mobile menu mobile search

South Africa alcohol consumption vs the world

South Africa alcohol consumption vs the world

South Africa’s alcohol consumption rate has climbed, with the country now ranked as one of the top 20 biggest drinking nations in the world.

This is according to a statistical update from the World Health Organization, tracking alcohol consumption per capita, across 194 countries.

The data shows that in 2015, pure alcohol consumption (per litre) in South Africa is at 11.5 litre per capita per year – up from 11.0 litres in 2014.

This pushes South Africa up to the third biggest drinking nation in Africa, and the 19th biggest drinking nation in the world, tied with Poland.

Among the drinking population (excluding abstainers), South Africans consume in the region of 27 litres of pure alcohol per capita per year, one of the highest rates in the world.

South Africa’s average alcohol consumption is almost double the WHO African region average of 6 litres, and is expected to increase to 12.1 in 2025.

More than a quarter of the drinking population in South Africa are considered binge drinkers, consuming at least 60 grams or more of pure alcohol in one session within a 30-day period.

The world’s biggest drinking nations (litres per capita, 2015)

# Country Alcohol consumptions
1 Maldova 17.4
2 Belarus 17.1
3 Lithuania 16.2
4 Russia 14.5
5 Czech Republic 14.1
6 Serbia 12.9
6 Romania 12.9
8 Australia 12.6
9 Slovakia 12.5
9 Portugal 12.5
11 Hungary 12.4
12 UK 12.0
13 Finland 11.9
14 Ukraine 11.8
14 Namibia 11.8
14 Gabon 11.8
17 Croatia 11.7
18 France 11.6
19 Poland 11.5
19 South Africa 11.5

Alcohol problems

According to the WHO, alcohol use disorders constitute a significant disease burden in most regions in the world, with the exception of the Eastern Mediterranean region where alcohol consumption is limited.

Worldwide alcohol consumption in 2015 was projected to be 6.3 litres of pure alcohol per person aged 15 or older.

In 2010, 38% of the world population aged 15 or older had drunk alcohol in the past 12 months, with 16% of them engaged in ‘heavy episodic drinking’.

In 2012, about 3.3 million deaths – or 5.9% of all global deaths – were attributable to alcohol consumption; 7.6% of deaths among males, and 4.0% of deaths among females.

South Africa has been highlighted as the worst country in the world for drunk driving, where as much as 58% of deaths on SA roads can be attributed to alcohol consumption.

More on alcohol in SA

Govt pushing ahead with tighter alcohol laws

South African road deaths vs the world

How much booze is “too much” booze?

The 5 most addictive substances on earth

BusinessTech's Staff Writer is directly plugged into the South African Internet backbone, and spits out press releases and other news as they receive it. They are believed to be cl...
Join the Conversation
  • ToothyGrinn

    Where’s Norway?

    • Relatively low down on the list at 7.0 litres per capita.

    • Jude

      Tooooo damn expensive over there.

    • Cheesy 2.0

      Just next door to Sweden .. can’t miss it .. it has ‘fjords’

      • bengine

        we also have fords … and mazdas and toyotas …. don’t we?

        • Stormiezzz

          Yes, but when you are drunk, and someone asks what you drive then your Ford becomes a Fjord.

          • bengine

            No more, I can’t beer it ….

          • Stormiezzz

            You should only bare it when you go in cider.

          • bengine

            That’s right let it out – it does no good to bottle it …

  • Batman

    I am dumb struck that we are not in first place with our problems!!!!

  • James Dean

    The ANC are permanently drunk on power, did you add that in?

  • manbott

    Guess I contributed to the problem when I was younger used to drink as a group up to 5 litres of brandy with friends before heading out to town for a night out. Nothing wrong with my health now though

  • Mossel

    Dis ‘n land van kleure en klank, dis ‘n land van liefde vir drank.

    • Emil

      If one could cut out the Western Cape in the equation then we will be a sober nation.

      • Stormiezzz

        And come in last? Are you kidding me?

  • ct_guy

    19? We’ve got to try harder guys, we look like a bunch of moffies

  • bengine

    I am not under the alfluence of incohol as some thinkle peep, its just the drunker I sit here the longer I get

    • Emil

      Slamat eks Gamat

    • Stormiezzz

      Take me drunk I’m home again.

      • bengine

        But I would rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy

  • Lord Alfred Milner

    Can you blame us?

  • Dylan Dylan

    Who cares? Drink, eat, be happy.

  • the-TRUTH

    My Views: Many South African citizens are BIG fools in general – in fact these FOOLS are dragging our country backwards…

  • MarliEisern

    A good indicator could be:
    1. Number of mental health issues related to alcoholism
    2. Liver and motoric illnesses (GGT, GOT, Korsakoff etc)
    3. Total alcohol revenue of companies per country
    5. Total liter of alcohol sold in calander year ( split – 5%, 20%, above 20% – beer, wine, spitits) per country

    6. Number of health incidents – alcohol related per country
    7. Cost of health treatment due to alcohol abuse ( internal medicine, violence, accidents etc) per country
    8. Number of divorces due to alcoholism per country

    • Stormiezzz

      You say all this as if dop is a bad thing. No sies man.

      • MarliEisern

        With such an analysis you would have more transparency in this matter called “vat n dop”. The burden of “so called social drinking” on society is enormous and we all know where it ends. Let alone the other harder stuff.

        I am here referring to regular drinkers with red and yellow eyes and swollen bellies. And those people who use perfume to get rid of the smell of alcohol and sweat, and those who are always sick and don’t perform in their environment.

        • Stormiezzz

          You scare me. Now I have to vat n dop to calm my nerves

          • MarliEisern

            There are better ways to calm your nerves.
            Go swimming or jogging.
            Leave the dop for the next job promotion and salary increase to celebrate with your friends.

          • Stormiezzz

            No promotion for me I’m afraid. I own my own business. Guess I will just have to dop it up.

  • Dave Lardner

    I was told many years ago that 500ml of red wine per day is very beneficial. As I get older, I feel that double this would be even more benecial. Is my thinking right, even if my intake of pure alcohol is about 5 times the average?

  • lyallchazen

    It’s because it’s such a depressing country and alcohol is still cheaper and more fun than DSTV.

    • Stormiezzz

      I second that. With the cost of DSTV cut out you can afford to suip. That’s an idea…..ouens, tune DSTV to voertsek and pop in to your local dopshop to celebrate.

  • Stormiezzz

    Only at number 19? We sure need to get out more. We can do it!

Join our newest FREE BusinessTech newsletter today!