Romanians drank an estimated 13.7 liters of pure alcohol per capita in 2016, according to projections by the World Health Organization (WHO). This is on par with alcohol consumption in the Czech Republic, and the fifth highest level in the world. Lithuanians take up the first spot, with an average consumption of 18.2 liters of pure alcohol per year.
Belorussians come second, with 16.4 liters, Moldovans are third – 15.9 liters, and Russians are fourth – 13.9 liters.
The European average alcohol consumption estimated in 2016 was 10.3 liters per capita. Overall alcohol consumption levels are dropping in most EU countries, according the WHO data but Europe stands above other regions in the world. The lowest levels in Europe were estimated in Turkey, at 1.9 liters of alcohol, Macedonia at 2.8 liters, and Tajikistan at 2.9 liters.
While consumption is rising in Lithuania, it is falling in most other countries in the EU, according to WHO data. The average per capita consumption of pure alcohol in 2016 was of 4 liters in South East Asia, 6 liters in Africa, and 8.2 liters in the Americas.
According to Mariann Skar, secretary general of European Alcohol Policy Alliance, Europe has an alcohol problem not only with consumption but because of the associated harm. “We have high numbers of deaths from alcohol, liver cirrhosis and accidents and injuries,” she said, quoted by Euronews. As Europe is a producing region, historical reasons and religious ones also factor into the consumption levels, she explained.