In recent years, the global vodka consumption has recorded substantial growth. A recent report from the web-based research firm Euromonitor outlined the countries with the highest vodka consumption per capita in the world with the consumption being measured in shots. The report established that countries which were former members of the USSR topped the list with Russia coming in at first place.
Countries Who Consume the Most Vodka
According to data from the Euromonitor, Russia was ranked as the leading country in vodka consumption per capita in the world with the average monthly consumption per person in the country being estimated to be 17.28 shots. Russia’s position on the list did not come as a surprise since vodka consumption has been part of Russian culture with local folklore claiming that Vladimir the Great, a 10th-century Russian prince rejected the adoption of Islam in the country due to the prohibition of alcohol brought by the religion. The increasing vodka intake in the country has been a point of concern with alcoholism becoming a major social problem in numerous Russian cities. The suicide rate in Russia is among the highest in the world and is linked to the massive consumption of vodka. Vodka intake in Russia has been increasing since 1987, and this growth has led to about three million deaths since 1987. The Russian government has been putting up measures to combat the alcoholism menace with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev doubling the minimum price of vodka in 2010.
Poland was ranked second on the list of countries with the highest vodka intake per capita with Polish vodka consumers taking a monthly average of 13.71 shots per person. Poland entry in the list was surprising as it was the only country in the top five which was not the former Soviet Republic. The high vodka consumption rate in the country is worrying with a study conducted by the World Health Organization in 2016 establishing that 32.9% of all traffic accidents in the country were attributed to alcohol consumption. To curb the increasing vodka consumption in the country, the Polish government has placed a minimum alcohol content in motorists’ blood which stands at 0.02% in blood as the legal limit.
Ukraine was another former member of the now defunct USSR in the top five countries with the highest vodka consumption per capita in the world. The report from the Euromonitor established that the average monthly vodka consumption per capita in Ukraine stood at 9.96 shots. This worrying statistic has led to a growing issue of alcoholism in the country. The use has been increasing in recent years attributed to deep-rooted alcohol consumption in the society with Ukrainians having their first vodka shot at a young age (some being as young as 12 years). The vodka consumption in teenagers, in particular, is a worrying problem in the country which is attributed to a poorly enforced law on the minimum age for alcohol consumption in the country.
Vodka Consumption in former Soviet countries
The list established that former Soviet Republics had a serious vodka consumption problem with four of the top five countries being former Soviet Republics. Theories attempting to explain this statistic have been many including one which links vodka consumption with the cold weather experienced in these countries. However, a more credible explanation can be drawn from the history of the Russian republic. Throughout its history, the Russian Republic has had a culture of alcohol consumption which was even encouraged by the Kremlin in the early years of the Republic’s history.