Search icon


17th Apr 2024

New study shows average Irish person drinks equivalent of 400 pints yearly

Simon Kelly

Average number of pints Ireland alcohol study

A rake of pints.

A new study on alcohol use in Ireland has revealed that the average Irish person drinks the equivalent of 400 pints of beer per year.

The study, which comes from the Health Research Board (HRB), showed that the average annual consumption for people aged 15 years and over in 2023 was 9.9 litres of pure alcohol.  

This equates to 37 70cl bottles of vodka, 104 bottles of wine or 400 pints of beer.

More than half of drinkers in Ireland (52%) drink at least once a week, while over a third (32%) do it multiple times a week.

Despite the shocking statistics, the study also found that there has been a rise in people abstaining from alcohol altogether, going from 25% in 2018 to 30% in 2022. 

Dr Mairéad O’Driscoll, HRB Chief Executive, said: “The increase in the number of people choosing not to drink and the decline in consumption per capita is positive.

“However, the way many people drink is harmful which is reflected in alcohol-related hospitalisations and deaths, as well as high numbers of people receiving treatment for problem alcohol use.”

New alcohol study shows average Irish person drinks equivalent of 400 pints yearly

The study also found that, despite a decline in pubs, Ireland still ranks 3rd highest in the world for the number of pubs per head, and three-in-four people live within walking distance of a premises licensed to sell alcohol.

Slovakia ranked first in the world, while Hungary came second.

It also highlights that the decline in the number of pubs is matched by an increase in off licences.  

Anne Doyle, HRB research officer and lead author of the report said: “This is the first time that we have looked at accessibility to alcohol in detail.

Using geospatial analysis, we also found there is a greater density of licensed premises in deprived communities.

“This is significant because evidence shows that people in deprived areas are more likely to experience alcohol-related harms, despite consumption being lower or equal to affluent areas.” 

The key areas that the study explored were availability, affordability, related harm, and policy of alcohol in Ireland.

The study examined how much people in Ireland are drinking, and the health and social consequences of alcohol use.

In terms of the impact on the Irish health system, the study found that alcohol is still the substance for which people seek treatment the most, and that one in five emergency department hospitalisations are due to alcohol (almost 19,000 in 2021)

Alcohol use is the 8th leading cause of death in Ireland with one person dying every day due to alcohol-related liver disease, and more than one-in-three road user fatalities had been drinking prior to the incident.  

Read more:

LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge