What’s going on in Lithuania? A new report released by the OECD (that is, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) points to our northern-European friend as having the highest consumption of alcohol per capita—14 liters per year. If 14 liters sounds like a crazy weekend to you, please note that at the report’s suggested conversion rate of .02 liters of alcohol/drink, that’s 700 drinks per Lithuanian over the age of fifteen, per year. Or, just under two drinks per day. Every day, for everyone.
The U.S., by comparison, looks like a bunch of squares, falling just below average, at roughly one drink per day.
The numbers might not sound absurd, but keep in mind—they’re an average (brought down considerably by anyone who doesn’t drink). The report also looked at the share of total alcohol consumed by the top 20 percent of drinkers in each country. In the U.S. that number was 73 percent—meaning that the heaviest drinkers in our country accounted for nearly three-quarters of the alcohol consumed. Compare that to the most balanced of the countries reported on, France, which has the top 20 percent of drinkers consuming only 50 percent of the alcohol.
Other surprises in the study: alcohol consumption went way down in both Ireland and Italy between 2000 and 2013, and way up in China and Latvia. (And, yes, Lithuania too.)
The report, of course, begs to be taken with a grain of salt. The only countries included in the data are OECD countries, along with a handful of partner countries, as well. Meaning that there’s probably another country out there that parties harder than Lithuania. We’re not sure which it is, but if we find it, we’ll totally rage together.