According to a report by Euronews citing data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the OECD Health Statistics, alcohol consumption in Europe, decreased, at trend, however, which has been decelerating since the 2000s.

According to the WHO, there has been a gradual decrease in alcohol consumption both in the EU and in Europe overall. The data concerns total alcohol consumption, which refers to annual sales of pure alcohol in liters per person aged 15 and over. The data do not include unrecorded alcohol consumption, such as domestic or illicit production.

Greece showed the largest decrease at 24.1%, followed by the Netherlands (20.9%), Spain (20.4%), and Turkey (20%).

In the EU, total alcohol consumption per person aged 15 and over decreased by 2.9 liters over the past four decades, from 12.7 liters in 1980 to 9.8 liters in 2020, corresponding to a decrease of 23%.

Despite the decrease, Europe still has the highest level of alcohol consumption per person in the world, according to WHO data. Annually, each person aged 15 and over consumes an average of 9.5 liters of pure alcohol. This is equivalent to 190 liters of beer, 80 liters of wine, or 24 liters of spirits.

In 2020, annual alcohol consumption ranged from 1.2 liters in Turkey to 12.1 liters in Latvia among 36 European countries, including EU countries, the United Kingdom, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, and candidate countries for EU membership.

On average, EU citizens consumed 9.8 liters of alcohol.

Germany (10.6 liters) had the highest quantity of alcohol consumption among the “big four” EU economies in terms of economy and population, followed by France (10.4 liters), Spain (7.8 liters), and Italy (7.7 liters). In the United Kingdom, consumption was 9.7 liters.

Examining changes at the country level between 2010 and 2020, alcohol consumption decreased in 25 countries, while it increased in 11.

Some countries experienced minor fluctuations, but most countries witnessed significant changes during this period.

Ireland and Lithuania recorded the largest decrease in alcohol consumption during this period. It decreased by 2.1 liters in both countries, followed closely by Spain. In Greece, the decrease was by two liters, specifically from 8.3 liters to 6.3 liters.

As alcohol consumption varied significantly across Europe, examining the percentage change is also a useful indicator.

The percentage decrease was also over 15% in Ireland, Serbia, Lithuania, Finland, France, and Cyprus. Latvia (23.5%) also had the highest increase in percentage change.