The WHO studies the causes and consequences of alcohol consumption in the world according to countries.
Data available in May 2022 indicate that alcohol is responsible for 5.3% of all deaths worldwide. This proportion is particularly high among 20-39 year olds, for whom alcohol is responsible for approximately 13.5% of deaths. On average, as many as 3 million deaths worldwide are attributable to alcohol each year.
See also: → The 5 biggest causes of death in the world
For the WHO, it is possible to reduce the morbidity associated with alcohol mainly through regulatory and restrictive strategies: access to alcohol, drinking and driving, alcohol prices…
In its 2014 report, the WHO has already warned about alcohol consumption in the world. So here is what the 2014 study said:
Average alcohol consumption
The international average, among the population over 15 years, was 6.2 liters of pure alcohol per year. (or 13.5 g of alcohol)
The countries of the world where the consumption was the highest are the developed countries (Europe, the United States), and the countries of the world where it was the lowest are South-East Asia, and east of the Mediterranean.
Unrecognized alcohol consumption
It should not be forgotten that almost 25% of the world’s alcohol consumption was unofficial and undeclared, i.e. not taxed by the country that produces it. This rate reached half of the alcohol consumption in South-East Asia.
Alcohol Consumption by Gender
This region, South-East Asia, is also the one where the difference between men and women was the most important, with women drinking much less alcohol than men. Globally, men drank more alcohol than women. For example, 47.7% of men aged 15 and over drank alcohol worldwide, compared to only 28.9% of women. This difference between men and women was even greater when it came to heavy drinking.
Consequences of Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol caused 3.3 million deaths, or 5.9% of deaths worldwide in 2012. In order, the alcohol-related diseases that caused the most deaths were cardiovascular disease and diabetes (33.4%), unintentional injuries (17.1%), gastrointestinal disease (16.2%), and cancer (12.5%).
The highest number of deaths due to alcohol was in Europe, almost entirely inEastern European countries. On the contrary, alcohol was a rarer cause of death in Africa (probably because of infant mortality) or in the eastern Mediterranean (because of abstinence).
Overall, alcohol was a higher cause of death in men, 7.6%, than in women, 4%.
Alcohol consumption (in liters) per person worldwide, among those aged 15+, 2010