Indian news service Rediff tallied the alcohol consumption for people over age 15, country-by-country, and the United States ranked tenth highest in per-person drinking. Only one other country outside of Europe made the top ten in the Sept. 9 report.
The U.S. drinking tally is 34.2 gallons of beverage alcohol (beer, wine, alcopops or spirits) per person. The total is for amount of packaged alcohol, not pure alcohol. For example, beer typically contains around four percent alcohol, spirits range widely in alcohol content, but common vodka and whiskey brands are typically 40 percent alcohol.
Beer is the favorite in the U.S., accounting for 81 percent of the alcoholic beverages consumed. Wine holds a 10 percent share of alcohol consumption, while spirits rank third at a six percent market. The Czech Republic, in the boozy top spot, also prefers beer at 83 percent, wine comes second at 10 percent, spirits at more than three percent and ready-to-drink or high-strength alcopop account for the rest.
All the countries in the top ten have beer as the leading preference, accounting for no less than 68 percent of beverage alcohol consumed in those countries. The world's packaged alcohol total: 66 billion gallons per year. Beer is the world’s most popular alcoholic drink, averaging 4.6 gallons of consumption per person per year currently. Beer is followed by wine and spirits, each at less than a gallon per person.
According to the survey, Czechs outdrink Americans by 21.4 gallons per person per year. That's not to say the U.S. doesn't have the problems with alcohol abuse or the disease of alcoholism found in the Czech Republic. While the Rediff study concludes the U.S. alcohol average is four drinks per person per week, the World Health Rankings put the U.S. death rate due to alcohol at 1.6 deaths per 100,000. The Czech Republic has 1.3 deaths per 100,000 due to alcohol. In contrast, the World Health Organization reports that 85 percent of Czechs over age 15 consumed alcohol in the past 12 months, compared to only 65 percent in U.S.
The rest of the top ten, including gallons per person...
9. South Africa 37.1
8. Lithuania. 37.4
7. Belgium 38.2 gallons
6. Finland 38.4 gallons
5. Austria 44.6
4. Germany 45
3. Estonia 49
2. Ireland 51.7
1. Czech Republic 55.6