In Hungary, six out of every ten men drink at least two pints of beer a day, hvg.hu reports. Information from the World Health Organization (WHO) and European Union statistics show that while Hungarians are not the heaviest drinkers in Europe, the numbers of those who drink regularly in Hungary are increasing.
According to WHO, Hungary falls into the mid-range of European countries for alcohol consumption, Hungarians drinking an average of around eleven liters of alcohol a year. This places it halfway between Norway at seven liters and Czechia at more than fourteen liters.
The European Union classifies heavy drinkers as those who drink more than fourteen pints of beer a week for men and more than seven pints for women.
According to the Union’s most recent health survey, over the last ten years, the number of heavy drinkers in Hungary aged 18 to 34 has risen from 2.6 percent to 5.9. The number of heavy drinkers among people with certifications of higher education also doubled, increasing from 2.9 in 2009 to 6.1 in 2019.
Information from the Central Statistical Office provides some more uplifting news, however, estimating that over the last twenty years, based on the number of people dying of cirrhosis, a fatal disease of the liver, the number of alcoholics was halved, reduced to below four hundred thousand.
While there may be fewer cases of alcoholism, Hungary has been considered a world leader in alcohol consumption for years, potentially because the cost of alcohol in Hungary is significantly lower than average. It’s understandably difficult to reject the neighbors’ homemade pálinka, but a little moderation can definitely go a long way.
Featured photo illustration by Attila Balázs/MTI