In 2019, 8.4 % of the EU adult population consumed alcohol daily, 28.8 % weekly, 22.8 % monthly and 26.2 % never consumed or hadn’t consumed any in the last 12 months.
Daily consumption of alcohol was found to increase with age. The lowest share of those who consumed alcohol the most frequently (i.e. every day) was recorded among those aged 15 to 24 (1.0 %) while the highest share in people of 75 or over (16.0 %). However, the latter age group also accounted for the highest share that never consumed alcohol or had not consumed any in the past 12 months (40.3 %).
Weekly alcohol consumption was fairly stable across all age groups between 25 and 64, the highest share being found among people aged 45 to 54 (33.5 %).
Monthly and less than once a month consumption slightly decreased with age. People aged between 25 and 34 recorded the highest share that consumed alcohol monthly (28.5 %).
Daily and weekly consumption of alcohol were more common for men than for women (respectively 13.0 % of men vs. 4.1 % of women and 36.4 % of men vs. 21.7 % of women).
Share of people drinking alcohol daily: highest in Portugal, lowest in Lithuania
Daily alcohol intake was the most frequent in Portugal, with a fifth (20.7 %) of the population consuming alcohol every day, followed by Spain (13.0 %) and Italy (12.1 %). In contrast, the lowest share was around 1.0 % in Latvia and Lithuania.
In the Netherlands, almost half of the population (47.3 %) consumed alcohol on a weekly basis, closely followed by Luxembourg (43.1 %) and Belgium (40.8 %).
Monthly consumption in the EU was the highest in Lithuania with 31.3 %, Latvia (31.1 %) and Cyprus (30.4 %).
Among the EU Member States, Croatia reported the highest share of the population (38.3 %) who never consumed alcohol or had not consumed any in the last 12 months.
Largest gender gaps for daily consumption in Portugal and Spain
In all EU Member States, men consumed alcohol more frequently than women. The largest gender gaps were found in Portugal (33.4 % vs. 9.7 %) and Spain (20.2 % vs. 6.1 %) for daily consumption and in Romania (32.2% vs. 6.6 %) and Slovakia (30.6 % vs. 8.8 %) for weekly consumption. However, proportions of monthly intake were fairly equal between sexes.
In all the European countries, women accounted for a significantly higher share of individuals that never consumed alcohol or had not consumed any in the last 12 months. The largest gender gap was found in Cyprus (12.8 % men vs. 44.2 % women), Bulgaria (16.2 % vs. 42.0 %) and Italy (21.5 % vs. 46.7 %).
Heavy drinking episodes at least once a month higher in Denmark, Romania and Luxembourg
Heavy episodic drinking is defined as ingesting the equivalent of more than 60g of pure ethanol on a single occasion. Among the EU Member States, between 4 % (Cyprus and Italy) and 38 % (Denmark) of adults reported taking part in heavy drinking episodes at least once a month. Among these, the majority did so every month, while a smaller proportion (between 3 to 19 times smaller) engaged in the behaviour at least once a week.