Who Drinks More: US or UK?

Who Drinks More: US or UK

Be it the United States or the United Kingdom, the tradition of drinking various forms of alcohol is ingrained in their blood. They have been enjoying drinking booze throughout their history. In fact, they celebrate special drinking holidays, like St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving Eve, and many more. But ever thought about who drinks more, US or UK?

Well, you all must be thinking that due to an increased population, the United States should have a higher ratio of drinkers than the United Kingdom, which has a much less population than the former, Right? 

But the reality comes out to be quite the opposite of your expectations. The United Kingdom shares a history of more drinkers than the United States. For years, the annual alcohol consumption of the UK has been more than that of the US. Are your eyes popping out of your head, too, with these unexpected statistics? So were ours.

So, let’s quickly grasp a cup of joe and unleash more exciting facts and details that compare the drinking habits of the United States and the United Kingdom. 

Do the UK People Drink More Alcohol Than The US?

Certainly, YES, and let’s put statistics to clarify the Verdict.

According to a report by World Health Organisation WHO In 2018,

  • A British person drinks 73 wine glasses annually
  • An American who drinks nearly 31 wine glasses per year. 

Analysis of this data clearly shows a significant difference in wine consumption between the two countries, with the UK having a greater level of consumption. 

Similarly, the same report also compared their beer consumption, and quite comparable results were obtained. A British person drunks 1100 beer pints annually yearly, while an American drinker sips 470 pints of beer in a year. (Pints were taken equivalent during comparison.)

Who Has the Highest Proportion Of Heavy Drinkers?

In 2022, a heavy episodic drinking analysis was done, and according to “OurWorldinData, the United States has 40.6% of heavy drinkers. On the other hand, the United States has only 36.4% drinkers, even lower than countries like Nicaragua.

So, when comparing the two states in terms of one having more heavy drinkers, the United Kingdom has the higher proportion. 


Heavy episodic drinking includes individuals who habitually drink more than 60g of pure ethanol on every occasion. 

Which Country Has More Exposure To Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy?

Similarly, a European multinational study was done to compare the exposure of pregnant women to alcohol. 

Though drinking alcohol during pregnancy is known to be quite dangerous for both mother and developing fetus, an exceptionally high alcohol percentage of drinking during pregnancy was found in both states, with the United Kingdom having a higher ratio. In fact, the UK was ranked to be the only state with the highest number of pregnant drinkers. And the data can be well understood with the fact that every one in ten pregnant women drinks alcohol. 

In comparison, the ratio was relatively low in the United States, i.e., only 4.6%.

Which State Has More Alcohol Brands?

Another way by which we can state which of the two is exposed to drinking more is to compare the growth of alcoholic brands in that state.

Where alcoholic breweries, brands, and pubs are growing at an exponential rate in both the United Kingdom and the United States, there exists a significant difference in the growth of low-ABV brands. In fact, in the United Kingdom, these low alcohol-by-volume brands are able to contribute to barely 1.3% of the market.

However, in the United States, the percentage remains less than 0.5%

Which State Between UK and US Is Counted To Have The Heaviest Drinkers In The World?

Another way to know how a country is exposed to drinking booze is to calculate the percentage of heavy drinkers.

So, a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development was used to check the presence of heavy drinkers in different countries of the world and compare the actual numbers. According to it, an average person in the UK drinks more than 9.5 liters of pure alcohol in one year, and it is one of the countries with an exceptionally high ratio of heavy or binge drinkers.

However, in the US, people drink less than 9 liters of pure alcohol annually.

So, again, US individuals turn out to be binge drinkers.

Which States Have More Death Rates Due To Excessive Alcohol Consumption? US or UK

Where the UK is known to have a history of higher drinkers, the death rate is higher in the United States.

So, the rate of alcohol consumption, AUD, and how it caused death was studied in 2017 across all age groups and genders.

It was found that nearly 81 thousand individuals died because of excess alcohol consumption in the US, while the death rate in the UK was nearly 16 thousand only.

Similarly, the rate of casualties and death due to drunk driving is again higher in the United States than in the United Kingdom. 

Rate Of Liver Diseases Due To Drinking Alcohol In the United States and the United Kingdom 

Like the fatality rate, the rate of liver diseases due to drinking alcohol was also higher in the United States than in the United Kingdom. 

For example, 23,172 people suffered from liver disease caused by excessive alcohol drinking in the United States. However, in the United Kingdom, the number was only 7700.

Final Verdict 

Both countries, let it be the United States and the United Kingdom, have a long-held history with the bottle. 

However, in this spirited comparison, the United Kingdom has been proven to have more drinkers. That’s probably shaped due to their culture, tradition, and living pattern that allows even a 12-year-old kid to enjoy booze without any restriction.

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