Brits get drunk the most says the Global Drug Survey

Published 2019-05-23 13:38

Can we say we are surprised? The Global Drug Survey (GDS) found that the Brits get drunk more often than any other nationality- they reported getting drunk on average 51 times a year. What countries are in the top 5?

Anne-Lise Mestry

Anne-Lise is the Editorial Manager for Reach out to her at

United Kingdom

People interviewed by the GDS and living in the United Kingdom said they got drunk 51.1 times a year on average. A study from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), however, found last year that more and more Brits were giving up alcohol. Indeed, according to this study 20% of adults in the United Kingdom do not drink alcohol. Generally, the consumption of alcohol has also decreased among Brits. Nevertheless, the pub culture does not seem like it is going to die out anytime soon in the UK. In the UK, young people can start drinking from the age of 16 with the permission of their parents and can buy alcohol on their own as from 18 years.

United States of America

Close behind, Americans reported getting drunk 50 times a year on average. According to a study published last year by Our World in Data, American consumption of alcohol has been more or less constant over the years (from 1850 to 2013) with the average American drinking 8 to 9 litres a year, although some studies have shown it has slightly risen in recent years with also more americans having alcohol use disorder (AUD). It is worth noting that adults can only legally start drinking at the age of 21 in America.


According to the GDS, Canadians get drunk 47.9 times a year on average. Although Canadians drink less often than their neighbors, Americans, a study carried out in 2016 found that the average Canadian aged 15 and above consumed on average 10 litres of alcohol in a year, which is more than Americans. As for the legal drinking age, it depends on where in Canada you are. It is usually 19 years old everywhere unless you are in Alberta, Manitoba and Québec where you only have to be 18 to be able to drink legally.


Australians come in at 4th place as they report they get drunk 47.4 times on average in a year. A study carried out in 2017 has shown that, even though the drinking culture is still very present in Australia, attitudes towards alcohol has been improving lately. Indeed, the study showed that 63% of Australians only had two standard drinks and only 16% had more than five drinks a at once. Students, who were also known as a population of heavy drinkers are also drinking less and less. In Australia, the legal drinking age is 18.


Danes close the top five as they get drunk on average 41.7 times a year. The drinking habits of young have been the subject of a lot of worry in the recent years. Indeed, in 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) pointed out that Denmark had the worst underage drinking problem in Europe and blamed it on the accessibility of alcohol. Indeed, Danes can buy alcohol, such as beer, as early as their 16th birthday and at 18, they can buy any sort of alcohol.. At the time, the WHO found that one in three teenagers aged 15 to 16 years old has been drunk in the month preceding the survey.