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In Ten Years we will Drink even More Alcohol

04.06.2019 Author: Psychologist Pavel Khoroshutin

According to a study published in The Lancet medical journal, global alcohol consumption has grown by 70% over the past 30 years and is still rising.

Jacob Mentee and his colleagues from the Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at the Technical University of Dresden presented an analysis of the data on alcohol consumption in 189 countries between 1990 and 2017, with projections up to 2030. They analysed data from the WHO Global Burden of Disease Study on alcohol per capita consumption, the prevalence of complete alcohol withdrawal, and episodic and systematic binge drinking.

The researchers found out that between 1990 and 2017, global alcohol consumption increased by as much as 70% (from 20,999 million litres per year to 35,676 million litres per year).

Global adult consumption per capita increased from 5.9 litres to 6.5 litres from 1990 to 2017.

The trend is disappointing. At this rate it will rise to 7.6 litres by 2030.

Global per capita alcohol consumption is likely to rise another 17% percent in the next decade.

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The reasons

Such shocking statistics can be explained by general population growth and consumption growth in developing countries.

“Before 1990, more alcohol was consumed in high-income countries, with the highest consumption in Europe. Now in Eastern Europe the rates have dropped significantly, but consumption has increased in China, India, and Vietnam which are now middle-income countries,” the authors of the study explain.


The World Health Organization aims to reduce alcohol consumption by 10 percent by the year 2025.

Researchers call for stronger alcohol policies, especially in those rapidly developing countries with increasing rates of alcohol consumption. Connecting pricing mechanisms and a complete ban on alcohol advertising can be effective measures.