The average Czech drinks over 11 liters of pure alcohol every year

EU-wide data shows that, in terms of overall alcohol consumption, Czechia consumes the third most out of all EU countries.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 04.03.2024 15:38:00 (updated on 04.03.2024) Reading time: 2 minutes

Statistics reveal that the average Czech consumes slightly more than 11 liters of pure alcohol per year, making it one of the highest rates in the EU and globally. This trend is particularly alarming for including children as young as 11.

According to the latest figures from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Czechia has the third-highest alcohol consumption overall in the EU, trailing only Lithuania and Latvia.

Adam Kulhánek, a spokesperson for the Addiction Clinic of the First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University, told Czech news outlet ČT24 that the easy accessibility and visibility of alcohol advertising contribute to the country’s high consumption rates: “Alcohol is very cheap here, it is very accessible, it can be bought anywhere and at any time,” notes Kulhánek.

Experts also say that widescale cultural acceptance of alcohol – such as in films – also leads to greater consumption. 

Beer the most popular

Consumption of beer – one of the first drinks that spring to mind when one thinks of Czechia – is by far the highest globally per capita, at 184.1 liters annually (around 271 pints of beer per year). Czechs are also big wine fans: according to the International Organisation of Vine and Wine, Czechs consume about 25 liters of wine per capita every year – above the EU average. 

A 2022 survey found that one-third of respondents prefer beer, a quarter prefer wine, 6 percent favor spirits, and two-fifths are uncertain. While men prefer beer, at 43 percent, women prefer wine, at 35 percent.

On a more positive note, Czechia has decreased its overall alcohol consumption from 14 liters per capita in 2014. The number of people who drink alcohol either daily or every second day also declined from 19.8 to 15.4 percent between the years 2020 and 2021, according to the National Institute of Public Health.

Health risks from an early age

The statistics on early-age exposure to addictive substances are equally concerning. A quarter of children in Czechia try alcohol as young as 11 years old, and by the age of 15, almost three in four children have already had their first drink. 

The Ministry of Health estimates that 1.5 million people in the Czech Republic engage in “risky alcohol consumption.” Between 6,000 and 7,000 deaths are associated with the use of alcohol, and treatment for alcohol-related disorders costs the Czech state healthcare system about CZK 56 billion per year.

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