Lithuania - Consumption
Alcohol consumption per capita (15+) in the population is calculated and publicly reported by Statistics Lithuania, based on retail sales data. In Lithuania consumption of legal alcohol has increased 1.5 times over the period of the last 15 years (from approximately 9.7 litres per capita in 2000 to 14 litres in 2015). There was a significant, but brief reduction as a reaction to the financial crisis of 2008, but in 2011 has reached the pre-crisis levels and plateaued at an alarmingly high level, despite a slight decline in 2014. The average per capita consumption according to the WHO Global report on alcohol and health (2014) in Lithuania between 2008 and 2010 was 15,4 litres of pure alcohol (including legal and illegal alcohol). Such an indicator places Lithuania among the top three in the world.
As you can see in the graph below, based on Statistics Lithuania data, per capita consumption has decreased significantly in the last decade. However, consumption appears to be increasing again during the COVID-19 years.
Based on the results of the Health Interview Survey 2019, 29 per cent of the population aged 15 and older (males – 21 per cent, females – 35 per cent) did not consume alcoholic beverages at all in the year before the survey, which is by 4 percentage points more than in 2014. 13 per cent of the population (males – 21 per cent, females – 7 per cent) consumed alcoholic beverages at least once a week (in 2014, 14 per cent).
Lithuanians mostly prefer beer, which makes 44 per cent of the total consumer alcohol, and consume quite a lot of spirited drinks and alcoholic cocktails, while wine accounts for 15 per cent of total alcohol consumption.
Legal alcohol consumption:
The amount of alcoholic beverages sold by retail trade and catering enterprises in litres, expressed in terms of absolute (100 per cent) alcohol, taking into account the estimates of alcohol purchased by tourists in the country and by residents abroad, per capita and per resident aged 15 and older.
In 2016, after a focused pressure from the combined alcohol related industries lobby, the Statistics Lithuania methodology for estimating alcohol consumption was changed and retrospectively applied towards consumption estimates from 2010 and several previous years. The change in methodology involved inclusion of tourist effect and exclusion of duty free alcohol sales. This update resulted in slight decline of pure alcohol consumption estimate in years where the reestimation was applied.
Source: Global status report on alcohol and health 2018 (WHO)
Structure of legal absolute (100 per cent) alcohol consumption per resident aged 15 and older by type of alcohol (per cent)