Average spend on alcohol per EU member state

Published:  8 Jan at 6 PM
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If you’re an expat who likes a drink or three, you’ll be in good company in the Czech Republic!

For many expats living overseas, the best way to relax is by sampling the local liquor at the nearest bar along with your compatriots whilst putting the world to rights. It’s well known that Europe has the highest consumption of alcohol out of all five continents, but most expats might not be aware that nationals in northern climes are at the top of the table for heavy drinking, possibly due to their lands’ long, freezing cold winters.

Data agency Eurostat’s latest report on European Union member states’ household expenditures including alcohol consumption revealed the top five countries’ spends on alcoholic drinks. Overall, some €130 billion is spent on booze, equivalent to just under one per cent of the bloc’s GDP or just over €300 per EU citizen per year. The figures don’t include alcohol purchased in restaurants or hotels.

Latvia tops the table with its overall household budget spend at 5.2 per cent, followed by Poland with just under 5 per cent. Hungary takes third place, followed by Romania, and the average spend in the Czech Republic is just 2.5 per cent. The surprise results came from three countries whose public image is centred around the demon drink and its consumption by expats. Greece, Italy and Spain all scored a percentage spend of less than 1 per cent and were placed at the bottom of the Eurostat table. The reason behind this might well be the exclusion of costs for booze bought in hotels, bars and restaurants in the official figures, which could have trebled and more had that expenditure been included!
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