top of page

ICELAND - Consumption trends

Surveys on alcohol consumption show no significant changes in recent years except for youth alcohol consumption which has declined extensively and Iceland has been ranked amongst the lowest adolescent consumers of alcohol in Europe, according to studies.


In 1998, 42% of 15 to 16 year old Icelanders had become drunk during the past 30 days whereas in 2014 only 6% of students report the same. Daily smoking and the use of cannabis has also decreased dramatically.


Source: UNGT FÓLK 2014 – GRUNNSKÓLAR: Menntun, menning, félags, - íþrótta- og tómstundastarf, heilsa, líðan og vímuefnaneysla unglinga í 8., 9. og 10. bekk á Íslandi. Pages 69-76.


Surveys on adult drinking show no major change. In 2007, 94,9% said in a survey that they had sometime during their lifetime used alcohol, whereas in 2012 the ratio was 95,9%.


Frequent drinking and binge drinking has declined slightly during these years, but the number of occasional drinking increased a little instead.


Source: Pages 119-124.


After the financial crises of 2008, alcohol consumption decreased, probably due to decreased purchasing power and increased alcohol taxes. Alcohol consumption is now slowly increasing again peaking in 2015 and with a slight decrease in 2016.​


Looking at a longer period alcohol consumption has risen quite a significantly. According to  Statistics Iceland consumption of alcoholic beverages based on sales figures in Iceland was 2,015 thousand litres of pure alcohol in 2016 compared with 1,324 thousand litres in 2000 and 716 thousand in 1980.

The figures on quantity do not take into account alcohol imported by ship and aircraft crews and tourists entering the country, alcohol exported by the ÁTVR and others or alcohol sold to the Duty Free Store at Keflavík Airport.


Source: Statistics Iceland (21 June 2017)

bottom of page