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25 countries where alcohol is most expensive

Last updated on: March 1, 2013 16:34 IST

25 countries where alcohol is most expensive

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Alcohol prices, just like every other thing else, varies from country to country. While drinks cost the most in many Western Europe, they are comparatively cheaper in Eastern Europe.

Let's take a look at countries where alcohol is most expensive.

Source: mytravelcost.com

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Image: Women are silhouetted as they drink at a party in a bar in central London.
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters
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Singapore

Global rank: 1

Although alcohol prices are highest in Singapore compared to the rest of the world, it's not the leader in consumption. World's highest alcohol consumption levels are found in the developed world, including Western and Eastern Europe. High-income countries generally have the highest alcohol consumption.

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Image: Party goers crowd near a bar at St James Power Station in Singapore.
Photographs: Tim Chong/Reuters
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Norway

Global rank: 2

Norway follows Singapore when it comes to high alcohol prices. While it's true that prices are highest in the developed world, it does not follow that high income and high consumption always translate into high alcohol-related problems and high-risk drinking.

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Image: Karl Johans Gate, the main shopping street in Oslo.
Photographs: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
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Iceland

Global rank: 3

Western European countries have some of the highest consumption rates but their net alcohol-attributable mortality rates are relatively low, though their alcohol-related disease burden may be high.

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Image: A view of the Icelandic town of Husavik.
Photographs: Simon Johnson/Reuters
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Ireland

Global rank: 4

Many eastern European countries have the highest consumption, risky patterns of drinking and, accordingly, high levels of alcohol-related deaths and disabilities.

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Image: Leandro Virgilio, 37, in his restaurant near Dublin city centre, which becomes a bar and club in the evenings.
Photographs: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters
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The United Kingdom

Global rank: 5

Every fifth death is due to harmful drinking in the Commonwealth of Independent States. Outside of the Russian Federation and some neighbouring countries, rates of disease and  disability attributable to alcohol are also quite high, for example, in Mexico and in most South American countries.

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Image: Party guest Trisha Wilson drinks a cocktail and views an ice sculpture at the launch of London's first ice bar.
Photographs: Paul Hackett/Reuters

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Australia

Global rank: 6

Worldwide consumption was equal to 6.13 litres of pure alcohol consumed per person aged 15 years or older. A large portion of this consumption - 28.6 per cent or 1.76 litres per person per cent - was homemade, illegally produced or sold outside normal government controls.

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Image: A barmaid pours a glass with beer at the Occidental Hotel in central Sydney.
Photographs: Tim Wimborne/Reuters
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Canada

Global rank: 7

However, despite widespread consumption, a higher percentage of people currently do not drink at all. Almost half of all men and two thirds of women have not consumed alcohol in the past year.

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Image: Wine enthusiasts sit on ice furniture in the tasting tent at the outdoor tasting session of the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada.
Photographs: JP Moczulski/Reuters

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New Zealand

Global rank: 8

Abstention rates are low in high-income, high-consumption countries, and higher in North African and South Asian countries with large Muslim populations.

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Image: Bottles of wine are displayed at the Mission Estate Winery in Napier, New Zealand.
Photographs: Jacky Naegelen/Reuters

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Finland

Global rank: 9

Female abstention rates are very high in these countries. Abstention from alcohol is very important in the global picture on alcohol consumption; it is one of the strongest predictors of the magnitude of alcohol-attributable burden of disease and injuries in populations.

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Image: A barmaid serves a cocktail in Helsinki, Finland.
Photographs: Reuters
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Sweden

Global rank: 10

Obviously, lifetime abstention from alcohol means exemption from personal alcohol-attributable disease, injury and death.

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Image: Empty bottles are washed on a production line at the Absolut bottling facility in Ahus, Sweden.
Photographs: Bob Strong/Reuters
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Hong Kong

Global rank: 11

Because abstention is so prevalent in the world, any diminution in abstention trends could have a big impact on the global burden of disease caused by the harmful use of alcohol.

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Image: An attendant holds a bottle of Wuliangye, one of China's most famous liquors, during the opening of its flagship store in Hong Kong.
Photographs: Bobby Yip/Reuters

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Denmark

Global rank: 12

Heavy episodic drinking is another important pattern of drinking because it leads to serious health problems, and is particularly associated with injury.

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Image: Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt visits Hanoi Beer Factory, which produces Danish beer Carlsberg.
Photographs: Kham/Reuters
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France

Global rank: 13

About 11.5 per cent of drinkers have heavy episodic drinking occasions. Heavy episodic drinking is not the only measure of harmful drinking, but data for this aspect of the drinking pattern were not available in many countries.

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Image: A view of the White Dinner event at the Champs Elysee near the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Photographs: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters
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Italy

Global rank: 14

The pattern of drinking score, reflecting the frequency and circumstances of alcohol consumption and the proportion of people drinking alcohol to intoxication, is among the lowest, that is less risky, in western European countries, while it is the highest in the Russian Federation, and in some neighbouring countries.

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Image: A model holds a glass of red wine during the Vinitaly wine expo in Verona, Italy.
Photographs: Stefano Rellandini/Reuters

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The Netherlands

Global rank: 15

Risky patterns of drinking are also highly prevalent in Mexico and southern African countries.

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Image: Tourists cycle as they drink beer and sing karaoke on a beer bike in Amsterdam.
Photographs: Robin van Lonkhuijsen/United Photos/Reuters
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Switzerland

Global rank: 16

Harmful alcohol consumption is risky both for the drinker and for other people. An intoxicated person can put people in harm's way by involving them in traffic accidents or violent behaviour, or by negatively affecting co-workers, relatives, friends or strangers.

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Image: A so-called 'wine angel' carries two bottles of wine as she is suspended by steel ropes and lifted up by a motorised winch in front of a wine storage tower in the lobby of the Radisson Blu Hotel at Zurich airport.
Photographs: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters
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The United States

Global rank: 17

A survey in Australia found that two thirds of respondents were adversely affected by someone else's drinking in the past year. Alcohol consumption also affects society at large.

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Image: Visitors are introduced to different kinds of Spanish wines at the New York Wine Expo.
Photographs: Natalie Behring/Reuters

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Germany

Global rank: 18

Death, disease and injury caused by alcohol consumption have socio-economic impacts, including the medical costs borne by governments, and the financial and psychological burden to families.

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Image: Waitresses dance on the tables during the beer festival, Oktoberfest, in Munich, Germany.
Photographs: Michael Dalder/Reuters
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Belgium

Global rank: 19

The hazardous and harmful use of alcohol also impacts on workers' productivity. Perhaps the biggest social impact is crime and violence related to alcohol consumption, which create significant costs for justice and law enforcement sectors.

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Image: A worker inspects racks of beer bottles at the Anheuser-Busch InBev's plant in Jupille near Liege, Belgium.
Photographs: Francois Lenoir/Reuters
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Austria

Global rank: 20

Alcoholic beverages are widely consumed throughout the world.

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Image: A waiter serves beer in a garden restaurant in Vienna.
Photographs: Herwig Prammer/Reuters

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Israel

Global rank: 21

While most of the adult population drinks at low-risk levels most of the time or abstains altogether, the broad range of alcohol consumption patterns, from daily heavy drinking to occasional hazardous drinking, creates significant public health and safety problems in nearly all countries.

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Image: White wine is poured into a glass in Jerusalem.
Photographs: Baz Ratner/Reuters

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Luxembourg

Global rank: 22

The consumption of homemade or illegally produced alcohol may be associated with an increased risk of harm because of unknown and potentially dangerous impurities or contaminants in these beverages.

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Image: The Petrusse river is seen near old fortifications of the city of Luxembourg.
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Spain

Global rank: 23

The highest consumption levels can be found in the developed world, mostly the Northern Hemisphere, but also in Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

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Image: Bottles of wine are displayed at the Alimentaria trade show in Barcelona.
Photographs: Albert Gea/Reuters

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Hungary

Global rank: 24

Medium consumption levels can be found in southern Africa, with Namibia and South Africa having the highest levels, and in North and South America.

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Image: A man drinks a beer during during a wrestling show in Budapest, Hungary.
Photographs: Laszlo Balogh/Reuters

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Poland

Global rank: 25

Low consumption levels can be found in the countries of North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa, the Eastern Mediterranean region, and southern Asia and the Indian Ocean.

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Image: A bartender pours beer at the Sielanka nad Pilica Hotel in Warka, Poland.
Photographs: Peter Andrews/Reuters

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