Overall alcohol consumption in the European
Union has dropped 13% since 1980, according to a
study released by the European Commission and
the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) on December 7.
The study, entitled Health at a Glance: Europe 2010, found that people living in traditional wineproducing
countries (France, Spain and Italy) as well
as Greece, Germany and the Slovak Republic, are
drinking substantially less wine.
The French are drinking 35% less alcohol per year
compared with consumption levels in 1980, while
the Spanish are drinking 36% less and Italians are
drinking 50% less.
Although alcohol consumption on the whole has
decreased, this is not uniform across EU - the Finnish and the Irish are drinking roughly 30% more alcohol per year during the same time frame, and Brits have
increased their annual alcohol intake by roughly 15%,
but from a lower base – ie the French and Spanish were consuming more per capita than the British or
Irish in 1980. European adults consume an average of 11 litres (3
gallons) of alcohol per year, while French, Estonians and Hungarians were the heaviest continental
drinkers, consuming more than 12.5 (3.3 gallons) litres annually per adult.