China’s Alcohol Consumption Up Nearly 70% Since 1990

By Matthew Bossons, May 9, 2019

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Close to 70% more alcohol was consumed in China in 2017 than in 1990, according to new research published by the Guardian. The sharp increase in Chinese boozing over the 27-year period is being cited as a major contributor to the 10% global increase in alcohol consumption per capita over the same time period.

In 2017, Chinese women drank the equivalent of 3 liters of pure alcohol, while men in China consumed more than 11 liters. The combined national average for the year was just over 7 liters.

While China’s increase in alcohol consumption is stark, it still lags behind the amount of booze consumed in Europe and North America per capita.

French men consumed 19 liters in 2017, while women consumed slightly under 6 liters, for an average of more than 12 liters. In the United States, statistics from the same year show American men imbibed 15 liters and women 4.5 liters, for a combined average of 9.75 liters.

READ MORE: This Chinese Beer Is the World's Most Popular... and It's Not the One You Think

These numbers are expected to shift greatly in the coming decade: by 2030, it’s predicted that Chinese adults will consume more than 10 liters on average, a 3-liter increase over 2017, while Americans will drink 9.5 liters of alcohol annually. Additionally, 77% of the Chinese population is expected to be periodic drinkers by 2030, compared with 73% of Americans.

“Before 1990, most alcohol was consumed in high-income countries, with the highest use levels recorded in Europe,” said the study’s lead author, Jakob Manthey from the Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy in Germany, according to the Guardian.

“However, this pattern has changed substantially, with large reductions across eastern Europe and vast increases in several middle-income countries such as China, India and Vietnam.”

Over the coming decade, global alcohol consumption is expected to rise to 7.6 liters of pure alcohol per adult, a notable increase from 5.9 liters back in 1990.

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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