sanctioned alcohol consumption, with the typical citizen consuming 10.5 litres of illegal alcohol. Alcohol may be responsible for one-third of all deaths in Moldova, more than in any other country save two.

According to the most recent WHO study, Moldova’s alcohol consumption was second only to Belarus. Consumption rates, on the other hand, are likely to exceed Belarus’ prediction of 17.4% by 2015. While consumption rates are expected to climb well beyond 2015, the government launched the National Alcohol Control Programme in 2012 in an effort to reduce harmful alcohol use.

A wine fountain outside the Mileștii Mici winery in Moldova, shown at left.

1. Belarus

Alcohol consumption per capita: 17.5 litres
Binge drinking percentage: 26.5% (14th highest).
Alcohol-related fatalities account for 34.7% of all deaths (the highest figure).
At birth, the average life expectancy is 72.1 years.

Belarus has the highest per capita alcohol consumption rate in the world, at 17.5 litres. The country’s high level of consumption has had serious health consequences for its residents. Belarus ranked third in the world in terms of alcohol consumption, after only Russia and Hungary. Alcohol was responsible for around 35% of all fatalities in the country, the highest percentage of any country on the world. Belarus has publicly and vehemently cracked down on illegal alcohol production.

Illegally produced alcohol contributed for an average of 3.2 litres of per capita consumption, ranking among the highest in the world. Despite a low unemployment rate, the Belarusian economy is mostly state-controlled and widely regarded as inefficient. For years, the country has also seen extremely high inflation. To the left, Belarusian fisherman warm themselves with Vodka while fishing on Lake Minskoe outside of the city.

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