The country’s alcohol consumption rate has ‘improved’ compared to other countries and is now ranked within the top 20 biggest drinking nations on the planet.
According to a statistical update from the World Health Organisation, tracking alcohol consumption per capita across 194 countries, South Africans have drank themselves into the 19th position overall, sharing the spot with none other than those ‘professional’ vodka drinkers, Poland. It’s a great improvement. In 2010 South Africa was only ranked 30th, but surely former president Jacob Zuma’s presidency drove hoards of citizens to the bottle.
Unfortunately world data for drinking is not that up to date, but BusinessTech reports data show that in 2015 at least, pure alcohol consumption (per litre) in South Africa was up to 11.5 litres per person per year – up from 11.0 litres in 2014.
This pushes South Africa up to the third biggest drinking nation in Africa. Our neighbours to the north, Namibia and Gabon (both joined at number 14) outshine us with 11.8 litres per person.
Among the drinking population (excluding abstainers), South Africans consume in the region of 27 litres of pure alcohol per capita per year, one of the highest rates in the world.
South Africa’s average alcohol consumption is almost double the WHO African region average of 6 litres, and is expected to increase to 12.1 by 2025.
More than a quarter of the drinking population in South Africa are considered binge drinkers, consuming at least 60 grams or more of pure alcohol in one session within a 30-day period.
And the winners? Moldova, an Eastern European country and former Soviet republic. is way ahead on 17.4 litres per person. These proud bunch of drinkers are followed by Belarus, Lithuania and Russia.