How the world gets drunk

That’s right, Ireland. You’ve been out-boozed by the drinkers of Mali, an African Muslim nation that recently had to fight off an Al Qaeda-linked rebellion. Out-boozed almost by a factor of two.

This chart covers both men and women but, again, it looks only at “drinkers.” That can amount to a sliver of the population. For the record: Mali on the whole is far less boozy than America. The vast majority of people in Mali (95 percent), Zimbabwe (75 percent) and Egypt (also 75 percent) report never consuming alcohol in their entire lives.

In countries where the drinking population is so small, figures may be more prone to error. But the WHO suggests that where “abstinence is the norm and/or drinking is forbidden,” people actually tend to underreport their intake.

As for abstainers, in Russia 20 percent of the population reports a life of alcohol abstinence. Same goes for Ireland. America’s lifetime abstainers, however, comprise only 17 percent of the population.

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