Legal Age of Drinking in Every Country
A Country a Month, “Local Food You Should Try in Kosovo and No-Miss Drinks in Kosovo”, acountryamonth.com Retrieved 15 July 2015. Want to know more about the legal drinking age in the world? Check out the map below to find out the legal drinking age in countries around the world! We probably don`t need to tell you that different countries have very different approaches to alcohol. Different tastes, different styles and, perhaps more directly, different laws. Depending on where you go in the world, the drinking age can be 15, 18, 20 or 21. In some countries, there may not be a legal drinking age. Of the 190 countries, 61% have an alcohol consumption age of 18 or 19. The United States and 11 other countries have an MLDA of 21, the highest MLDA of any country where it is legal to drink (although some parts of India have drinking ages of 25 and 30). Alcohol is banned in 16 countries, all Muslim, although some have exceptions for non-Muslims. “Europe is generally very high, both for the adult population and for 15-19 year olds,” Rekve said.
More than a fifth of the European population aged 15 and over reported heavy episodic use at least once a week, according to the WHO. In Libya, Somalia and Sudan, it is illegal to consume alcoholic beverages. In Libya, this ban has led to black markets for the sale of alcohol. Somalia has also introduced very strict laws on alcohol production. This Islamic country prohibits all alcohol-related activities, including the production, trafficking and consumption of alcohol. However, non-Muslims and tourists are allowed to consume alcohol in the privacy of their own homes. Sudan has banned the production, sale, possession and consumption of alcohol since 1983. The police may search minors in public places and confiscate or destroy alcoholic beverages in their possession. Incidents are reported to the legal guardian and child protection services, who may be involved in child protection proceedings. In addition, a fine is imposed on persons aged 15 and over.  For many, the ability to buy a legal drink is a sign of maturity and freedom – and perhaps a harbinger of questionable choices and good times. The Legal Drinking Age (MLDA) sets the legal age at which a person can purchase alcoholic beverages.
The MLDA in the United States is 21 years. However, prior to the enactment of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, the legal age at which alcohol could be purchased varied from state to state.1 Excessive or episodic excessive drinking can be measured if at least 60 grams or more of pure alcohol has been consumed at least once in the past 30 days. According to the WHO, about 16% of drinkers aged 15 and older worldwide drink heavily episodic. Among 15-year-old boys, more than 1 in 5 reported drinking weekly in 24 European countries and regions, with the highest prevalence observed in Malta, Denmark, England and Wales. But in 2014, only nine countries and regions had a prevalence of more than 20%, with the highest prevalence in Croatia, Malta and Italy, according to the report. As the WHO says, the consumption of alcoholic beverages is a big part of social gatherings and celebrations in many parts of the world – but moderation remains key. Take a look at the rest of the drinking age of every country in the world on the map above or read on for more information. Here`s a quick look at how not only the legal drinking age, but also the culture and education surrounding alcohol consumption varies from country to country. The most well-known reason for the law behind the legal drinking age is the effect on the brain in teenagers. As the brain is still maturing, alcohol can have a negative effect on memory and long-term thinking. In addition, it can cause liver failure and cause hormonal imbalance in adolescents due to the constant changes and maturation of hormones during puberty.
 Youth are also particularly at risk of injury when drinking alcohol, as they may not have the necessary knowledge about low-risk drinking. In fact, public health researchers found that people`s age to drink the first full serving of alcohol was significantly related to knowledge of low-risk alcohol consumption and beverage counting. Knowledge about low-risk alcohol consumption and frequency of beverage counting increased more sharply with age at first drinking in adolescence than at the end of the period.  The legal age for the consumption and purchase of alcohol in the Faroe Islands is 18 years.  In recent years, however, more attention has been paid to the amount of alcohol consumed by youth, rather than the age at which consumption begins drinking. Sign up here to receive The Results Are In with Dr. Sanjay Gupta of the CNN Health team every Tuesday. In Canada, India and the United Arab Emirates, different regions have different legal drinking ages.
In no other country did more than half of adolescents in this age group report heavy episodic alcohol consumption in the past 30 days. In the 1970s, provincial and state policymakers in Canada and the United States switched to lower MLDAs (set at 21 in most provinces, territories and states) to coincide with the age of judicial majority – usually 18. As a result, MLDAs have been reduced in all Canadian provinces [and] in more than half of U.S. states. In Canada, however, two provinces, Ontario (1979) and Saskatchewan (1976), rapidly increased their subsequent AOMLs from ages 18 to 19 in response to some studies showing a link between lowering the drinking age and increasing alcohol-related harms among adolescents and young adults, including increases in motor vehicle crashes and alcohol poisoning among high school students. Following the reduction of AMRs in the United States, research conducted in several states provided convincing evidence of a sharp increase in fatal and non-fatal traffic accident rates that occurred immediately after the introduction of a lower age for drinking. These scientific discoveries increased public pressure on legislators to increase MLDAs, and in response, the federal government introduced the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, which required a reduction in highway funding for states if they did not increase their MLDA to 21. All states complied and introduced a 21-year MLDA in 1988.  So there is everything from a total ban where no one can buy or sell, to an age range of 13 to 25, and then there are countries that have no age limit at all. It`s legal to sell to anyone,” he said. Worldwide, the legal age at which it is legal to buy or be served the most alcohol products ranges from 13 years in Burkina Faso to 25 years in Eritrea. The most common drinking age in the world may be a bit surprising as it is “none”.
Almost half or 83 of the 178 countries (47%) on our list do not have a minimum drinking age. However, many of these countries have a minimum age of purchase between 14 and 20 years. In these countries, minors of all ages can drink in the comfort of their homes, but in public they are limited. Many of these countries have age indications for ABV or alcohol by volume, as well as the type of alcohol consumed. For example, in Belgium, beers, wines and cider can be purchased at the age of 16, but spirits can only be purchased by people over the age of 18. Some countries, such as Angola in Africa, do not have a national law prohibiting the sale of alcohol to minors. In Central America, the Caribbean and South America, the legal drinking age and the legal purchasing age range from 0 to 20 years (see table below). Especially in South America, the legal age of purchase is 18, with two exceptions: “At the same time, we know that nearly 60% of the world`s population is currently not drinkers aged 15 and over. This means that there could be many changes in the future that we need to be aware of,” Rekve said, noting that in 2016, 57% of men and women worldwide reported abstaining from alcohol in the past 12 months.
In other words, of all the factors that could increase your risk of death or disability — such as smoking or physical inactivity — too much alcohol consumption was the top global risk factor in this age group in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet in August.