Americans love to party, but it might come as a surprise that the United States doesn’t even rank close to the top of the world’s biggest drinkers.
The World Health Organization published worldwide numbers on alcohol consumption this month, and Americans don’t even make the Top 50 when it comes to overall consumption.
Still well above the global average of 6.13 liters per person, America ranks 57th in the world, consuming an average of 9.4 liters, according to the WHO “Global Status Report on Alcohol and Health 2011.”
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Perhaps not as surprising is the fact that Americans pick beer as their alcohol of choice above any other option. In doing so, the United States goes against the worldwide trend of spirits as the top choice.
Americans prefer beer at a 53 percent clip, with wine coming in a distant second at 31 percent. Spirits, which represent a whopping 45 percent of the alcohol, consumed globally, accounts for just 15 percent in the United States.
Spirits have the highest levels of consumption in the South-East Asia and Western Pacific regions, while beer consumption– which places second worldwide at 36 percent of total alcohol consumption, is most prevalent in the Region of the Americas, including the United States, Canda, Mexico and most South American counties.
Wine-making South American countries Argentina and Chile join some European countries as those who like wine the best.
Other points of interest coming from the WHO report include:
*More than ¼ (28.6 percent) of alcohol consumed worldwide is homemade and illegally produced alcohol or, in other words, unrecorded alcohol.
*Worldwide recorded per capita consumption has remained stable at around 4.3–4.7 litres of pure alcohol since 1990
*The income of a country is positively correlated with alcohol consumption and negatively correlated to ‘unrecorded’ alcohol consumption
*Of 73 responding countries, 71 percent reported an increase in alcohol consumption of young people aged 13 to 15 years old.
*Globally, 45 percent of the world’s population has never consumed alcohol (men: 35 percent; women: 55 percent).The fewest amounts of lifetime abstainers from alcohol are found in the Americas, Eastern Europe and Australia.
* Worldwide, about 11.5 percent of drinkers have weekly heavy episodic drinking occasions, with men outnumbering women by four to one.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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