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Australia higher than OECD average for alcohol consumption

Updated: Jun 8, 2022

It’s true we have a long and well-established drinking culture here in Australia. Some may even argue that drinking, whether it be a slab of VB, a Hunter Valley white or a Bundy & Coke, is Aussie culture. But how do we compare internationally?

The OECD regularly collects data on a number of health measures across its member nations. One of those measures is alcohol consumption - defined as annual sales of pure alcohol in litres per person aged 15 years and older.

Of the 44 countries reported, Australia ranks 19th with 9.5 litres of alcohol consumed per person aged 15 years and older. That puts us higher than the OECD average of 8.8 litres per person.

As for other countries…Well, the country with the highest alcohol consumption was Latvia, with 12.6 litres per person, followed by Austria (12.2 litres), Czech Republic (11.8 litres) and France (11.6 litres).

At the other end of the spectrum, Indonesia had the lowest alcohol consumption with 0.1 litres per person, followed by Turkey (1.4 litres), Israel (3.0 litres) and India (3.1 litres).

Our standing here confirms that alcohol is a significant factor in Australian life. It should not, however, be a part of the Australian work life. A worker under the influence of alcohol or suffering the effects of a hangover can adversely impact the workplace due to their unfitness for work, increased safety risks, poor work performance and working relationships.

It is important then that workers understand your organization’s expectations around alcohol and their role in keeping themselves and others safe from the effects of alcohol while at work. If alcohol use is posing safety risks at your workplace, DASA can help with policy development, worker education and testing. For more information, get in touch via


DASA (Drug and Alcohol Solutions Australia) is proud to be leading the way in workplace drug and alcohol services throughout Australia. Whether your need is for workplace drug testing and workplace alcohol testing, advice on drug and alcohol policy or ideas on how to communicate your workplace expectations, policies and procedures to your staff, DASA can help. We have the experience, technical expertise and people to lead you to the right solution.


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